Walking Dead Syndrome
H.B. Woodrose & Datura
Citation:   Dread Pirate Mo. "Walking Dead Syndrome: An Experience with H.B. Woodrose & Datura (exp102522)". Erowid.org. Feb 16, 2020. erowid.org/exp/102522

23 seeds oral H.B. Woodrose (ground / crushed)
  70 - 100 seeds oral Datura (ground / crushed)
Walking Dead Syndrome From the Vantage Point [title got cut off]

I’m in my mid thirties. I’m a little over six feet in height and weigh about 200 pounds. I’ve done about all the major known drugs imaginable. During the late nineties, I tripped on LSD quite frequently.

The experience I’m about to describe happened in the summer of 2013 and is beyond anything I’ve ever experienced before. I’ve heard people describe religious experiences on LSD but of the dozens of times I’ve tried it I’ve never had anything as remotely profound occur to me as did with woodrose seeds.

It was late August and I was reuniting with a longtime friend. I will refer to this friend as Papa Smurf (for reasons that should become obvious). Papa Smurf introduced me to LSD back in high school; even back then he knew about the “legal highs,” the exotic plants and the more unusual designer drugs that most people never heard of. He went on to earn an advance degree in psychology but he remained interested in “altered states of consciousness.”

Papa Smurf was picking me up early in the morning to go hiking in the backcountry of the nearby national forest. I had planned on being a guinea pig and would be trying something called “Hawaiian baby wood rose.” Being a guinea pig for Papa Smurf wasn’t new and usually turned into an interesting experience to say the least.

We got to the trailhead at about nine in the morning. That particular trail began at an old cemetery; that’s where Papa Smurf pulled out a miniature zip lock bag filled with what looked to be a few grams of tan powder. Papa Smurf had used a coffee grinder to pulverize the seeds into a powder. I asked “How many?” Papa Smurf replied, “23” (I had no idea at the time of what constituted a dose). I immediately took the bag, opened it up, unloaded the powdered seed into my mouth and swallowed with the help of a few gulps of water. It wasn’t too bad but I did notice a metallic taste in my mouth that lingered.

Over the next half hour Papa Smurf asked several times if I felt anything; if I did it was subtle. Approximately forty-five minutes into the walk something hit me like a freight train. I don’t know exactly how to describe it but mostly it was a feeling that something big had happened. By this point in time, I was seeing tracers and everything seemed vibrant and different but the visuals didn’t matter as it was as if the essence of my very being had changed in some fundamental way and I couldn’t put my finger on it
it was as if the essence of my very being had changed in some fundamental way and I couldn’t put my finger on it

About an hour into the hike I noticed that the trees seemed endless and I blurted out loud, “there sure are a lot of trees.” Papa Smurf replied, “Yes there are.” I felt so inadequate because that’s not what I meant to say. For me the forest had somehow become a fractal or kaleidoscope. It was supernatural somehow but I could not find the language to describe it. From this point on I felt like I had lost my ability to communicate.

I know I must have been sweating and looked horrible. It was so challenging to walk. At some point Papa Smurf took us of trail and down a rocky creek bed. We ended up at a tree that had a protrusion that looked so much like a human head that I felt inclined to treat the tree as if it were a person. I sat down on the bank there and remember thinking that if I mentally let go I would die. Papa Smurf spent the next few hours stacking stones into immense stacks. While Papa Smurf entertained himself by stacking rocks, I faced an inner dialogue with myself. Somehow I felt death was imminent—all I had to do was go. I was scared to let go but for some reason I felt I had to die.

I then began to feel as if I were vibrating. Everything was vibrating and I was part of it. At some point I opened my eyes and Papa Smurf was in my face and looked really scared. I told him I was “OK.” He said, “I know you’re ok” but I could see he was scared for me. I told him “I just got to let go” and I closed my eyes and went back to the vibrations that had pleasantly consumed me. Somehow in my own my mind “let go’ meant “die” which in turn meant to return to a vibrational state. Papa Smurf later told me that I was shaking and trembling as if I were freezing but he didn’t want to say anything to me then because he didn’t want to scare me.

I could have stayed where we were for hours longer but eventually Papa Smurf wanted to go. My reality at this time was shattered. I had no choice but to follow Papa Smurf. Not only was my mind blown but I was physically exhausted. I felt like a zombie.

