Citation: TUVOK. "The High Was Not Euphoric for Me: An Experience with Hyoscyamus niger (exp100855)". Erowid.org. Apr 19, 2021. erowid.org/exp/100855
CONFESSIONS OF A HENBANE HEAD
In my younger days, I guess when I was about 15, I found a book named Recreational drugs. Its an old hippie book that tells of a whole myriad of mind altering substances in it. It is a very good book. One plant they had a section on was henbane. A hairy, sticky member of the potato family. Working on the family ranch in remote western Montana, I overheard my dad talking about all this damned henbane weed overtaking all of our pasture. I was amazed when I figured out which plant he was referring to. There were entire fields full of it. Literally tons, and tons. And being a dumb, pot head 15 year old I started taking it.
At first in small doses. I would dry out some leaves and smoke a joint of it. Minimal effect, but I did always feel it. Eat some seeds, chew some roots. I tried it a few times over the course of a few summers. I read all about it. It is very similar to datura and will make you hallucinate, but I never got that kind of high with the small amounts I was taking. But from those small dose experiments, I would feel buzzed, and I would have extremely lucid, vivid dreams the night of. So real I would often confuse my dreams with memories of the day before.
Fast forward a few years. When I was 18, I got my first apartment with my friend Matt, and my friend Tom. We were avid psychonauts. We would try just about anything we could get our hands on. Especially me. I would always convince my roomates to smoke valerian root, or eat nutmeg to get high. On one particular summer day, I told them about henbane, and informed them I could get as much as we wanted and brew up some tea, and we could all have a proper trip. I showed them the section in the recreational drugs book about it, then I informed them about the crazy nature of that type of drug, and the lunacy associated with the high. But without much convincing we all hopped in the car and headed out of town to harvest some henbane.
I didn’t know exactly where to find some in this new area but it didn’t take long to find a whole field half full of the stuff next to a golf course. It literally is a weed around here. We hopped out of my car, jumped the barbed wire fence. Ran over to it all and pulled up one of the bigger plants completely out of the ground. Roots and all. They were big plants. The one we got was around four and a half, five feet tall. It was more like a bush or small tree really. Lots of branches with seed pods all over it. I don’t remember if it was flowering or not. We ran back with it to the car and put it in the trunk.
Back home we cut almost the whole thing up (minus the roots) and put it in a very large metal pot, filled it up with water and let it simmer for a while on the stove. After 30min or so, we strained it (crudely) and each got a 44ounce soda cup full of tea. We drank our first cup pretty fast. It was yellowish colored and smelled kind of like rotten eggs, but the taste wasn’t really bad at all. And I have drank some truly awefull plant drink/concoctions. We added sugar, and it didn’t taste that different from normal tea. Matt and Tom both drank another full cup, this time full of seeds. I only drank another half cup with just a few seeds. That finished off all of our tea. So they got a bigger dose.
After an hour we started feeling kind of drunk/stoned. Also calm and sleepy. Matt needed to go out of town to his friends house for some reason, so we all hopped in the car and went to his friends house. When we were done there we came back. It had been about 2 or 3 hours since we dosed. We were all feeling fairly messed up, and that’s when things started getting weird. I remember feeling very calm, and kind of spaced out, while feeling just generally intoxicated. And I also felt like something was wrong. I didn’t know what, but it was something I just couldn’t put my finger on.
Driving while intoxicated, tripping, or extremely sleep deprived is dangerous and irresponsible because it endangers other people. Don't do it!]
When we got out of the car I remember looking over at Tom, and to my surprise his pants were pulled down and he was walking in his boxers. I thought he was messed up and was just doing weird stuff. I looked back over and his pants were on. Then his pants were off. Then a second later they would be on. I tried talking to Tom, and he seemed just basically gone. He was talking half in jibberish, half mumbling. So we decided to take Tom home. We drove him over to his house and he got out. It was getting dark. Tom started walking down the street instead of going into his house. Within a second he totally seemed to vanish. While I was watching him it looked like the darkness just swallowed him. So me and Matt drove back to my apartment. I was very sleepy so I laid down in my bedroom, while Matt stayed in the living room. The two rooms are separated by a hanging blanket, so I could hear everything he was saying/doing.
