10 Examples of Mass Hysteria and how it effected Society

☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾ 2011/06/07 21:09:23
“Little men with little minds and little imaginations go through life in little ruts, smugly resisting all changes which would jar their little worlds”
It is possible that mankind is on the threshold of a golden age; but, if so, it will be necessary first to slay the dragon that guards the door, and this dragon is religion
We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”  Thomas Jefferson
“Men are at war with each other because each man is at war with himself.”
Men willingly believe what they wish.
Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.
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when you think of mass hysteris you think of Crazy people but there is an extreme danger of allowing mass-hysteria to take over control of society. Think your safe think again here are ten examples of mass hysteria most of which are in recent history

1.The War of the Worlds

examples mass hysteria nbsp history nbsp nbsp 1 war worlds

The War of the Worlds was an episode of the American radio drama anthology series Mercury Theatre on the Air. It was performed as a Halloween episode of the series on October 30, 1938 and aired over the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network. Directed and narrated by Orson Welles, the episode was an adaptation of H. G. Wells’ novel The War of the Worlds. Some listeners heard only a portion of the broadcast, and in the atmosphere of tension and anxiety leading to World War II, took it to be a news broadcast

broadcast atmosphere tension anxiety leading world war ii news broadcast

. Newspapers reported that panic ensued, people fleeing the area, others thinking they could smell poison gas or could see flashes of lightning in the distance. Some people called CBS, newspapers or the police in confusion over the realism of the news bulletins. Initially Grover’s Mill (the site of one of reports in the drama) was deserted, but crowds developed. Eventually police were sent to control the crowds. To people arriving later in the evening, the scene really did look like the events being narrated, with panicked crowds and flashing police lights streaming across the masses. There were instances of panic throughout the US as a result of the broadcast, especially in New York and New Jersey.

1.7 million thought it was true, and out of those, 1.2 million were actually frightened.

2.The Mad Gasser of Mattoon

In the 1930s -- all the way through to the mid 40s -- the residents of Botetourt County, Virginia, and Mattoon, Illinois, were terrorized by a surreal specter. Also called the "Anesthetic Prowler" or "The Phantom Anesthetist," he was supposedly a dark, mysterious figure responsible for dozens of victims falling ill from mysterious gasses flooding their homes. Whole families reported sudden attacks of choking, dizziness, headaches and various respiratory ailments.

The cops couldn't catch him and doctors were baffled by the mysterious ailments of his victims. The FBI was called in but they couldn't catch him either. Bulletins were circulated, newspapers warned residents to be on the lookout, vigilante groups roamed the streets trying to catch him -- in short, everyone went more than a little nuts trying to catch this gassy assailant.

But evidence suggests that he never existed. Sure, lots of people got sick, dozen and dozens and dozens more reported seeing dark and mysterious figures up to hideous no good stalking the night, and the authorities were run ragged with reports but there were no leads, nothing solid; nothing but suggestion, victims suffering from anxiety and fear, and the bizarre power of mass hysteria.

3. Salem Witch Trials

fear power mass hysteria nbsp nbsp 3 nbspsalem witch trials

the Salem witch trials were a series of hearings before county court trials to prosecute people accused of witchcraft in the counties of Essex,Suffolk, and Middlesex in colonial Massachusetts, between February 1692 and May 1693. Despite being generally known as the Salem witch trials, the preliminary hearings in 1692 were conducted in a variety of towns across the province: Salem Village (now Danvers), Ipswich, Andoverand Salem Town.

preliminary hearings 1692 conducted variety towns provincenbspsalem villagenbspnownbspdanversnbspipswichnbspandoverand salem town

The best-known trials were conducted by the Court of Oyer and Terminer in 1692 in Salem Town. Over 150 people were arrested and imprisoned, with even more accused but not formally pursued by the authorities. All twenty-six who went to trial before this court were convicted. The four sessions of the Superior Court of Judicature in 1693, held in Salem Village, but also in Ipswich, Boston and Charlestown, produced only three convictions in the thirty-one witchcraft trials it conducted. The two courts convicted twenty-nine people of the capital felonyof witchcraft. Nineteen of the accused, fourteen women and five men, were executed by hanging. One man, Giles Corey, refused to enter a plea and was crushed to death under heavy stones in an attempt to force him to do so. At least five more of the accused died in prison.

The episode is one of the most famous cases of mass hysteria,

It later spread to other towns and lead to the deaths of over 2,500 people

The practice was so widespread that in later years absurdity of these accusations caused the term to adopt a connotation of malicious false accusations and persecution such as the anti-communist accusations during the McCarthy era

4.The Dancing Plague of 1518

In July 1518 in Strasbourg, Alsace, France, a large number of people spontaneously started dancing for days without rest over a period of one month. Most of the people ended up dying due to heart attacks, strokes, or exhaustion. The plague started with one woman, in a matter of a few days that number increased to 340, and within a month to 4000. To this day the cause of the mass hysteria is unknown

5.The Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic

This laughter epidemic started in a Tanzanian village in 1962. Starting with an innocent joke in a boarding school, the resulting laughter is said to have perpetuated itself and spreading to thousands of people. The laughter, some people claim was incapacitating.

