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.
In 1970, a young woman checked into a psychiatric clinic claiming she was pregnant, but she’d been known to lie before so no one believed her. And they were right. She had lost a friend to a pregnancy recently and was suffering from traumatic stress. However, her phantom pregnancy spread to other women, and they started to claim they were pregnant as well. No one could convince them otherwise, and it took two years for them to snap out of it.
Kissing Bug Scare
People generally hate insects but in 1899 they caused a full-scale panic in the United States. An article in the Washington Post brought attention to bug bites creating painful and bizarre welts on the skin. News of this spread and suddenly many people were connecting any bite mark on their skin as from the kissing bug. While scientists think there’s a possibility some of this could be found in fact, it’s most likely people over-reacted.
Screaming at Würzburg
By 1749, most European countries hadn’t had many cases of mass hysteria or “dancing plagues” as they were called. However, in Würzburg, Germany, there was a case of nuns screaming, squirming, and trancing which lead to the beheading of a suspected witch.
Indian Face Scratcher
If something horrible is happening, it’s best to just blame it on aliens. In India, people spread the word there was an alien creature stalking the night and scratching people’s faces. Supposedly, 100 people had been affected. Fear grew to a fever pitch when a mob attacked a police station for not protecting them well enough. There’s no evidence to back anything the people said, however.
Writing Tremor Epidemic
While writing can be electric and exciting, few writers experience tremors and seizures. However, a ten-year-old girl suddenly experienced these symptoms while writing. Before long, nineteen other girls in her school started to experience the same thing.