I fell into a light sleep. I don’t know how long I was asleep but It didn’t feel like very long. I remember I was asleep and somebody was talking to me trying to wake me up. I was trying to answer in my sleep and I finally woke up. I vaguely remember somebody being in my room, then they were gone. Then on my wall, a dark blotch kind of quivered and a giant spider crawled out of the wall!! It was the size of a grapefruit. It was moving incredibly fast and running/flying from one side of my room to the other. I actually didn’t feel any fear or concern for the giant spider. But I do remember keeping my distance from it. It was moving in a pattern, moving in a kind of geometric circuit from one wall to another. After a minute I realized the spider wasn’t real, I focused my concentration and eyes, and it turned back into the smudge on the wall. Throughout the whole experience I was usually aware I was on a hallucinogenic drug, but occasionally I would find myself smoking imaginary cigarettes or observing insects that weren’t really there. The whole time I felt cool, calm, but not really collected. I also remember the same feeling of something not being quite right. It kind of seemed to me I was dreaming.
After the spider disappeared I was still laying in bed when I heard a horrible sound. Buzzz. Snap. Buzzzz. Pop. It was coming from the living room were Matt was. I leaned forward and stealthily peeked through the blanket at whatever was going on in the living room. Matt was hunched over looking at the microwave. The microwave was on and light and electricity was flashing inside. Still unaware I was watching, he opened the microwave door and pulled out a paper plate with a bunch of pennies on it. He looked at it, a little puzzled, then put the pennies back in the microwave and turned it on again. I came through the blanket door and asked him “what are you doing?” He looked shocked and confused. He mumbled something about cooking food or making dinner or something.
Throughout the rest of the night I sat in my bed confused, while Matt stayed up all night talking to himself in the mirror. I would watch him occasionally, and he was acting as if there were people there, and he was at a party. He was telling stories, stories I had heard him tell before. Save myself, he was completely alone. I remember talking out loud too. But I would catch myself doing it and stop. I also remember seeing spots. Big spots. Watching big purple ones float around my vision. It actually looked a lot like on looney toons, when someone would drink some bad liquor or something and see spots.
I eventually fell asleep. I had intensely real dreams all night. When I awoke it was daylight, and I felt strange but basically back to normal. To my surprise, Matt was still in the other room, partying. I came into the room and I startled him. He really looked confused seeing me there. “How ya doing buddy?” I asked. He had stopped talking to the wall and was just looking at me with this odd expression. I was amused and trying to communicate with him in reality. I went to sit down on a chair and as I did, Matt screamed at me “What are you doing? You almost sat on the snake!” I asked “what snake?” I told him there was no snake. He got mad and explained to me about how our other friend Nick was over and he had a big pet snake. And he had a foam chair pad that had a maze through it, and they would put the snake in it, and watch it squirm through the maze. Then he was looking all around asking where Nick was. Talking with me had somehow snapped him out of his delusions. But I couldn’t convince him that the whole party was a hallucination. He kept looking around asking where everyone had gone to? He would get genuinely mad when I told him he was up talking to himself all night. Not until 3 days later when I took him over to Nick's house and he talked to Nick did he accept that there was no snake and no party. It blew his mind.
The whole rest of the day my pupils were enormous. They were the size of quarters. I couldn’t see anything close up that whole day. But I actually felt good and energized. Somehow powerfull. Even a bit euphoric. I continued seeing spots and shadows for a couple days after.
I continued seeing spots and shadows for a couple days after.
Tom came over shortly after Matt snapped out of it. He told me he was followed by imaginary people on the way over. He told me that night he tripped and put his hand out to break his fall on a chair, and his hand/arm went right through the chair. I never got a real good story from Tom about what happened to him. For a couple years after, every time I went over to his house, his mom would ask us “you guys aren’t going to do that stuff again, are you?” I think he was up all night acting crazy. I guess he did make it into his house when we dropped him off. I must have hallucinated him walking down the street and disappearing.
Matt insists he will Never do henbane again. I think Tom found it interesting. I found the whole experience interesting. But till this day, I wish I would have taken a bigger dose and tripped harder. I got messed up, but not quite as much as my friends did.
The henbane high was not euphoric for me or anyone I've known who’s done it. It seriously messed with my brain in a way no other drug has. I was in a completely different mindstate than i've ever been. I had little control over my actions. Me and my friends were at the mercy of the delusions and hallucinations from the henbane.
All in all, we are very lucky we didn’t kill ourselves. I had no idea how much we were doing. I just guessed. Had we done that much Datura, we’d be dead. And the strength of the plant is different from place to place, plant to plant. Even what time of day it is matters.
I think I might try henbane again one day. And get the full delerium. But I will have somebody trustworthy to be my sitter. And I will be very carefull about how much I take. Its not really fun.
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