Mass Hysteria

Tribble

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This week, an emergency room in the Pacific Northwest was briefly quarantined after five people—including two police officers and a hospital worker—experienced mysterious hallucinations from an unidentified illness believed to be spread by touch.

According to Oregon Live, the enigmatic incident began early Wednesday morning when a 54-year-old caregiver in North Bend, Oregon, called police to report seven or eight people “trying to take the roof off her vehicle.” Police say they found nothing, but after the caregiver reported the unseen vandals a second time, sheriff’s deputies escorted her to a nearby hospital for suspected hallucinations.

Shortly afterward, however, one of the deputies began experiencing similar symptoms and returned to the hospital. Soon after that, the other deputy, a hospital worker and the caregiver’s 78-year-old patient also began hallucinating and were hospitalized.

A hazmat team was subsequently deployed to both the hospital and the initial residence, but was unable to locate a common source of contamination. Blood tests also failed to find anything unusual.

According to police spokesperson Patrick Downing, initial investigations suggested the 78-year-old patient’s narcotic fentanyl patches could be the source of the hallucinations, but that explanation was later ruled out.

“Investigation has found that all those patches and potential medications that may have caused the symptoms have been accounted for,” Downing told KVAL News. “The vehicles, equipment and uniforms have been checked with no contaminates identified or located on or about them.”

Authorities say the investigation is ongoing.


http://gizmodo.com/hospital-ward-gripped-by-mysterious-hallucinations-quar-1787866693
 
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This week, an emergency room in the Pacific Northwest was briefly quarantined after five people—including two police officers and a hospital worker—experienced mysterious hallucinations from an unidentified illness believed to be spread by touch.

According to Oregon Live, the enigmatic incident began early Wednesday morning when a 54-year-old caregiver in North Bend, Oregon, called police to report seven or eight people “trying to take the roof off her vehicle.” Police say they found nothing, but after the caregiver reported the unseen vandals a second time, sheriff’s deputies escorted her to a nearby hospital for suspected hallucinations.

Shortly afterward, however, one of the deputies began experiencing similar symptoms and returned to the hospital. Soon after that, the other deputy, a hospital worker and the caregiver’s 78-year-old patient also began hallucinating and were hospitalized.

A hazmat team was subsequently deployed to both the hospital and the initial residence, but was unable to locate a common source of contamination. Blood tests also failed to find anything unusual.

According to police spokesperson Patrick Downing, initial investigations suggested the 78-year-old patient’s narcotic fentanyl patches could be the source of the hallucinations, but that explanation was later ruled out.

“Investigation has found that all those patches and potential medications that may have caused the symptoms have been accounted for,” Downing told KVAL News. “The vehicles, equipment and uniforms have been checked with no contaminates identified or located on or about them.”

Authorities say the investigation is ongoing.


http://gizmodo.com/hospital-ward-gripped-by-mysterious-hallucinations-quar-1787866693
Great!

I Rtd the story & sent it to FT.

Do you send online stuff to the mag?
 
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Hysterical illness?

NORTH BEND, Ore. - Five people fell ill from an unknown hazardous material that appears to be spreading by contact and causing hallucinations, the Coos County Sheriff's Office said.

A hazmat team responded to both Bay Area Hospital and a home on East Bay Road as the symptoms spread from a woman to deputies, a person under the woman's care and a hospital employee, the sheriff's office said.

The Coos Bay Haz Mat Team has not yet identified the source, but it appears to be passing through contact, not the air, the sheriff's office said.

The situation started around 3 a.m. Wednesday.

KVAL News

✔@KVALnews

Mystery illness spreads from woman to deputies and hospital worker in Coos County. What is it? http://kval.com/news/local/unknown-illness-spreads-from-woman-to-deputies-and-hospital-staff-in-coos-county …#LiveOnKVAL

9:11 PM - 12 Oct 2016



Here is the account so far from the sheriff's office:

A 57-year-old woman reported someone vandalizing her vehicle around 3 a.m. outside the home where she works as a caregiver for a 78-year-old person on East Bay Road in North Bend.

A deputy checked the area and found nothing.

Deputies were called back to the home at 5:30 a.m. by a similar report.

This time, the deputies suspect the woman might be having medical issues causing hallucinations.

The woman was taken to Bay Area Hospital for examination. Medical personnel checked her, she appeared fine, and returned home.

Then one of the deputies began showing similar symptoms and had to be evaluated at the hospital ...

http://kval.com/news/local/unknown-...to-deputies-and-hospital-staff-in-coos-county
 

Junopsis

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..that's both incredibly creepy and sort of weird. I would really love to know what comes of the investigation.

That said, you could write some really creepy plots about what happened to them...
 

