Unspeakable horrors

Unspeakable horrors are the experience of prolonged exposure to scenarios and hallucinatory content of a nightmarish, scary, threatening, and disturbing nature, which are often directly influenced by a person's fears. This can occur during high dose hallucinogenic experiences, particularly those in which the user is currently undergoing negative emotional stressors and personal problems of an introspective nature.

Although the content that comprises these states are generally ineffable and largely dependent on the fears of those who experience them, certain tropes, themes, and archetypes often manifest themselves. These consist of, but are not limited to:

Trope 1

Autonomous entities

Within the context of unspeakable horrors, autonomous entities commonly include include demons, deformed monstrosities, hooded figures, mocking entities, real life people that the person has associated trauma with, and otherwise normal human beings deformed by severe injury or illness.

Trope 2


Within the context of unspeakable horrors, geometry often present itself in forms that contain innately readable representations of pure conceptual fear, horror, and suffering that can be felt through all of the senses as they are perceived.

Trope 3


Within the context of unspeakable horrors, machinescapes can be described as functionally identical but distinct in that their comprising parts often almost exclusively consist of indescribably complex, interlocking, and ever-shifting biomechanical gore, organs, and body parts.

Trope 4

Scenarios and plots

Within the context of unspeakable horrors, hallucinatory scenarios commonly include scenes of suffering directed towards oneself or other people, such as being tortured, scenes in which one is being hunted as prey by "evil" creatures or forces, and the direct experience of one's personal fears.

Trope 5

Settings, sceneries, and landscapes

Within the context of unspeakable horrors, settings, sceneries, and landscapes can include the visitation of hellish landscapes, ancient monolithic Lovecraftian architecture, and ruined civilizations.

Trope 6

Fearing for the fabric of ones sanity

Within the context of unspeakable horrors, it is not uncommon for one's current perception to feel so horrific that the person becomes convinced that they will surely be left permanently insane and with severe psychological damage. This can also leave people with an immediate sense that ordinary life is a thin shell over a comparatively horrifying reality, one which cannot be dismissed or escaped from.

Despite these hallucinations being extremely stressful, however, this effect rarely leaves individuals with lasting psychological problems.

The experience of this component and how it is interpreted by those who undergo it seems to differ wildly between people. While certain individuals can find this state to be traumatizing if unprepared, many people find that, although terrifying, these experiences can be exhilarating and help to build character. To ensure that one does not find themselves in this state unwittingly, heavy dosages of hallucinogens should be avoided without prior practice. A person should always work their way up to the higher levels from lower dosages in small increments as they feel comfortable doing so.

Unspeakable horrors are often accompanied by other coinciding effects, such as anxiety, psychosis, and memory suppression. They are most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and 2C-P. They can also occur under the influence of deliriants, such as DPH, datura, and benzydamine. It is also possible to experience unspeakable horrors while under the influence of dissociatives, such as DXM and PCP, but particularly when combined with other hallucinogenic substances, such as LSD or DPH.

Personal Commentary

Unspeakable horrors are an effect that I am intimately familiar with. They were at one point the primary style of hallucinatory content that I experienced under the influence of heavy dosages of psychedelics.

I first experienced this effect on a 30mg dose of 2C-P and was absolutely astounded that my brain could produce Lovecraftian-esque images and scenery that were so incomprehensibly horrifying to look upon they would leave me genuinely concerned for the fabric of my sanity. However, despite how deeply unsettling they were, I always found them to be thrilling, similar to the feeling of watching a horror film or riding a rollercoaster. In fact, once they were over, I would consistently find they had not damaged my psyche in any discernible way and had actually left me feeling emotionally stronger due to the realisation that I was capable enough to endure them.

It's worth clarifying to the various people that have contacted me about this that I do not believe this effect can manifest spontaneously without any apparent prior causes. Through personal experience and discussion with others who have undergone this state, it seems that unspeakable horrors are a direct result of a person's emotional state being in a place that is deeply unstable and hopeless. There was a two year period in which psychedelic hallucinations would manifest in this manner for me. At the time, I was suffering from extreme depression, daily suicidal ideation, overwhelming social anxiety, and the realisation that my life was metaphorically collapsing around me. Now that I'm in a place where I'm more emotionally stable and content with life than I've ever been, these horrifying hallucinations no longer occur for me regardless of the substance I ingest or its dosage.

This effect seems to be mentioned within the following trip reports:

Nightmares in Eiriel

on July 12th 2010 - Sedric Lightbury
  • DPH 2000mg Oral


hallucinatory state


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