The Tortured Man and the Black Monolith: A Psychedelic Horror Show

in #writing3 years ago (edited)

I'm coming down from a moderate trip. I weighed out about two grams of some scraggily looking but incredibly potent mushrooms and brewed them into a tea. This was the last of a half ounce that I had bought a while back and I knew them to be pretty damn good and highly visual but two grams isn't much for me though so I decided to break into the other bag of untested, ghostly white and blue, albino mushrooms. I ate about a gram and a half of those spectral shrooms while I downed my tea and holy fucking shit balls things got super dark.

I've had albino mushrooms before but these looked different. The others were pale but these things were white as snow except where they were bruised a deep blue. Their flavor was unusually mild and almost pleasant with a sweetness that is absent in the typically funky cheese and sunflower seed vibe I get from most mushrooms.

Anyway, I smoked a cigarette and went to lie down to close my eyes and listen to music in a darkened room. The tea arrived quickly enough but the eaten albino mushrooms came on more slowly which seemed stretch out the the peak of the experience. Not surprisingly, that long peak is where things creepy.

The body high was extremely sedating. Mushrooms often have this effect on me but it was rather intense this time. I felt as though I couldn't move (I could, in fact, but that's how I felt). I was largely disassociated from my body and my consciousness seemed to drift in the way that it does during pre-sleep. My only anchors to the real world and my body were the music and the strange almost electric energy I felt rush through my arms with every breath.

I don't know if it was the ghost mushrooms or if I managed to hover in some region between waking and sleep but my hallucinations were very atypical for psychedelics (in my experience) and took on a dreamlike or visionary quality that I have never really experienced before. Everything I saw was like looking at a hype-realistic, living, painting of all things, nightmarish and disturbing.

One such "painting" stands out above the others. I saw what looked like a picture of a desert landscape, bright and burning, with a harsh sun high in the sky. I hovered in the air or viewed the scene from a lofty vantage point. In front of me was a cliffside and the land at its base, which was covered with rocks and small shrubs along the ground. At the top of the cliff appeared to be a large plateau with distant tall dark mountains visible miles away in the background and some black, ancient, stone ruins standing (or guarding) the the top of the cliff. The environment was unsettling and brought about thoughts of death.


The desert was dead, the shrubs were dead, the buildings were dead, but there was one living in that place; however, it would have been less disturbing if it had been dead too. At the center of the foreground stood a tall monolith made of the same harsh, black rock as the ruins on the cliff's edge. At peak the of this inky obelisk, there was a man. He was was chained to with his back across the top and his arms and legs spread out and bound to the sides of the tall, dark, stone. He was nude except for a black leather mask through which he peered at me with his tortured eyes. His body was deformed. He was muscular but his trunk was too thick, his arms and legs were too short, and his head was too large and misshapen. His skin that was visible was burned and blistered from the sun and wounds from his unknown tormenters whip striped him here and there with red lines of painful, open, welted, flesh.


I observed the hideousness of the scene but I did not react with fear or disgust. I simply let it pass and found myself faced with new, dark and mysterious images. This "horror show" phase of the trip lasted about two hours before my normal typical neon "Aztecs in space" mushroom visuals returned and I settled into good mindset for the rest of the experience. Weirdly, the trip left me feeling peaceful and energized despite it's dark content.

I am left wondering, however, what meaning there is to be gained from the strange nightmare environments I was faced with and who the tortured man was. What were his crimes? Why did I happen upon him to witness his suffering. Stranger still, this is not the first time that an altered state has brought me to dark, cursed, ruins in the desert but those visions were the result of semi-lucid dreams that I experienced after bouts of sleep paralysis. Each time was different but there was always a desert with ancient buildings, some lurking malevolence hidden under the bright burning sun, and an intense drive for me to uncover a secret there.


The images in this post are taken from


It's been years since I took mind-expanding substances. The impressions during such a trip can be overwhelming and frightening. Letting them pass you by as they happen and seeing them with the eye of an observer rather than a sufferer, as you describe, is probably attributable to your mental stability.

What the man who was deformed and tortured might stand for is hard to say. It can be an identification that expresses itself through him. He seems to represent death and suffering. In him is concentrated what we humans feel to be tormenting, I think to myself.

These things, like voluntarily staying in complete darkness or pushing the limits of what is physically possible, testify to the fears that are common to all of us.

I personally experience a loss of culture and community where such commonly experienced states are no longer practised. The dancing around the campfire and the drumming and singing of those in the group is not something that modern people experience.

To achieve similar states, where birth and death are involved, one is often left only with one's own intimate space.

For me, your experience is equivalent to an attempt to transcend one's own limitations and to integrate what you have experienced to the extent that the fear of death or physical and mental pain is an attempt to overcome this fear with the help of this ritual. In order to ultimately come to terms with oneself and the world.

Another aspect, however, which is not looked upon very fondly, is the confrontation with oneself and one's own dark parts, since everyone probably wants to think of themselves as a good person. Difficult to explain. ...

Anyway, I read your impressions with interest. Thank you for sharing them.

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