Tribble

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The schools fell like dominoes across Portugal in May 2006, one after another calling upon government officials with reports of dozens, then hundreds of students struck with rashes, dizziness and difficulty breathing, just as year-end exams approached. Was it a mysterious allergic reaction, a chemical spill, a virus? After digging deeper, medical practitioners came up with a new culprit: “Strawberries With Sugar,” or in Portuguese, “Morangos com Acucar.” No, not the food—the vector for this disease was a popular teen soap opera with a saccharine title. Just before the outbreak in the real schools, a similar, life-threatening illness had plagued the teenaged characters in their fictional school.

The Portuguese students weren’t suffering from a virus or allergies: they’d come down with mass psychogenic illness.


http://www.smithsonianmag.com/histo...-felled-hundreds-students-portugal-180962383/
 

Min Bannister

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This is being thought of as mass hysteria but who is cutting the hair? It is certainly weird. A man or a woman cutting peoples hair I can get but a cat? Odd.

Hair thieves striking fear in India.

More than 50 women in the northern Indian states of Haryana and Rajasthan have reported that they have had their hair chopped off while they were unconscious. Police are struggling to solve the mystery that is leaving women paranoid and worried, reports the BBC's Vikas Pandey.
"There was a strong flash of light that left me unconscious. An hour later, I found that my hair had also been chopped off," says Sunita Devi, a 53-year-old housewife from the Bhimgarh Kheri area of Gurgaon district in Haryana.
The "attack" on Friday has left her traumatised.
"I am unable to sleep or concentrate on anything. I had read about such incidents taking place in Rajasthan, but never thought it would happen to me," she adds.
Reports of "phantom barbers" first emerged in early July from Rajasthan, but a spate of similar incidents are being reported from Haryana and even the capital, Delhi.
More at link.
 

CuriousIdent

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In that 2010 example upthread, there is one odd inconsistency which I can remember thinking upon at the time.

The reporter doesn't mention it in their description, but when quoting the notice on the school's website described:

"Symptoms were headaches, dizziness, abdominal pain and raised temperatures."

Now the other sensations I can understand as being plausibly psychosomatic. I could understand talking yourself into feeling dizzy or thinking you have gut cramp. You can think yourself into a headache.

A fever though? That I find harder to believe. That's a measurable test. Assuming temperatures were taken by a school nurse or similar, then is it plausible that a fever can become a physical symptom from hysteria? I don't know.
 

EnolaGaia

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... A fever though? That I find harder to believe. That's a measurable test. Assuming temperatures were taken by a school nurse or similar, then is it plausible that a fever can become a physical symptom from hysteria? I don't know.
Both physical activity / exercise and sustained psychological stress can cause elevated body temperature.

This study:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23790072

... goes so far as to claim it supports the inclusion of body temperature as a physiological indicator of stress.
 

CuriousIdent

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An article about moral panics which basically escalated into mass hysteria related to culture be it memes, films, comics, books, music or games. The author, Sarah Cleary, has a forthcoming book: The Myth Of Harm. It explores the world of horror censorship.

Momo challenge worked by playing to society’s underlying fears
Online hoax given credence by authorities latest in long line of unfounded moral panics


Allegations of demonic entities. Possessed children. Strange and powerful images imbued with a supernatural capacity. Unsupervised prepubescents playing dangerous games. Parents expressing disapprobation while seeking the suppression of dark powerful forces. While one could be forgiven for assuming my opening gambit was indeed a description of the hysteria of the 1692 Salem witch trials which resulted in the hanging of 19 innocent men and women, you would be wrong.

You could also be forgiven for thinking I was referring to the 1954 investigations into American horror comics which were charged with harbouring communist propaganda, increasing juvenile delinquency and corrupting the nation’s youth. You would also be wrong in thinking I was referring to the 1980s video nasty controversy in the UK in which low-budget horror films were branded “evil” and “demonic” due to their alleged harmful effects on children.

Neither is it the Satanic panic of the same era in which the morality of an entire generation was under threat from an unseen and indeed unfounded danger of Satanic worship. Nor is it the perverse tabloid theatre which ensued following the murder of toddler James Bulger in 1992 or the media circus which accompanied the 2014 “Slender Man stabbing”, in which 12-year-old Payton Leutner was attacked and left for dead by two of her friends.

Striking fear into the hearts of parents more recently than all these was February’s Momo challenge, a manifestation of societal anxieties about emerging technologies, parental fallibility and our predilection for prizing emotional truths over reason. ...

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/...aying-to-society-s-underlying-fears-1.3854771
 

Naughty_Felid

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I wouldn't have classed Momo or the Slenderman as traditional cases of mass hysteria as there doesn't appear to be any shared somatic symptoms.

