I got a phone call. It was from an acquaintance living on a higher floor in the building where I live.
“Dave, can you come up and help Tony. He is laying on the floor in the hallway.”
I frowned…and sighed. Ok, lets get up there and see what is happening. I put on my shoes and arrived on this higher floor. I saw Tony sprawled on the floor at the door of our mutual acquaintance. I approached them and asked, “What’s up?”
Tony had trouble walking recently, and had crawled down the hallway to his friend’s door, then pounded on it asking for help. Tony said there were three people in his apartment, people he didn’t know. He was escaping them.
Now, it must be known that Tony was a drinker, a binge drinker. He was an older retired guy whose pastime were mainly libations. I entered his condo to make sure there was nobody there, and to get his walker. I looked around and no surprise nobody was there. When I returned to Tony with his walker the paramedics had arrived to take him away. Our mutual acquaintance had called 911.
Days later I visited Tony after he got back from his stay at the hospital to see how he was doing. He insisted that there were actual people in his condominium. He had a habit of leaving his door unlocked since he had trouble walking and didn’t always want to get up to open the door for visitors. However, his story got pretty strange.
While he was drying out from one of his binges, Tony said someone who resembled his nephew visited him. Tony’s nephew didn’t say anything outside of a few words. His nephew look-alike sat and watched television with him for quite a few hours and then left.
Later someone resembling a former lady friend arrived. Again, she said little and sat and joined him in watching television, saying little. Finally someone arrived who he thought was his good friend George. Little words were exchanged and they just hanged out. The following day he had his encounter with three strangers whom he called ugly, scary guys. That is when he escaped and crawled for help.
Tony was probably having alcohol-induced withdrawal hallucinations. Yet there were curious aspects to his hallucination. He didn’t see snakes, pink elephants or such fantasies. He saw versions of people he knew that seemed real. These were long hallucinations seemingly lasting for hours at a time. They appeared totally real to him. Even now he insisted his visitors were not his imagination. Tony totally believed actual people visited him. His friend George was with us as Tony told his story, and George and I glanced at each other. George had not visited him when he had his hallucination.
Let us speculate about Tony’s hallucinations.
First, Tony’s hallucinations were fairly extraordinary. They were grounded in reality and lasted for hours. Their reality was such that it led to him fleeing his condominium to escape his “visitors”. If nothing else this shows that hallucinations can be utterly convincing, which could explain away a great deal of paranormal occurrences.
It has been speculated that individuals who are in altered states of consciousness can contact “other realms”. Shaman would consume fly agaric mushrooms to attain such altered states of consciousness where they would have visions. It is possible that Tony had entered such an altered state of consciousness. He might have experienced the same visions a shaman had. A shaman would consider such “visitors” as dead ancestors or spirit guides. Tony thought they were real people.
However, what if shaman actually encounters actual spirits during altered states of consciousness? If this is possible, then perhaps Tony did so as well. Tony might have had an encounter with Walk-Ins. In his case the term is nearly literal, as they literally walked into his home.
A walk-in is thought to be a spirit that inhabits one’s body, not unlike possession, except without the drama. Consider it a kinder, gentler form of possession. When the barriers of one’s identify are lowered with substance abuse, something might “walk in”.
The walk-in may be our subconscious mind manifesting itself into our conscious mind. The walk-in could be the conscious and subconscious merging. There is nothing paranormal about this. Tony’s vivid hallucinations could explain away such things as alien abduction. People may insist (like Tony) that it was real.
On the other hand what if something else inspired his hallucination? Did Tony actually experience spontaneous shamanism? Could he have encountered true walk-ins? Were there actual spirits sitting on his couch? Tony insists they were real people. Maybe they were real, but not people. They could have been walk-ins.