No one knew what to do. The school administrators were puzzled, local

doctors were confused. Trying to put a lid on the phenomena, the administrators shut the school down.

But that was too little, too late: Whatever it was began to spread. It infected other schools and worked its way into the village, seemingly carried by infected students. It traveled to another village 20 miles away, and another 55 miles from Kashasha.

Even weirder, it wasn't a constant thing. Like little hysterical explosions, the laughter would pop up, disable small groups for days at a time, then vanish.

Other symptoms included respiratory problems, fainting, pain, and weirdly enough, crying attacks. The phenomenon lasted for about 18 months.

The phenomena is called Mass Psychogenic Illness, more commonly known as mass hysteria, and although the Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic is an extreme version, it's more common than you think

6.Soap Opera Disease

Morangos com Açúcar is a famous Portuguese youth soap opera in its sixth season right now, and is popular in predominantly among children and teenagers because of its depiction of adventures of Portuguese youth. In May 2006, an outbreak of the so-dubbed

"Morangos com Açúcar Virus" was reported in Portuguese schools. 300 or more students at 14 schools reported similar symptoms to those experienced by the characters in a then recent episode where a life-threatening virus affected the school depicted in the show. Symptoms of the "virus" included rashes, difficulty breathing, and dizziness.

over 300 students across 14 different schools began reporting symptoms matching those of the characters on the show, including rashes, respiratory difficluties and more, causing many schools to shut down. The ‘disease’ was ultimately dubbed mass hysteria by the Portuguese National Institute for Medical Emergency

The perceived outbreak forced some schools to temporarily close. The Portuguese National Institute for Medical Emergency eventually dismissed the illness as mass hysteria.

7.Tales From The Crypt

Way back in the early 1950's, when the moral panic about Horror Comics was at its height, there was a minor outbreak of mass hysteria amongst kids in Glasgow.

In those days small newsagents and grocers, in Scotland, used to stock imported American comics, like EC Comics with their popular horror and crime titles.

Anyway, one day a rumour went the rounds, amongst some kids in Glasgow, that there was a vampire haunting one of the city's cemetaries. A vampire with steel teeth!

Hundreds of children aged from four to 14, some of them armed with knives and sharpened sticks, were patrolling inside the historic graveyard.

They were, they told the bemused constable, hunting a 7ft tall vampire with iron teeth who had already kidnapped and eaten two local boys.

Fear of the so-called Gorbals Vampire had spread to many of their parents, who begged Pc Deeprose for assurances there was no truth to the rumours.

Newspapers at the time reported that the headmaster of a nearby primary school told everyone present that the tale was ridiculous, and police were finally able to disperse the crowd.

8. The Toxic lady

Gloria Ramirez was a Riverside, California, woman dubbed “the toxic lady” by the media after exposure to her body and blood had sickened several hospital workers.

She was rushed to hospital in 1994 suffering from the effects of cervical cancer. The medical staff who attended to her all began to feel ill and eventually fainted. Gloria’s body exuded a garlicky and fruity smell and her blood contained flecks of a strange substance like paper.

The odd thing about this case is that of those who handled Gloria’s body or treated her, more women than men suffered from the ill-effects and everyone involved had normal results in blood tests. The health department issued a statement at the conclusion of their investigation which said that those who had become sick were, in fact, suffering from mass hysteria.

9.Mumbai Sweet Water

The 2006 Mumbai “sweet” seawater incident was a phenomenon during which residents of Mumbai claimed that the water at Mahim Creek, one of the most polluted creeks in India that receives thousands of tonnes of raw sewage and industrial waste every day, had suddenly turned “sweet”. Within hours, residents of Gujarat claimed that seawater at Teethal beach had turned sweet as well. In the aftermath of the incidents, local authorities feared the possibility of a severe outbreak of water-borne diseases, such as gastroenteritis. The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board had warned people not to drink the water, but despite this many people had collected it in bottles, even as plastic and rubbish had drifted by on the current. By 2pm the following day, the devotees said that the water was salty again.

10.Y2K Bug

current 2pm devotees water salty nbsp nbsp 10 y2k bug

The Y2K bug was the fear that the clocks in computers would fail on the first day of the year 2000 causing worldwide catastrophe. While no globally significant computer failures occurred when the clocks rolled over into 2000, preparation for the Y2K bug had a significant effect on the computer industry. Countries that spent very little on tackling the Y2K bug (including Italy and South Korea) experienced as few problems as those that spent much more (such as the United Kingdom and the United States). The total cost of the work done in preparation for Y2K is estimated at over 300 billion US dollars – for a problem that really wasn’t there.

