Saturday, 23 April 2016

'Mass Hysteria' or 'Collective Delusions'

Malaysia school shuts after 'mass hysteria' outbreak
Malaysian journalist Philip Golingai tweeted this picture allegedly taken by a student at the school

A school in northern Malaysia has had to shut temporarily to handle what local media have called a case of "mass hysteria".

It started last week with several students and teachers of the school in the city of Kota Bahru claiming that they had seen spirits or had supernatural experiences. School authorities shut the school and called in Islamic traditional experts, scholars and even witch doctors in prayer sessions and "exorcisms".

By Sunday, the school had reopened and school officials said things had gone back to normal - but questions remain and the case continues to generate intense interest in Malaysia.

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Hysteria at SMK Pengkalan Chepa 2
Siti Hawa showing where the hysteria attacks took place at the school. - Astro AWANI

Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Pengkalan Chepa 2 has closed the school temporarily after more than 50 pupils and teachers were affected by hysteria attacks since Monday.

School principal, Siti Hawa Mat, said all the victims claimed to have seen a 'black figure' during the incidents.

At a press conference today, she said the hysteria attacks on Monday involved 25 pupils, but when it happened again yesterday, 50 pupils and 11 teachers were affected.

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Hysteria victims claim to have seen 'pontianak' before fainting
Calm in prayer: A security guard closing the gate as SMK Kemumin students gather at the school surau to recite religious verses after the school was afflicted with mass hysteria

Several students of a school in Kelantan, who claim to have been possessed during a 'hysteria' attack, all said they saw a ghostly figure before passing out.

They claimed they saw an unsightly dark figure or female ghost known as a 'pontianak' before they experienced paralysis and then fainted.

Fatin Nor Atikah, 17, of SMK Pengkalan Chepa 1, said she was possessed twice in the school toilets when she was in Form 3 and Form 4.

Over 50 pupils and teachers affected by mass hysteria in Kota Baru school
8 more female students struck by hysteria
School hit by mass hysteria appeals for help
Hysteria Kota Bahru school: Reporters heard screams but barred from entry
Mass hysteria breaks out at secondary school

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Over 50 pupils and teachers affected by mass hysteria in Kota Baru school

An incidence of 'mass hysteria' has allegedly broken out at a secondary school here, with more than 50 female students and even a few teachers affected by it.

A check at the school on Wednesday showed that most of its students were not in their classes and freely mingling with each other on its grounds.

Some said they have been unable to attend classes since their schoolmates were struck by 'hysteria' last Monday.

related: Mass hysteria breaks out at secondary school

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Malaysia school shut amid 'mass hysteria' over sightings of a black figure

A school in Malaysia was forced to close after sightings of a mysterious "black figure" sparked a suspected outbreak of "mass hysteria".

The panic began last Monday when several students and teachers in the city of Kota Bharu said they had seen a "black figure" in the school.

Sightings continued to be reported for the next two days, with about 100 people affected by what they believed were supernatural experiences.

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Lebih 50 pelajar diserang hi‎steria

Pelajar di sebuah sekolah menengah di Pengkalan Chepa di sini diarahkan bercuti hari ini selepas sesi persekolahannya 'terganggu' sejak Isnin lalu apabila lebih 50 pelajarnya serta beberapa gurunya didakwa diserang histeria.

Kejadian terbabit dipercayai bermula pada Isnin lalu selepas ada pelajar mendakwa melihat makhluk asing di sebuah kelas kosong.

Pelajar tersebut kemudian rebah dan meracau-racau sebelum 'berjangkit' kepada pelajar lain.

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'Mass hysteria' grips students after supernatural sightings Muar

About 50 students, mainly girls, of Maktab Rendah Sains Mara (MRSM) Muar at Batu 6, Bakri here, went hysterical after claiming to have experienced supernatural sightings since Wednesday night.

The students from Form 1 to 4 students claimed to have either seen spiritual being near their hostel or classrooms beforehand.

The situation only returned to normal after a religious teacher was called in to help in calming the victims.

