How common were magic mushrooms in the s and s in rural USA?

More specifically in the midwest, but I don’t want to get too detailed.


And when I say how common, I mean how commonly used.

? Favorite Answer

  • There was no use of magic mushrooms in rural USA during that time. While the species may have existed, they were not known as being anything in particular. There were a couple of accounts dating of people who seemed to have ingested magic mushrooms accidentally, but this was considered to be a form of mushroom poisoning and nobody knowingly went back for seconds. One example can be found in the book, “Shroom” by Andy Letcher:

    “One evening in , “upright American surgeon” Beaman Douglass and his wife ate some “innocuous wild mushrooms . . . fried in butter and served on toast.” En route to an evening of bridge, both experienced “preternatural waves of giddiness.” After dizziness, hilarity, depression, and difficulty breathing, Mrs. Douglass required treatment with “atropine, morphine, and an arsenal of emetics.” “She played cards badly that night,” her husband noted. Writing later for a mycological journal, he found “no merit” in the experience and hoped to “prevent others from making similar foolish mistakes.”

    It wasn’t until the June , issue of Life magazine, where R Gordon Wasson described his mushroom adventures with the Mexican Curandera Eva Mendez that anyone even became aware of the potential for some types of mushroom to produce psychedelic effects. Even then, nobody knew exactly which mushrooms would do the job, so the Mexican’s ended up being swamped with proto-hippies looking to expand their consciousness.

    At some point after that some brave and wise souls seem to have joined the dots and discovered that there are native psilocybe species all over the world, but that was a later development.


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