Follow TV Tropes


Junkie Prophet

Go To

The use of drugs, hallucinogens or other trance-inducing behaviour to invoke Dreaming of Things to Come. Truth in Television - its use, if not its effectiveness - as many people past and present have associated hallucinations with spiritual experiences.

Sub-Trope of Higher Understanding Through Drugs, may overlap with Fainting Seer or Artistic Stimulation. The consequence of seeing the Mushroom Samba as Serious Business. Long term abuse may turn you into a Mad Oracle.


Contrast Medicate the Medium, when someone with extranormal sensitivity is medicated to suppress their "hallucinations".


    open/close all folders 

     Comic Books  

  • The Doctor of The Authority might qualify. Not sure if the drugs enhanced his powers or if he was just a particularly powerful junkie, though...
  • The spacemen from Miracleman


  • The Oracle in 300
  • Alluded to with Ian Mc Shane's character in the 2014 Hercules movie. While describing a vision, one of his mercenary allies, Autolycus, snarks: "If you're going to keep using those stange herbs, at least share."
  • Johnny Depp's character in the film version of From Hell has opium-induced psychicvisions.
  • The Precogs or "Oracles" of Minority Report only have premonitions while sleeping, so they kept on heavy doses of drugs so that they're in a perpetual sleepy trance.
    • Also exists in the backstory— many Precogs are the children of drug addicts, their powers arising from their parents' experiments with new strains of narcotics at the time of conception/during pregnancy.
  • Scotland, PA (a modernized adaptation of Macbeth) had the three witches portrayed as stoned bohemians.
  • Dakota Fanning in Push uses alcohol to increase her abilities as a Watcher. The catch? She's 12.
  • In the Western The Hallelujah Trail, Donald Pleasence plays "Oracle" (of course), who's able to prophesy with the help of a taste of booze. The catch is that liquor is in short supply in his small town, and he's prophesying about the arrival of a shipment — and how they need to make sure the Indians don't steal it or the temperance workers destroy it. Notably, every time he takes a drink, a heavenly chorus is heard just before he speaks.
  • Averted in Dogma. Bethany ends up recruiting Jay and Silent Bob after the Metatron tells her that she'll meet two prophets and only do so because Jay starts complaining that they won't get any "profits" where they were and they were heading back to Jersey, where she needed to be. The closest thing they do to "propheting" is when Jay suggests they just tell the bishop to stop the ceremony.


  • The Spice in Dune induces psychic ability, among other things.
  • Chef Bushey from Under the Dome becomes a junkie prophet while suffering a meth seizure, and the town's third selectwoman does the same while coming off of Oxycontin. Granted, Chef's prophecy is self-fulfilling...
  • In The Gunslinger Roland takes mescaline before seeing the "speaking demon".
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire the warlocks of the Undying of Qarth drink an intoxicating concoction known as "shade of the evening" to the extent that it stains their skin blue. It's unclear whether they believe this to grant them their powers, or whether it's simply a ritual act.
  • Seers in the Branion series do this a lot, making half-poisonous potions with deadly fantasy plants. The sovereign takes one at his coronation ceremony. One Seer becomes addicted, taking the potions for medical purposes after coming down with a disease.
  • Played for laughs in John Moore's Fractured Fairy Tale Bad Prince Charlie, when Charlie goes to see an oracle who turns out to be a very naked and very stoned young woman, who talks and acts like the stereotype of The Stoner.
  • Karl, of F. Paul Wilson's "Aryans and Absinthe" short story, learns that he can see the future when consuming absinthe. After his attempt to assassinate Hitler fails due to the interference of a friend obsessed with novel social phenomenon, he realizes that his friend similarly sees the future in this manner...
  • Witkacy in Dora Wilk Series and Shaman Blues. He's been experimenting with drugs since he was teenager, causing quite a lot of problems for him. When he was forty, he found out that he's a shaman and as such he can see and interact with spirits, only in Doraverse, shamans must drug themselves in order to access this abilities. They do this instinctively, thus explaining Witkacy's problems.
  • Subverted in Good Omens, prophets have a tendency to turn to drugs in an attempt to stay sane with all the visions they get. The author of the Book of Revelation is specifically said to have had a mushroom habit.
  • In Minister Faust's Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad, an addled steampunker is given crack distilled from the glands of other crack users in order to make him one of these.
  • One Nation Under Jupiter: The oracle at the Temple of Apollo.


