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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  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... REALIST 2012/01/02 14:56:58
    ☥☽✪☾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... REALIST 2012/01/02 14:57:11
    ☥☽✪☾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
  • REALIST ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2012/01/02 18:22:27
    yep, mass hysteria! time to dig out the old y2k bunkers,,,,plenty here in the backwoods of south carolina!
  • sjalan 2012/01/02 03:59:58
    It is possible that mankind is on the threshold of a golden age; but, if so, ...
    Great set of examples, DAW. In 1968 I think it was they re-did the program in San Francisco on KPEN radio. The switch boards of the local police lit up like fireworks. EVEN with the statements every 15 minutes or so that it was a re-enactment of the original program.

    People are so easily lead.
  • ToMuchToDo 2012/01/01 22:44:36
    Men willingly believe what they wish.
    Isnt this why we have laws? To try and maintain some order?
  • I'm History 2012/01/01 22:11:09
    Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.
    I'm History
    Mass Hysteria is caused by super sensationalist media, which news stories and pieces are over-hyped, misrepresented and exaggerated to entertin ignorant people who go running in the streets yelling "The sky is falling, the sky is falling".

    But it shows mankind the difference between normal and stupid people.
    So it does serve a purpose.

    ( lol ).
  • Rocko 2012/01/01 22:02:10
    “Men are at war with each other because each man is at war with himself.”
  • Roger 2012/01/01 19:29:03
    We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that...
    agreed in need, aneed in lead, alead in deed
  • amy 2012/01/01 19:23:14
    Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.
  • DefendnProtect 2012/01/01 19:22:26
    “Little men with little minds and little imaginations go through life in litt...
  • themadhare ~IJM 2012/01/01 19:21:55
    Men willingly believe what they wish.
    themadhare ~IJM
    this should be required reading for everyone

    extraordinary popular delusions and the madness of crowds
  • les_gvt 2012/01/01 19:21:30 (edited)
    Men willingly believe what they wish.
    Mass hysteria, or a mass delusion?

    mass hysteria mass delusion
  • Noel16161 2011/08/19 21:38:31
    “Men are at war with each other because each man is at war with himself.”
    What mass hysteria is next?
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... Noel16161 2011/08/19 22:06:23
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    2012 mass hysteria
    end of the world crap from the religious nuts
  • Noel16161 ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2011/08/19 22:32:12
    No doubt! Although if another comet passes by.....
  • c.stuar... Noel16161 2012/01/01 21:55:21
    "Hi jinx expected"
  • Ramon 2011/08/19 12:41:14
    Men willingly believe what they wish.
  • Dagon 2011/08/18 21:44:00
  • c.stuar... Dagon 2012/01/01 21:55:48
    A lot more than it is now.
  • Dagon c.stuar... 2012/01/02 00:42:50
  • c.stuar... Dagon 2012/01/02 03:30:31
    I'll go with that. Oh, and Curry.
  • Dagon c.stuar... 2012/01/02 03:49:06
  • D.C. Willis 2011/08/18 21:43:50
    We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that...
    D.C. Willis
  • al 2011/07/27 02:56:31
    It is possible that mankind is on the threshold of a golden age; but, if so, ...
    Free your mind, think of possiblities. Don't let superstition hold you back. Be yourself, be brave, be kind ;)
  • JAKE~PWCM~JLA 2011/07/25 19:28:02
    We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that...
    You are forgetting the 2008 presidential election.
  • Death Faerie 2011/07/25 19:15:53
    Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.
    Death Faerie
    Actually I have a theory that all the sick, twisted, crazy things humans do to each other and ourselves could be natures way of trying to control the population. Before anyone overreacts to this statement, I'm not condoning this craziness, in fact I'm sickened by the things that are done to innocents, its just a theory. Nature is neither all good or all bad. She is chaos.
  • Chellie.Bell.Metta 2011/06/21 15:46:57
    We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that...
  • Gloria 2011/06/21 12:27:22
    Men willingly believe what they wish.
    I would love to catch the dancing plague in France.
  • CUDDLY BUT STILL CRABBY 2011/06/21 02:34:32
    Men willingly believe what they wish.
    You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink. So true with humans and factual information. People believe what they want to believe.
  • c.stuar... CUDDLY ... 2012/01/01 21:58:06
    You can lead a conspiracy theorist to data, but you can't make him think.
  • La 2011/06/13 07:14:54
    It is possible that mankind is on the threshold of a golden age; but, if so, ...
    Just gonna leave out Hitler and McCarthy, hmm?
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... La 2011/06/21 12:34:59
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    no i plan to make a sequal to this i was showing 10 examples i will do a sequal to show the rise of mass hysteria in warfare
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... La 2011/06/21 12:35:40
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    the salem witch trials is where we get the word witchhunt when sentator mc carthy ruined many lives over false alligations
  • SuiJuris249 2011/06/11 07:00:38
    “Little men with little minds and little imaginations go through life in litt...
    The difference between truth and fiction is that fiction has to make sense.
  • c.stuar... SuiJuri... 2012/01/01 22:00:46
    I have seen that attributed to Tom Clancy. Do you happen to know the origin?
  • SuiJuri... c.stuar... 2012/01/02 00:03:06
    Clancy stealing again. Try Mark Twain you know one of those old dead white guys people hardly read anymore.
  • c.stuar... SuiJuri... 2012/01/02 03:40:19
    Ah. quite so. Thanks. Here is the original, in Twain's own hand: ah twains hand

    The original line was "Truth -is- stranger than Fiction; but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities: Truth is not."
  • SuiJuri... c.stuar... 2012/01/02 23:51:35
    Right I cant remember who cleaned it up a bit but it was before Clancy.
  • c.stuar... SuiJuri... 2012/01/03 00:35:42
    Yep. I looked up that speech in which Lincoln famously said "no one ever went bankrupt underestimating the intelligence of the average consumer". He did say something like it, but he took three pages of very flowery verbiage.
  • SuiJuri... c.stuar... 2012/01/03 23:32:12
    Yes they were longer winded back then and for a good reason they had a vocabulary that far out sized the average Americans today.

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