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This book, which covers Visions and hallucinations, explains what causes them and summarises how many hallucinations have been caused by each event or activity. It also provides specific help with questions people have asked us, such as ‘Is my medication giving me hallucinations?’.

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Observations placeholder

Michael Crichton meets an alcoholic



Type of Spiritual Experience


Number of hallucinations: 1


The observer was not Michael but it helps in under standing to group this with his other observations


A description of the experience

Michael Crichton – Travels [his autobiography]

 I headed for the nurses' station to report in. I passed a large man sitting up in bed, with the sheets pulled to his chin.

"Hey, Doc."

"Good morning," I said.

"Hey, Doc, can you help me?" Just to make sure I did, he gripped my arm powerfully. He was a very large man; he had hands like slabs of meat. Beneath a grizzled crew cut, his face was scarred. He looked dangerous. He glared at me.

"Nobody's helping me around this joint," he said.

"Gee," I said.

"Will you help me, Doc?"

"Sure," I said. "What's the problem?"

"Take my shoes off for me."

He nodded toward the foot of the bed, where his feet stuck up under the sheets. I wondered why he was wearing shoes in bed, but he was so big and fierce, it didn’t seem worth asking.

"No problem," I said.

He released my arm, and I walked to the foot of the bed.

I lifted up the sheet.

I saw two large, bare feet. Ten toes-or actually nine, because one big toe was missing. There was just a dark stump.

I looked back at the rnan's face. He was watching me carefully, glowering. "Go ahead," he said.

"What did you want me to do again?" I asked.

"Take off my shoes."

"Are you wearing shoes?"

"You can see 'em right in front of you!" he shouted angrily.

I pulled the sheet back, so he could see his own bare feet.

But he just nodded. "Well, go ahead!"

"You mean these shoes here?" I pointed to his bare feet.

"Yeah. The shoes on my feet. What are you, blind?"

"No," I said. "Tell me, what kind of shoes are these?"

"Just take'em ofl"

He seemed so volatile. I had no idea what was wrong with him, or how to proceed. I decided I would go along with him.

I pantomimed taking his shoes off.

'Jesus!" he shouted, groaning.

"What's the matter?"

"Don't you know nothing? Unlace 'em flrst!"

"Oh. Sorry." I pretended to unlace the shoes. "Better?"

"Yeah. Jesus."

I pretended to remove the first shoe, and then the second.

He sighed, and wiggled his toes.

"Oh, that's better. Thanks a lot, Doc."

"Don't mention it." I was eager to get away. I started off to the nursing station.

"Hey! Not so fast." He grabbed me again. "Where do you think you're going?"

"To the nursing station."

"With my shoes?"


"Sorry, hell I wasn't born yesterday. You leave'em right here!"

"Okay. There, is that okay?"

"Gotta watch you guys every minute." Then his expression abruptly changed. He looked down at the sheets. He became panicky, frightened.

"Hey, Doc. Can you help me?"

"What is it now?"

"Just get that spider off the sheet, okay? Both them spiders. You see 'em there."

“Have you been seeing spiders?”

“Oh yeah, lots of ‘em.  Especially last night – they’re all over the walls”

He was an alcoholic in the midst of DTs

The source of the experience

Crichton, Michael

Concepts, symbols and science items





Science Items

Activities and commonsteps