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  • Raphy 2012/06/29 05:18:32
    It is possible that mankind is on the threshold of a golden age; but, if so, ...
    When this happen....................you better watch out. The end would be near......
  • Chris- Demon of the PHAET 2012/06/28 14:46:17
    Men willingly believe what they wish.
    Chris- Demon of the PHAET
    This an interesting post DAW. I really enjoyed reading it.
    smiley face gif
  • Vijay Pawar 2012/06/28 13:12:10
    Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.
    Vijay Pawar
    This a encyclopedia.
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... Vijay P... 2012/06/28 13:17:24
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
  • Love Things :D 2012/06/28 13:02:43
    “Little men with little minds and little imaginations go through life in litt...
    Love Things :D
    lol dont know anything about this. Here's a song called Hysteria.
  • strange_armour 2012/05/14 18:01:19
  • aherbert 2012/05/12 23:14:40
    Men willingly believe what they wish.

    Thanks for sharing ...
  • JimTheGeek 2012/01/31 20:58:54
    Men willingly believe what they wish.
    Here's another one: "The greatest problem today is the federal deficit."
  • MinaM8 2012/01/29 21:53:11
    Men willingly believe what they wish.
    Wow thanks for the great article it was very interesting :) Hopefully people will stop being so dumb about 2012 before it becomes an actual m
  • Inquisitve Kat 2012/01/29 01:58:30
    Men willingly believe what they wish.
    Inquisitve Kat
    Thank you for another superb post!
  • Arjuna 2012/01/28 04:43:13
    Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.
    Fear is a great foundation for hysteria. So is anger. In the past there were witches and flying objects triggering hysterical behavior. These days we have Qaddafi, Iran and wall street suits to keep us um... "occupied". :)
  • niviongo R ☮ P ☮ 12-20 2012/01/28 04:38:16
    “Men are at war with each other because each man is at war with himself.”
    niviongo R ☮ P ☮ 12-20
    Love yourself, thy neighbor´s wife and daughters, then after you are done with females gender in the tribe, live thy male neighbors. That way you can not be at war. You will be too busy.
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... niviong... 2012/01/28 04:40:47
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    or Very Itchy
  • niviong... ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2012/01/28 04:45:59
    niviongo R ☮ P ☮ 12-20
    Colloidal Silver during piss stops
  • BloodMist 2012/01/28 00:54:08 (edited)
    Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.
    Don't be a follower, think for yourself, because the majority tends to be wrong far more often than the majority would ever like to be admitted.

    You forgot the most recent and lamest one of all, BTW, the Red Scare.
  • Arjuna BloodMist 2012/01/28 04:46:47
    True. 50 million people supporting a stupid idea still makes the idea stupid. Any mass hysteria is based on the fly argument: "Eat sh**. 10 trillion flies can't all be wrong"
  • BloodMist Arjuna 2012/01/29 20:21:01 (edited)
    Especially when it comes to automatically believing it with no solid, real proof.There was cold war espionage going on alright.MAD was acknowledged in 1958 and everything after that was mere boasting, but that didn't stop massive paranoia and shear freaking stupidity.

    duck and cover
  • justnotsaying (: 2012/01/07 05:55:20
    Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.
    justnotsaying (:
    There will always be things that keep people scared and in a panic, unfortunately.
  • Arjuna justnot... 2012/01/28 04:48:27
    True. People do panic. People go get scared. The trick is to respond to those emotions rationally instead of running around witless like a blue bottomed fly.
  • justnot... Arjuna 2012/01/28 14:19:26
    justnotsaying (:
    Maybe one day we'll get it.
  • ted 2012/01/02 19:15:05
    “Little men with little minds and little imaginations go through life in litt...
  • misterz 2012/01/02 17:20:37
    We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that...
  • RosaG 2012/01/02 15:46:39
    “Little men with little minds and little imaginations go through life in litt...
    Interesting read!
  • NarcolepticGoat 2012/01/02 15:17:17
    We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that...
    1. I want to hear that joke
    2. We actually had a y2k problem at work... on Jan 1 1998, when the computers programmed to add two years to incoming samples had a hissy fit and the chem lab was down for a while. Most of the actual y2k problems occurred a couple of years in advance that way.
  • Arjuna Narcole... 2012/01/28 04:52:30
    Yup. That was the worst example of hysteria for an IT person. The result, for me, was that two years down the road, I had to sit in my control room on 31st Dec. 1999 staring at a bank of 40 monitors while my friends were out painting the town all kinds of colors. I retired from IT the next year.
  • Narcole... Arjuna 2012/01/28 13:46:19
    How awful! I remember at the time just shaking my head. I had been reading in the literature and online about the problem and what was being done about it for a long time. It was like the adults knew and worked on the problem and only at the last moment did the children finally listen and started running around screaming in a panic. It was utterly odd.