     Live Action TV  

  • Isaac Mendes in Heroes, although he eventually learns to use his powers without drugs.
  • The Wizard is kept this way, as a means of controlling him, in the sci-fi channel miniseries Tin Man.
  • Colonial oracles in Battlestar Galactica use a drug called chamalla, when President Laura Roslin starts taking it to treat her cancer she interprets her hallucinations as visions from the gods.
  • Interesting version in Misfits; Curtis normally has Mental Time Travel abilities which only work backwards, but a power-reversing Fantastic Drug gives him a vision of the future.
  • Dragnet had an episode called, you guessed it, "The Prophet", which featured an LSD user and his 'Temple of the Expanded Mind'.
  • Dracula: A pair of Seers operate out of a 19th-century London Opium Den and make liberal use of the local product while performing their scrying (and before, and after). Whether it's an indulgence or an aid to their work isn't specified.

     Tabletop Games  

     Video Games  

  • Mama Murphy of Fallout 4 is a psyker gifted with "The Sight", and can gain prophetic visions through the use of chems. By feeding her habit, she can give the protagonist certain hints about the main plot, even giving them information that would let them bypass certain quests and obstacles. Too many chems, however, will kill her.
  • Rada Nastase of The Secret World occasionally strays into this territory; already heavily medicated by her caretaker in order to stop her from running away, Rada's habit of washing down the pills with wine results in her blurting out deeply-hidden secrets. Some of these are things that she could have theoretically witnessed in passing - like the vampires gathering up at the castle, for example; however, one snippet of overheard dialogue features her somehow predicting what appear to be the events of the apocalypse, making references to "black-eyed angels," "metamorphosis," and a "signal".
  • During The Park, Lorraine Maillard finds a jar of antidepressant medication which she claims are hers, and - possibly in an attempt to regain some control over her apparent descent into madness - takes some. Immediately, she begins hallucinating: most of the things she witnesses are just mild exaggerations of the things she's seen so far, but when she finds the newspaper clipping on the child found dismembered behind the cotton candy stand, it's been rearranged into complete gibberish: "Beaumont will come to the island, bearing the talisman, and he will shatter the seals that bind the orthodoxy of corruption," among other things. It turns out that Lorraine is actually a latent psychic, and that "gibberish" was actually a distorted prediction of events from The Secret World, including the activities of the game's Starter Villain, Freddy Beaumont.

     Western Animation  

     Real Life  

  • The Oracle of Delphi. There's strong evidence to suggest that volcanic gases filtered into the cave where she made her predictions.
  • Traditional shamans in many historical and some modern cultures often use various ethnobotanicals, such as psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, peyote to induce transcendent states for spiritual purposes.
  • The ancient, Vedic ("Indo-Aryan") inhabitants of India used "soma' to feel at one with the universe and induce some fairly wacky visions, if the poems they left behind are any indication. (Note that nobody knows from which plant, or what else, soma comes from. However you know now where Aldous Huxley got an inspiration from.)
  • There's a theory that Aztec Mythology was full of feathered snakes and corn- or snake-headed deities and heart-ripping directly because of the amounts of mescaline and mushrooms (of the magic variety) their priests were using to induce visions. The heart-ripping probably caused by a horror trip.
  • Aleister Crowley was by all reasonable measurements, a complete heroin/cocaine junkie. He did, however, found a religion, Thelema, and promote it. There are still Thelemites around today, too.
  • Philip K. Dick went through some pretty strange epiphanies after a heroic dosage of sodium pentothal. See The Religious Experience of Philip K. Dick (illustrated by Robert Crumb).
  • Dr. Timothy Leary is a Real Life example from the Hippie Era. He coined the phrase "Turn on, tune in, drop out" and was a major promoter of the spiritual use of LSD. His advocates included many 60s/70s counterculture icons, including The Beatles.
  • Olga Bogdashina saw similarity between Aldous Huxley's experiences with mescaline and the heightened sensory perceptions of people with autism in Autism and the Edges of the Known World. And later in the same book she states that some autistics can appear to be precognitive due to their senses and unconscious perceptions, similar to dogs barking before an earthquake. One can draw the conclusion that mescaline may be able to grant prospective intuition, though the hallucinations would be problematic.



How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: