Famous Cases of Mass Hysteria

Famous Cases of Mass Hysteria

In this article we will be covering a subject that has baffled psychologists throughout history, and is still a mysterious condition that surfaces in modern times. Let’s take a look at the most famous cases of mass hysteria on record…


The London Monster

London saw a mass of attack on local women in the late 1700’s, resulting in the newspapers giving the 18th-century stalker the nickname of ‘The London Monster’. This strange and twisted offender was known to approach wealthy women from behind and basically…stab them in the ass!

These London Monster attacks went on for just over two years, but after a while the police began to notice strange changes in each story or criminal report. The description of the attacker kept on changing, and some of his antics were getting way out of hand (some women reported him having knives growing out of his knees!).

Historians now believe that mass hysteria caused a lot of women to convince themselves that they had been attacked by The London Monster. In some cases even going as far as slashing their own clothes then reporting an incident to the police.


Mass Hysteria in London


The Mumbai Experience

In 2006, Mumbai had it’s very own experience with mass hysteria…

Locals to an area named Mahim Creek started to comment on local saltwater as tasting very sweet. Most people began to believe that someone was adding some special kind of syrup to the creek.

But, authorities knew that this was not the case – the saltwater there was known to be full of raw sewage and industrial waste!

Somehow mass hysteria broke, and people in the surrounding areas also started to believe that their local water supplies were now tasting sweeter…but most of these water supplies were also considered pretty toxic. Local medical professionals went pretty nuts in trying to stop people from drinking so much of the bad water…but they didn’t have much luck.

Mysteriously, the following day, the populace found the water to be as rank and putrid as before this brief spell of suspended belief.


The Portuguese Teens

Again, in 2006 (May), a large amount of Portuguese teens reported strange illnesses. The situation snowballed at a dramatic pace and ended up with several main schools being closed down through fear of the illness spreading.

As it turned out, the teens who initially manifested the symptoms all had one thing in common – they had been watching a popular soap opera in which one of the main characters had caught a strange and deadly virus…

I’ll leave the rest up to you!


The Laughter Epidemic

In January of 1962, a very peculiar episode of mass hysteria hit a Tanzanian girls school…

Without warning, three girls started to giggle, then broke out into full-on laughter. The teachers threatened to punish the girls, but they just could not stop laughing.

It quickly spread – some girls laughed for hours at a time…others laughed constantly for a period of days!

The behaviour then spread to nearby villages and parents got really worried, going as far as pulling their daughters out of school. Experts now believe that puberty could have linked these girls together, and was the main reason behind this mass hysteria.

What do you think?


Mass hysteria in Tanzanian girls school


The Cat-Nuns

Back in medieval France, a solitary nun suddenly began meowing like a cat. Her fellow nuns in the convent then began mimicking her and also started making the strange noise.

Locals to the building didn’t think anything of it at first, but when the noise carried on into the night, they alerted the authorities. The nearby military were called to the scene and they eventually managed to stop the nun’s strange behaviour by threatening them with violent punishment.

If you have any thoughts or opinions on the subject we have covered here, please leaven them in the comment section below.


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