Saturday, April 13, 2013

An Odd Hypnotic Experiment

In this book:

...we found a disturbing account about a hypnosis experiment in the 1860s.

We've scanned the passage, but apologize for the dark side shadow in the second image.

(The material is still readable however.)

This for those of you who find such arcane or weird happenings and events interesting.

Comments welcome.



Kandinsky said...

Bloody hell! That's a compelling and deeply grisly episode and so very vivid too. Wiertz and the doctor were like Fortean superheroes exploring the unknown with no fear of ethics or consequences. Did I mention ethics?

The short account of (by proxy) what happened to the executed in the moments 'after' death certainly looks familiar doesn't it? Blinding light followed by some form of reassuring super-intelligence is part and parcel of the modern narrative most of us are familiar with.

Very interesting. I guess we'd have to consider how much of the narrative was typical of Wiertz' conceptions of an after-life too? Say for example, if we were to ask 20 intelligent, contemporaries to imagine the final thoughts of the condemned and their post-death, would they frame a similar sequence? I'd imagine the more common speculative, contemporary narrative would have included a few more beasties, sharp things and hotness.

Quite a lot to think about. My imagination has latched onto the scene of being beneath a platform, in the darkness, and the severed head staring back whilst the veins are still pulsing.

RRRGroup said...

Yes, Kandinsky, grisly.

I was disturbed by the images and report generally.

Is the brain really conscious for the time indicated?

My son, Josh (going into theoretical neurology) says yes.


Terry the Censor said...

For ease of reading, here's the account at

RRRGroup said...

Thanks Terry,

That helps.


Terry the Censor said...

Finally had time to read it. Wow.

I found the article as a whole to be very well-informed. It had some interesting points about the connection of spiritualist beliefs with mesmerism and later hypnosis. I am still amazed that hypnotic subjects will not only call up *ahem* memories of past lives, SRA, alien abduction, etc., but also imagine hypnosis has unlucked their psychic powers.

RRRGroup said...


The "tale" gave me the shivers.

It is a "wow" report.