The 13th Floor

This Attempt to Recreate “The Ganzfeld Experiment” Produced Nightmarish Results

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The following information comes from a series of posts by user EvraVon53, who reveals how he tried his own replication of the controversial “Ganzfeld Experiment” while in college. Though the date of the attempt is not given (it’s assumed to be during the past decade), this particular test has been around since 1974.

The goal of the original experiment was to test for ESP abilities in subjects — called “receivers” — by placing them in a state of partial sensory deprivation for a period of 30 minutes, during which another volunteer — the “transmitter” — would focus on a particular thought or image, and speak these thoughts out loud to a third-party observer (the receiver does not hear this), who also records them.

Following the 30-minute “Ganzfeld session,” the receiver would then be shown a series of images and/or written passages — one of which accurately reflects the statements the observer recorded from the “transmitter,” while the others are “decoys” containing non-matching information.

As to whether the subjects of the first experiment were found to display signs of ESP, the data from the original experiment remains inconclusive and controversial, due to some discrepancies in its method. However, there were some unusual and strangely consistent side effects reported by those who took part in the test, including a seemingly shared set of hallucinations — now nicknamed the “Ganzfeld Effect.”

Elena Alyukova-Sergeeva

Many of those who experienced this effect described seeing specific “entities” — often vague, shadowy figures emerging from a glowing fog, sometimes radiating auras of many colors, often suggesting some kind of independent intelligence. While most scientists theorize this is actually due to the consistent behavior of the brain’s visual cortex, and its tendency to assign order to random patterns, some parapsychologists have postulated the entities exist on a different plane of existence from our own… though there is no concrete evidence to support this.

Out of curiosity, EvraVon53 decided to recreate the experiment, and convinced his roommate Travis to be the subject.

They managed to find the materials to replicate the original setup — including halved ping-pong balls to cover Travis’s eyes, a red light to shine on these coverings, noise-cancelling headphones (which were fed a constant recording of white noise), and a video camera to record the results.

For 20 minutes of the procedure, Travis remained silent and motionless… but after this point, he reportedly began to speak in a garbled voice. Per the dictates of the experiment, Evra concentrated his mind on specific questions — including “Where are you from?” “What are you doing?” and “Why are you here?” After each question, Travis reacted by moving his hand in the air in front of him, as if writing something down. Evra had been noting his roommate’s answers, which were odd but unremarkable, when suddenly Travis began asking questions of his own… and this is where the experiment took an unnerving turn.

“Who are they?” Travis asked. “Why are they here?”

When Evra asked whom Travis was referring to, his roommate gave only vague, senseless replies, still making writing motions in the air.

At the 30-minute mark, Evra stopped the white noise and removed the coverings from Travis’s eyes, after which he returned to an awake but slightly dazed state. When asked about the details of his experience, Travis could only remember vague, abstract images and sounds, and had no recollection of Evra’s questions or his own… and he did not remember mentioning “Them.”

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Since that time, Evra claims Travis has been behaving differently, seemingly “disconnected” from him and his other friends. Any mention of that day, even in a joking manner, caused him to react in terror — as if he was trying to escape a memory buried just beneath the surface of his conscious mind.

“Things like this experiment just aren’t natural,” Evra concludes. “I think we should all face it and stop trying to disprove it… there are just some things in this world you just can’t explain.”