Using pre-industrial era technology how does an intelligent creature create the perfect illusion that reproduces vision,sound and touch sensations and make them seem perfectly ''real'' from the viewpoint of the victim ?

This creature wants to make the illusion of summoning a giant red,horned demon with wings and spikes all over the body that chases the victim.

The victim has to not only to see,hear and feel the demon but also sense pain if the demon illusion attacks.

The victim doesn't have to be completely disconnected from reality i.e nothing else must change and the victim is awake it just happens to see and feel a giant red demon that isn't there.

The illusionist has to have at least a partial control of the illusion, the illusionist ability can be part of it's own biology or simply the effect of drugs and other tools but nothing too advanced.

like the effect of the plant Datura mixed with other toxins that can create incredibly realistic nightmares while the person is still awake and conscious, the illusions created by this mixture of toxins is incredibly realistic and horrifying and some times can kill.I want something similar or even more powerful but that can be controlled by the illusionist.

  • $\begingroup$ It sounds like you want an illusion that actually could be made in the pre-industrial era. As there were actually illusionists in this era and none of them pulled anything like this off (sight sure, sound sure, but touch as well...?), you basically have to go with a guy in a costume. $\endgroup$
    – Ranger
    Aug 17, 2016 at 13:30

1 Answer 1


It sounds like you already have most of the answer.

The missing part is that the illusionist needs to prime the victim's mind with the desired elements ahead of time and then once the hallucinations start "talk him through it".

If you want a big demon, expose the victim to images of fire, giants and even a demon. Let a whiff of sulfur drift their way. Even exposing him to a casual conversation about demons while passing by will be enough. Drop some coins in his path for good measure.

During the illusion, crack a rotten egg and the victim will think "demon" instead of "rotten egg" when he smells the sulfur. Between the illusionist's words and the victim's imagination, it will be controllable to some point, using the cues primed into the victim beforehand. To the question "what can you offer?" the reply will likely be coins.


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