    I hate to admit though, I stocked up about a week's worth of staples just in case ;)
  • Arjuna Narcole... 2012/01/28 14:52:30
    *chuckles* you were not the only one who took at least a few precautions. I live in Sri Lanka where we grow food even in the cities so the people were not that worried since a lot of stuff was "off-line". Still, if you are hooked into global markets/business etc. you end up in the misery I endured during that time. After retirement, I started growing coconuts and doing social service which was so much easier to control regardless of predictions *cheers*
  • bags th... Narcole... 2012/06/28 14:53:23
    bags the Indigenous Guru
    I know of someone who had a highly successful Hollywood career who just sold everything he had and bought and moved to this tiny island off the coast and went off the grid. He and his family went offline and out of sight and contact and waited for the world to end. He's finally back in Hollywierd now.....back to work. Incredible......
  • Tom 2012/01/02 15:02:24
    Men willingly believe what they wish.
    Don't forget the effects of Rye Ergot.
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... Tom 2012/01/02 16:24:31
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    in salem burning times its one of many things that lead to it
    also some rumors of Bored kids and also Affairs and land dispute so they started accusing witchcraft and innoncent people died as a result
  • Tom ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2012/01/02 16:26:37
    ah, you do remember
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... Tom 2012/01/02 16:30:11
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    i meantioned it on my salem witch trial blog

  • Tom ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2012/01/02 16:32:39
    Ah, I see. There is also a theory that ergot caused more than one episode of mass hysteria/hallucinations in medieval Europe as well.
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... Tom 2012/01/02 16:54:10
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    i think its just a poor excuse for people who want to blame something else than accept responsiblity for thier own actions

    it wasnt ergot that made popes and church officals burn millions of people for or torture them for years
  • Ruadon 2012/01/02 12:48:50
    “Little men with little minds and little imaginations go through life in litt...
    man alone is reasonable men in crowds are stupid and crazy
  • Pat 2012/01/02 05:49:13
    Men willingly believe what they wish.
    According to the Mayan calendar, we've got less than a year left. And as much as people say they don't believe it, you can bet that as the time gets closer, people will pause and think about it, even if it's just a passing thought. I'm sure there will be all kinds of groups seeking shelter in the caves or mountains or wherever they think they'll be safe. It will be interesting to see it all play out. See you on December 22nd 2012, the day after the end.
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... Pat 2012/01/02 14:56:15
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    if your talking about the 2012 Prophecy thing

    the Mayan calendar marks the end of a 5,126 year old cycle around December 12, 2012 which should bring the return of Bolon Yokte, a Mayan god associated with war and creation.

    2012 lol

    Author Jose Arguelles called the date "the ending of time as we know it" in a 1987 book that spawned an army of Mayan theorists, whose speculations on a cataclysmic end abound online. But specialists meeting at this ancient Mayan city in southern Mexico say it merely marks the termination of one period of creation and the beginning of another.

    "We have to be clear about this. There is no prophecy for 2012," said Erik Velasquez, an etchings specialist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). "It's a marketing fallacy."

    The National Institute of Anthropological History in Mexico has been trying to quell the barrage of forecasters predicting the apocalypse. "The West's messianic thinking has distorted the world view of ancient civilizations like the Mayans," the institute said in a statement.
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... Pat 2012/01/02 14:56:29
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    In the Mayan calendar, the long calendar count begins in 3,114 BC and is divided into roughly 394-year periods called Baktuns. Mayans held the number 13 sacred and the 13th Baktun ends next year.

    Sven Gronemeyer, a researcher of Mayan codes from La Trobe University in Australia, who has been trying to decode the calendar, said the so-called end day reflects a transition from one era to the next in which Bolon Yokte returns.

    "Because Bolon Yokte was already present at the day of creation ... it just seemed natural for the Mayan that Bolon Yokte will again be present," he said.

    Of the approximately 15,000 registered glyphic texts found in different parts of what was then the Mayan empire, only two mention 2012, the Institute said.

    "The Maya did not think about humanity, global warming or predict the poles would fuse together," said Alfonso Ladena, a professor from the Complutense University of Madrid. "We project our worries on them."
    2012 humor
  • Beautiful_Syn 2012/01/02 04:24:32
    “Little men with little minds and little imaginations go through life in litt...
    The classic Sheeple Syndrome.
  • REALIST 2012/01/02 04:00:13
    Men willingly believe what they wish.
    mayan calendar,,,,enough said.

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