At some point we were walking through the forest and Papa Smurf says, “Oh my god, look at the Panda over there by the bamboo.” At this point I’m unable to talk but I’m really wondering where we’re at and how the fuck we got to some place where there’s bamboo and panda bears. Papa Smurf always liked to fuck with you in little ways but this time I truly couldn’t be sure of reality.

As we walked I began to realize that I had died on that creek bed back there. Nothing seemed strange anymore. I kept repeating out loud “I’m here, you’re here and that’s just how it is.” Papa Smurf said I kept repeating that phrase. I couldn’t carry on a conversation but what I was really thinking was that I had died many times before and every time it was with Papa Smurf. It had just happened again and that’s just how it was. I felt like I was in some kind of purgatory where life kept repeating itself up to that same moment.

Every once in a while Papa Smurf would fuck with me. At one point he said with a straight face “I can’t believe we’ve been out here in the jungle for fourteen days already.” I couldn’t say anything back to him but I certainly had an inner dialogue in my head. I thought “have we really been out here for fourteen days?” I even wondered what country we were in. But then another part of me said, “that’s just Papa Smurf fucking with me.” But even with that thought I couldn’t be sure. But these kinds of episodes were familiar too. I had experienced them many times already. At least that’s how I felt. It didn’t matter if it was jungle or not because it was all purgatory.

There was another instance where Papa Smurf yelled back to me, “Hey, whatever you do just don’t pick up a rock and hit me in the back of the head with it.” I thought, “why the fuck would he say that? Is that what I’m supposed to do?” I seriously had this mental dialogue in my head where I contemplated killing Papa Smurf because I somehow felt I was supposed to do that because he told me not to do it. Those words took on a strange significance.

Eventually we made it out of the forest and to Papa Smurf’s car. As we drove I contemplated the seeming fact that I was already dead and nothing really mattered because it had already happened and just kept repeating.
I contemplated the seeming fact that I was already dead and nothing really mattered because it had already happened and just kept repeating.
I became obsessed with this idea.

At one point Papa Smurf made an unexpected stop at an apartment complex. He knew the maintenance manager and wanted to say high. He visited with his friend who was painting an apartment unit. I was unable to communicate so I decided I’d go outside and look around. While sitting on the second story stairs of the apartments we were at, a car pulled up. I was so convinced that I was reliving life in purgatory that I strongly considered yelling out some expletives simply for the fact that it wouldn’t matter because it had already happened somehow. Everything I did or thought about doing was a repetition of something in purgatory that I had already done and therefor my actions really didn’t matter. Fortunately I didn’t test my theory.

Papa Smurf drove me back to my apartment (now about 4:00 PM). I spent the next few hours contemplating everything that had happened. I began to regain my sanity. Throughout the first half of my trip I had accepted my experience as reality and the fact that I had done drugs weighed little on my interpretation of that reality. During my latter solitude I began to realize that the substance had induced the experience. I knew I was not dead but somehow felt as though I had died and been put back together. The rest of my experience occurred in solitude. I continued to see tracers, bursts of color, and perceptual distortions but they didn’t matter. I spent the rest of my experience reflecting on what seemed the most profound experience I had ever had.

I spoke with Papa Smurf late the next day. He confessed that he had added datura seeds to the mix.
I spoke with Papa Smurf late the next day. He confessed that he had added datura seeds to the mix.
He said he added the seeds so there was more volume in the coffee grinder. He didn’t think there was enough for them affect the experience. His guess was that he added about 70-100 datura seeds. I’ve since experienced both datura and woodrose by themselves. I think the combination somehow made the experience seem more real.

In reflection, I can’t help but think that such an experience could go horribly wrong. I seriously contemplated murder, jumping off a cliff, and calling someone a racial slur because of the weird mental space I was in. I feel like I could have done any of those things. On LSD there is always that part of you that knows that what you’re experiencing is the result of the drug. I didn’t have that with this experience. It was real. On the other hand, it was truly the most profound experience I’ve ever hand. I mean I was dead in purgatory and intimately aware that I was simply replaying my life for the billionth time. It’s a bizarre state of mind to believe this. Though the thought of repeating it scares me there is a part of me that wants to do it again.

Exp Year: 2013ExpID: 102522
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: 35
Published: Feb 16, 2020Views: 5,231
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Datura (15), H.B. Woodrose (26) : Small Group (2-9) (17), Nature / Outdoors (23), What Was in That? (26), Combinations (3)

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