Something casual today, before I head off to England to stay at a haunted castle with a couple of friends (no joke). It amazes me that nobody seems to have remarked on the peculiar gardening habits of Morticia Addams, matriarch of the Addams family. If you know the entheogens, then you find references to them everywhere in culture. It’s like watching Disney movies as an adult, there’s stuff you can’t see as a kid and similarly, there’s stuff you can’t see as a tea-totaling adult.
My friends, this will shock you to hear, but the Addams family are on drugs. Allow me to show you some of the evidence. In the original TV series there is an episode called Cousin Itt’s Problem, released in 1965, where we find the following exchange:
Morticia Addams : Oh, Gomez, would you make the cocktails? You do them so well.
Gomez Addams : It’s that extra sprig of henbane.
Gomez makes cocktails with henbane in them. If you are not familiar with henbane, this is one of the most widely used nightshade family plants among European witches. It was also commonly added to alcoholic drinks, especially beer, until the late medieval era when people transitioned to using hop instead.
And they didn’t do this once. There’s another reference in another episode from the original series, where Wednesday and Pugsley sell drinks. What does it say on the sign?
The creator of the family, Charles Addams, once described Morticia as following:
“the real head of the family…low-voiced, incisive and subtle, smiles are rare…contemptuous and original and with fierce family loyalty…even in disposition, muted, witty, sometimes deadly…given to low-keyed rhapsodies about her garden of deadly nightshade, henbane, and dwarf’s hair.”
I have no idea what dwarf’s hair is, but deadly nightshade and henbane are both delirious plants from the nightshade family. Have a look at this report from German scientist Michael Schenk, who took henbane and lived to tell the tale:
There were animals which looked at me keenly with contorted grimaces and staring, terrified eyes; there were terrifying stones and clouds of mist, all sweeping along in the same direction. They carried me irresistibly with them. Their coloring must be described – but it was not a pure hue. They enveloped in a vague gray light, which emitted a dull glow and rolled onward and upward into a black and smoky sky. I was flung into a flaring drunkenness, a witches’ cauldron of madness. Above my head water was flowing, dark and blood-red. The sky was filled with herds of animals. Fluid, formless creatures emerged from the darkness. I heard words, but they were all wrong and nonsensical, and yet they possessed for me some hidden meaning.
Then there’s the way the musical describes the family:
THE ADDAMS FAMILY is a smash-hit musical comedy that brings the darkly delirious world of Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester, Grandma, Wednesday, Pugsley, and, of course, Lurch to life.
It’s a “darkly delirious world” that is “brought to life”. That’s not how you would describe “creating a story”. That’s how you would describe “manifesting archetypes”.
Then there’s the whole part where they can communicate with the dead. A teenage Wednesday does this in the new Netflix series, but it goes back much further. In the 2019 animated film, Morticia invites Wednesday to a “tea and seance” in the cemetery, where Morticia proceeds to talk to her deceased parents. In the original series there’s also a seance, but there it’s insinuated the whole thing was fake.
But here’s the thing: The nightshade plants will let you do this. They shut down the error correcting mechanism in your brain, the cholinergic neurotransmission. Whenever this cholinergic neurotransmission catches a deviation in your mental model from reality it updates the whole thing, so that you cease to experience the deviation. Shut it down and you become out of sync with consensus reality. People who have taken high doses say you don’t have to give people cigarettes, as they are so divorced from reality, they will just experience smoking invisible cigarettes. And often, you can find yourself entering into contact with people who have already died.
Deliriants can increase your risk of dementia, but in low doses, below the threshold where they cause hallucinations, they’re used as unconventional antidepressives. For some people, particularly women, they seem to be the only thing that works. But trust me when I say: This is a family of drug fiends.