This Man Bore A Hole Into His Skull – Just So He Could Remain High All The Time

Joseph Mellen is a British-born author known for his controversial book ‘Bore Hole.’ In 1970, Mellen, an active member of the Swinging Sixties acid revolution, documented his three attempts at drilling a hole in his own skull to achieve a permanent state of being high.

This unusual process, called trepanation, dates back centuries and is considered one of the oldest operations in the world. While trepanation has been practiced by various cultures across continents, Mellen stands out as one of the few individuals in history to perform it on himself in pursuit of a permanent acid trip.

The Man Who Bore a Hole in His Skull to Get Permanently High

Mellen’s interest in trepanation was sparked by Bart Huges, a fellow acid enthusiast who claimed to have attempted it as well. Despite the initial incredulity surrounding the idea, Mellen became intrigued by the possibility of intensifying his psychedelic experiences.

“The big idea is that humans have a problem,” Mellen said. “The problem is the sealing of the skull, which happens when we are fully grown [between 18 and 21]. Before that, the skull is in separate plates and there is some give. Think of the brain as a pudding: It can expand and pulsate, but once the skull has completely sealed ’round it, it can no longer do that. The pulsation is suppressed and the blood passes through without pulsating. And this is why all of us want to get high. We want to get back to that youthful state of being where we have more spontaneity and more creativity and more life.”

Joey Mellen, broke and resourceful, attempted self-trepanation in 1967 using a hand trepan he bought. Describing it as resembling a corkscrew with teeth, the procedure felt like uncorking a bottle of wine from the inside.

The first attempt failed painfully, but Mellen’s belief in the need for more blood in the brain led him to try again a year later, although he wasn’t entirely satisfied.

“There was kind of a ‘schlurping’ sound as I took the trepan out and what sounded like bubbles,” the book writer recalled, adding that he didn’t remove enough skull to be satisfied.

It took several years for Mellen to make his third and final attempt in 1970. Surprisingly, he achieved his goal within just half an hour, including cleanup.

 “I was feeling great because I’d done it, but then I noticed after about an hour I started to feel a lightness, like a weight had been lifted off me,” Mellen recalled. “I did it in the evening and went to bed at 11 pm feeling good, and I could still feel it when I woke up the next morning. And then I realized, ‘This is it. It’s done’.”

Mellen’s book reflects greatly on his idea of drilling a hole in his skull and what he did to achieve it in all three attempts. In lieu of this, he started the book with ‘This is the story of how I came to drill a hole in my head to get permanently high’.

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