Cases of hysteria have been reported all over the world for centuries and provide a fascinating insight into the complex nature of human psychology. However, the association with the uterus goes all the way back to the ancient Egyptian Kahun Papyrus B.
By the Middle Ages, this was replaced by a belief in witchcraft, demonic Mass Hypocrisy - Sledgehammer Autopsy - The Art Of Bludgeoning (CDr), or insanity as the cause. While occurrences of mass hysteria continue to confound the medical community, it is now generally believed to be linked to extreme cases of emotional or mental stress. A depiction of dancing mania, which occurred on a pilgrimage to the church at Molenbeek, Belgium, by Pieter Brueghel the Younger — Wikimedia Commons. Dance mania, otherwise known as the Dancing Plague, St.
Vitus, gripped mainland Europe between the 13th and 17th centuries. One of the most well-known major outbreaks took place in Aachen, Germany, on June 24, During this occurrence, afflicted individuals would dance hysterically through the streets for hours, days, and apparently even months, Mass Hypocrisy - Sledgehammer Autopsy - The Art Of Bludgeoning (CDr), until they collapsed due to exhaustion or died from heart attack or stroke.
The number of participants at any one outbreak could reach into the thousands. The Dancing Plague is known to have occurred numerous times throughout medieval Europe, with outbreaks occurring in Italy, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Holland, and Switzerland. It was initially considered that the dancing mania was a curse sent by a saint, commonly thought to be St. John the Baptist or St. Vitus, hence the alternative names for the condition.
Mass Hypocrisy - Sledgehammer Autopsy - The Art Of Bludgeoning (CDr) settings such as schools, prisons, and tightly-knit communities have often been the settings for outbreaks of mass hysteria, and European Christian convents were no different. Hecker, an account is given of a nun in a convent in France who began to meow like a cat.
Shortly afterward, other nuns began exhibiting the same behavior, until the whole convent was plagued with meowing nuns. This concerned the surrounding Christian neighborhood, and eventually soldiers were called in to try to contain the situation.
The nuns were whipped and beaten by the soldiers until they promised to cease making the ear-piercing noises. During this era, belief in possession was common, and in France, cats were often viewed as being in allegiance with the devil. The Tanganyika laughter epidemic began on Jan. The laughter started among three girls but quickly spread throughout the entire school, persisting for hours, days, and then weeks, leading to its closure on March 18, After the school was closed, the mass hysteria spread to other schools and eventually to other nearby villages.
Thousands of children were affected by the epidemic, and 14 schools were forced to close. The hysteria eventually died down some eighteen months after it started. Representation of the Salem witch trials. Lithograph from by Joseph E.
One of the most notorious instances of mass hysteria is that which occurred in Salem, Massachusetts, in Dozens of young girls displayed fits of uncontrollable screaming and contortions, which eventually triggered a flood of witchcraft accusations. The result was a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft, known as the Salem Witch Trials, which resulted in the deaths of 25 citizens of Salem and nearby towns.
The witch trials of Salem, which became a highly influential event in U. Instances involving the propagation of mass hysteria might seem at odds with an increasingly educated general public, who no longer rely on wandering wombs, demonic possessions, and witchcraft as an explanation. But episodes of mass hysteria continue to occur, the most recent of which took place in when 1, children across 15 schools in Sri Lanka were treated for a range of symptoms including skin rashes, vertigo, and coughing, which had no obvious physical cause.
While cases of hysteria are easy to laugh off as ridiculous and bizarre behavior, research has shown that there are a number of complex factors that can contribute to the formation and spread of collective hysteria, including social anxieties, cultural pressures, rumors, fears, extraordinary excitement, religious beliefs, reinforcing of actions by authority figures, and extreme stress. While social, political, and religious contexts have changed over the centuries, the human psychology has largely remained the same, and it is for this reason we are likely to see many more occasions of mass hysteria into the future.
For privacy reasons, she has previously written on Ancient Origins under the pen name April Holloway, but is now choosing to use her real name, Joanna Gillan. Well, if it wasn't LSD, which seems to me about the only plausible explanation at this point; then what was it? I haven't heard anything else that seems to be a convincing argument for what it may have been.
The LSD theory has fallen into difficulties. It is highly unlikely that any residual lysergic acid could survive the heat of the bread oven if infected rye were used for bread making.
There is also a lack of evidence Mass Hypocrisy - Sledgehammer Autopsy - The Art Of Bludgeoning (CDr) any gangrenous outbreaks, particularly at Salem, which usually accompany outbreaks of ergo poisoning. I remember reading many years ago in High Times that a possible explanation of Saint Vitus' Dance was rye bread infested with the fungus ergot that LSD was extracted from centuries later by Albert Hoffman. Seems plausible that if people regularly ate a lot of such bread that they might develop bizarre compulsive behavior.
Gangster 3000 - DJ Freak - Untitled (CDr, Album), Jormungand - Various - Frequency Blitz 2 (CD), A Bleak Incident - Yung (4) - A Youthful Dream (Vinyl, LP, Album), Pensir - Various - Velika Rock Eksplozija # 7 (CD), Carolina - Marcio Mello - Tonelada De Amor (CD, Album), Gravity (Radio Edit), Untitled, Netherworld - Moevalith - Netherworld (File, MP3)