The Psychedelic Phantasmagoria Shows of the 18th century!

CANNABIS CULTURE – Although little known, in the 18th century certain magicians would utilize drugs in combination with smoke and mirror illusions to convince audiences they had witnessed talking and moving ghosts and apparitions!  While researching Liber 420: Cannabis Magickal Herbs and the Occult,  one of the things I was most fascinated to learn about was the drug infused phantasmagoria shows of the 18th century, hosted by the controversial masonic figure Johan Schröpfer and others.

1420 illustration Giovanni Fontanna “magic lantern”

Interest in necromancy, and magic in general, went slightly more mainstream in the 18th century. Magicians were often entrepreneurs, and it did not take long for some to realize, magic is the stuff of entertainment! Figures like Johann Georg Schröpfer (1730-1774), Karl von Eckartshausen (1752-1803), and others  began to utilize drugs, in combination with mirrors, smoke, sound effects, and other techniques, in 18th century staged seances, that left the audiences convinced they had seen the dead rise, and witnessed other occult miracles. Shaman’s and magicians have always used such trickery to set the stage for magical ceremonies, for just as ‘by thy own faith thou art healed”, so too with magic, by thy own imagination do you gain

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