25 Crazy Cases Of Mass Hysteria

Posted by , Updated on May 9, 2017

The mind has tremendous power over the body. Under certain stressful conditions, our brains can create flu-like symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, rashes, or vomiting. We’d like to think it’s a virus, but it’s really just our minds. Well, cramming all that anxiety into one place can ignite a wave of mass hysteria and make people do bizarre and crazy things. Here are 25 Crazy Cases Of Mass Hysteria.


Blackburn Chatter

chatterSource: http://www.oddlyhistorical.com

In Blackburn, England, cases of school girls fainting, moaning, and chattering their teeth became widespread. At first people thought it was a disease or pollution in the air but later discovered there was no trace of any of that. Instead, the girls broke out in mass hysteria due to the recent polio epidemic, making them emotionally vulnerable.


Meowing Nuns

Nun_Deep_in_PrayerSource: http://history.howstuffworks.com/

French nuns in the middle ages had a very rough life. Usually, they were abandoned by their parents and were forced into a life they didn’t choose. One day a nun began meowing and then another started and another, and it became so infectious that the entire convent was meowing. It got so loud, they were threatened to be beaten by soldiers if they didn’t stop.


Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic

1600px-Laughing_(59303979)Source: http://rltz.blogspot.com

Laughter is contagious. That was especially true in 1962 for Tanganyika (Now Tanzania) as one girl started to fall to the ground and laugh uncontrollably. Her laughter spread to thousands, and dozens of schools had to be closed for months because the laughing wouldn’t stop. Sadly, this kind of mass hysteria is caused by overwhelming stress among other things.


Borneo Kidnapping Scare

Id-map-borneoSource: http://www.straitstimes.com

In 1979, a kidnapping scare spread throughout the island of Borneo. The fear became so prevalent that schools were shut down and guards were put on constant watch for the kidnapper. The people were afraid of the government kidnapping someone because they were doing construction projects and the people believed they kidnapped people to help them with the project. Historically, mass hysteria has been a tragic and systemic occurrence in this region due to tribalistic thinking.


The Contaminated Coca-Cola Scare

Bouteille_de_Coca-Cola_d'un_litre_cinq_001Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

In Belgium, after Coca-Cola announced a recall for its contaminated Coke products, hundreds of people began calling poison control after drinking Coca-Cola products, claiming to feel ill. However, health professionals stated that the sudden increase in people being poisoned was a psychogenic reaction and not based upon the contaminated Coke products.

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