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Mass hysteria breaks out at secondary school

Students of SMK Pusat Bandar Puchong got a scare on Friday following a supposed bout of mass hysteria at the school.

Several students were allegedly in an uncontrollable state - screaming and shedding tears -- shortly after the day's schooling session started, while others were said to have mysteriously fainted for no apparent reason.

Arriving early at the school to pick their children up, some parents further described a situation as near chaos, with Muslim prayers heard playing on a loop over loudspeakers.

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Singapore is not immune to mass hysteria – Students from Woodsville Sec School had been affected in past

Mass hysteria has hit a school in Kota Bahru in Kelantan last Monday (11 Apr). 100 students (both male and female) as well as teachers were reportedly affected by it. The school was eventually closed temporarily on Thursday (14 Apr) and the principal appealed for professional help to deal with the situation.

The school, with an enrolment of 1,044 pupils and 84 teachers, was re-opened on 17 Apr (Sun) under the observation of several religious teachers and Islamic medical practitioners. Eight girls were however suddenly affected after two hours of reciting Quranic verses and special prayers conducted by all the students at its open hall.

Several sceptical students said they managed to capture images of a white spectre resembling a pocong (ghostly figure encased in a shroud) at the school canteen, the hall and classrooms on Saturday night.

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New theory on 'mass hysteria'
It hit grown-ups, children and babies, but there was no explanation for it

Pesticide spraying may hold the key to an unsolved mystery involving the collapse of hundreds of children more than 20 years ago.

In July 1980, almost 300 children who were competing in a brass band competition in a field near Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, were hit by vomiting, runny noses and sore eyes. The cause of the children's symptoms was never pinpointed, however health authorities at the time suggested it was a result of mass hysteria.

But an investigation by BBC's Inside Out documentary team has discovered that the pesticide tridemorph - which was sprayed near the fields at the time of the incident but later banned in 2000 - may have caused the reaction.

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Mass hysteria: Was that epidemic all in the head? LAWRENCE K ALTMAN This little-studied phenomenon can be hard to diagnose and distinguish from real outbreaks or bioterrorist attacks, even after the dust settles By THE NEWYOKK TIMES LACK OF LITERATURE SYMPTOMS THE range of symptoms is vast: headache, nausea, vomiting,

Mass hysteria: Was that epidemic all in the head?
'Mass hysteria causes school, factory closures
'Lead fumes behind mass hysteria'
Anthrax fear sparks mass hysteria
Hysteria strikes 11 more girls at assembly -plant
Stress can cause trance disorders, says study
'Mass hysteria causes school, factory closures
Mass hysteria

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Mass hysteria

In sociology and psychology, mass hysteria (also known as collective hysteria, group hysteria, or collective obsessional behavior) is a phenomenon that transmits collective delusions of threats, whether real or imaginary, through a population in society as a result of rumors and fear. In medicine, the term is used to describe the spontaneous manifestation of the same or similar hysterical physical symptoms by more than one person.

A common sign of mass hysteria occurs when a group of people believe they are suffering from a similar disease or ailment, sometimes referred to as mass psychogenic illness or epidemic hysteria.

Mass hysteria presenting as collective symptoms of disease is sometimes referred to as mass psychogenic illness or epidemic hysteria. Mass hysteria typically begins when an individual becomes ill or hysterical during a period of stress. After this initial individual shows symptoms, others begin to manifest similar symptoms, typically nausea, muscle weakness, fits or headache.

related: Mass psychogenic illness

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Past 'Mass Hysteria' cases in Singapore

Several schools in the Malaysian state of Kelantan have been plagued by incidents of 'Mass Hysteria' over the past week, with students claiming to have seen ghostly figures.

To-date, 8 ustaz, a bomoh and Islamic traditional experts have been sought for their expertise in chasing away the "spirits", as the problem grew so serious that one school was forced to shut down temporarily.

The phenomenon of 'mass hysteria', while not new, has been rarely seen in recent times, although outbreaks were especially prevalent in schools and factories in Malaysia and Singapore throughout the 1970s. Here's a look at some of the reported cases in Singapore.

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