On Horror Show Sunday, I often talk about very specific religions and religious practices and the horrors they can cause, but we sometimes forget that the general belief in the “spiritual” is often just as deadly. Take this case, for example. 27 year old Luke Monrose of Rescorla, Cornwall, England, drowned after attempting to have a near-death experience so he could “unlock the secrets of the afterlife”.
According to friends, Luke, a fanatical yoga follower, hoped that getting close to death would grant him psychic powers and the ability to leave his body via astral projection. Monrose, who became obsessed with yoga, meditation and near death experiences after leaving college, even tried to condition his body to survive drowning by submerging himself in the bathtub. He was also an avid follower of conspiracy theories and alien abductions.
His mother says that he had no history of mental problems. On the night of his attempt, he left a note with his younger brother telling them where he could be found if anything went wrong. He then went to the remote Lantern Pit, a disused flooded clay mine, where he would attempt to experience a near-death experience, thus achieving a higher level of spirituality. The next morning, police divers found his body in the Lantern Pit. His mother says he had been popular in school, but had gotten depressed since leaving. She even told him “he should get out more, get a girlfriend and go to the pub and get drunk but he wasn’t interested.”
Even though this isn’t tied to a specific religious tradition, it certainly is tied to the underlying cause of all religions, irrational belief in spirituality. It proves that, without a doubt, an unrestrained acceptance of the spiritual realm can be dangerous to your health, especially if you’re desperately trying to get get closer to some nonsensical belief like the afterlife.
It’s not just the belief in imaginary friends that can lead to tragedy, it’s the belief in anything spiritual or supernatural that will get people into trouble. At the signpost up ahead, it’s the Religious Horror Show.