A nostalgic look at The Bed of Nails

Here’s a look back at Vic Skeptics’ flirtation with the Bed of Nails.

Some enterprising Victorian Skeptics made a Bed of Nails and documented the process in the late 1990s. (See Ye Bed of Nails .pdf below)

God-men in India have long demonstrated their holiness using the B.O.N. as a prop. The Skeptics were keen to show that painlessly surviving the B.O.N. had a more prosaic explanation.

Wider interest in the B.O.N. was stimulated in the state of  Victoria in 2004 by a VCE Psychology exam. The preamble to one of one of the questions pre-supposed that in order to survive exposure to a bed of nails or a fire-walking, one must enter an altered state of consciousness.

Many of the students sitting this exam knew that to be rubbish. We were invited to demonstrate the B.O.N. at the next Psychology Teachers Conference.

When we featured the B.O.N. at public events like The Great Australian Science Show or Science Week at Scienceworks we had hundreds of people queueing up to brave it and to receive their certificate. Family groups would invariably risk the experience of a lie-down on our B.O.N. in this order:

Little girl(s)
Little boy(s)
Older Children
Mum
and eventually ……. Dad.

A free B.O.N. survivor’s certificate. For a dollar, you could get one with a photo of you lying on the B.O.N.

Eventually, successive Health and Safety rulings put the kibosh* on our publicly using the B.O.N anywhere; a delicious irony, given that the whole point of the exercise was to demonstrate its total lack of menace.

In vertical order: Rosemary Sceats, Peter Hogan, Bed of Nails. Assisting, Tony De Majo. Great Australian Science Show 2004

How to make your own Bed of Nails:

Ye Bed of Nails

*kibosh – put an end to; dispose of decisively. (Informal) [Oxford Dictionary]

One Response to A nostalgic look at The Bed of Nails

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