Hallucinations–Many stage hypnotists delight in hallucinations when placing their chosen subjects in trance, handing them onions, and after telling them that they are holding a sweet roll, advise them to start eating.
The subjects then show their pleasure as they munch on the onions just as if they would something sweet. This is one form of hallucinations through hypnosis.
Another is to tell a hypnotized person or group that when they open their eyes (waking hypnosis) they will see on a wall, directly opposite to where they are sitting, a sad or a happy movie. If a sad movie is directed, the watchers will demonstrate exceedingly sorrowful facial expressions, some may even cry. If a happy one is indicated you can be sure that the hypnotized subjects will laugh, smile, grin, and at times become convulsed with laughter.
Another form of hallucination is to wave a bottle of ammonia under the hypnotized person’s nose and tell him that what he smells is perfume. He will breathe in the fumes and show every evidence of pleasure, just as if he actually smelled perfume.
Still another example is to tell a hypnotized subject in a group that another person of the group has left the room and that when he opens his eyes he will not see the “departed” person.
The other person is told to remain in the room with the others, but when the group is awakened and the first person is asked where the other one has gone he will say something like, “out of the room.” Even though he is now awake, he will not “see” the second person a few feet away. This, of course, is a post-hypnotic suggestion but is nevertheless categorized as a hallucination.
Yet another form is to tell hypnotized subjects that when they open their eyes a small animal (cat, puppy, rabbit, etc.) will be sitting on their laps. On becoming awake the group will be observed putting their imaginary animals. (This demonstration should be done only after ascertaining that the subjects love animals.)
The forms of hallucinatory demonstrations are almost endless. We include these examples to help explain what hypnosis is indeed an “altered state of consciousness.” Certainly, on the conscious level, no one would comply so readily with the instructions indicated above.
We have often wondered how those few psychologists who have questioned hypnosis and who claim that similar demonstrations can be done on the conscious level, would explain either regression or hallucination.
It is highly important if you are going to demonstrate hallucination that your subjects be conditioned and accustomed to hypnotic suggestion. If they are not ones with whom you have worked before, you must have a conditioning session with them before the demonstration. Then, at the start of the demonstration, and after they are deeply relaxed you will say: “Everything I say to you now or later will be absolutely true. Exactly true. Exactly real – exactly as I say it is.”
You may add “insurance” by telling them that if you shake hands with any of them later they will immediately fall “deep asleep, deep asleep.” With this added suggestion you protect yourself in case any of them later (with his eyes open) claims not to be hypnotized. You would simply shake hands with him and watch him promptly close his eyes.
Demonstrating hallucinations involves a mixture of waking hypnosis, post-hypnotic suggestion, and preconditioning. In your conditioning session before the demonstration, you must weed out those who do not appear to be deeply hypnotized and are therefore not suitable for the performance that is to follow. Only thoroughly conditioned subjects or those who by discreet observance by the hypnotist disclose good susceptibility should be selected.
A demonstration of hallucination is a performance, and, therefore, entertainment. Entertaining people with hypnosis is for the stage hypnotist.