Mind you it's a few years since I read up on such stuff.
 

GNC

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I agree, they're more like a meme cum urban myth. Mass hysteria for me features some kind of riot, mass fainting, or some other group madness en masse, hence "hysteria".
 
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I agree, they're more like a meme cum urban myth. Mass hysteria for me features some kind of riot, mass fainting, or some other group madness en masse, hence "hysteria".
Good point, the meme did result in some hysteria but was quickly curtailed.

The article also covers RSA which resulted in people being imprisoned, that I think could be described as mass hysteria.

Looking forward to the book.
 

GNC

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Good point, the meme did result in some hysteria but was quickly curtailed.

The article also covers RSA which resulted in people being imprisoned, that I think could be described as mass hysteria.

Looking forward to the book.
These days they'd call it "fake news", except no one seems to know if that is news that's made up for nefarious reasons, or truth denied by those who prefer not to hear about it.
 

Tribble

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Mystery 'body possession' epidemic sweeps through Malaysian schools, causing teachers and pupils to collapse while 'being pinned down by evil spirits'
  • Students claim they are seeing evil spirits such as female vampiric ghosts
  • The incident of mass hysteria saw 20 students sent home from one school
  • One teacher also complained of being physically pinned down by a spectre
  • Religious leaders have been invited into schools to remove the 'bad spirits'
By Corey Charlton for MailOnline

Published: 15:53 GMT, 18 April 2016 | Updated: 16:11 GMT, 18 April 2016
Schools in Malaysia have been struck by a mass hysteria 'epidemic' in which students claim they are having visions of female vampiric ghosts and are being physically pinned down by evil spirits.

Called 'body possession phenomenon', one bizarre incident saw 20 female students sent home from a single school after complaining of being overwhelmed by it.
Malaysia is "the mass hysteria capital of the world", according to one researcher.

Lengthy article on the subject :

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48850490
 

AnonyJoolz

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From https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-48850490

A well-documented case of hysteria/panic attacks transmitted through a girls' school.

"It was a quiet Friday morning last July when pandemonium broke out at a school in north-east Malaysia. Siti Nurannisaa, a 17-year-old student, was at the centre of the chaos. This is her account of what happened.

'The assembly bells rang.

I was at my desk feeling sleepy when I felt a hard, sharp tap on my shoulder.

I turned round to see who it was and the room went dark.

Fear overtook me. I felt a sharp, splitting pain in my back and my head started spinning. I fell to the floor.

Before I knew it, I was looking into the 'otherworld'. Scenes of blood, gore and violence.

The scariest thing I saw was a face of pure evil.

It was haunting me, I couldn't escape. I opened my mouth and tried to scream but no sound came out.'

I passed out.

Siti's outburst triggered a powerful chain reaction that ripped through the school. Within minutes students in other classrooms started screaming, their frantic cries ricocheting through the halls.

One girl fainted after claiming to have seen the same "dark figure".

Classroom doors slammed shut at the Ketereh national secondary school (SMK Ketereh) in Kelantan as panicked teachers and students barricaded themselves in. Islamic spiritual healers were called to perform mass prayer sessions.

By the end of the day, 39 people were deemed to have been affected by an outbreak of "mass hysteria"."


My own personal view is that maybe the stress of living as a female child in Malaysia which is technologically advanced but socially conservative could be part of cause., but that's just me. It's interesting to read of the initial trigger thoughts and feelings as I don't think I've seen that before.
 

AnonyJoolz

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From https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-48850490

...I was at my desk feeling sleepy when I felt a hard, sharp tap on my shoulder.

I turned round to see who it was and the room went dark.

Fear overtook me. I felt a sharp, splitting pain in my back and my head started spinning. I fell to the floor.

Before I knew it, I was looking into the 'otherworld'. Scenes of blood, gore and violence.

The scariest thing I saw was a face of pure evil.

It was haunting me, I couldn't escape. I opened my mouth and tried to scream but no sound came out.'
......
This is the quote [my bold] from the student that interested me the most - it sounds like an episode of hypnogogia + sleep paralysis + stress dream terror that passed into waking and panic. I don't know if I've ever read an expression of what triggers the first 'patient zero' experience of a MPI before.

Normally I'm rather sceptical of such incidents being put down to 'mass hysteria' -as there is usually no single person trigger and in cases such as Hollinwell there could very well be an organic, physiological cause which could be a bit awkward to TPTB - but this report is fascinating from a psychological POV.
 

Yithian

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For some reason, this thread keeps appearing at the bottom of the New Posts list even though I've looked at it and clicked the What's New > New Posts link. It should disappear from the list.
What's going on?
Flush the toilet and log-in again.
 
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