26 students at a Japanese school fell into mass hysteria, prompting the school to close for the day.
The incident occurred at Yanagawa High School, a private school in the city of Yanagawa, and began with one student shrieking in the middle of class and fell down at about 10am.
Not long afterward, another 2 students fell into a similar panic state, followed by multiple students from other classes who came to see what the commotion was. Some of the students were reported to have turned very pale, and the exact cause of the sickness was unknown.
“We don’t know why such an incident happened, but we need to take good care of the students. I’ll talk to them more to find out what happened,” said Vice Principal Shigemitsu Mori.
Twitter and social networks lit up with talks of evil spirits possessing the students, it was reported in the Nishinippon Shimbun. A short time after the mass panic attack, the students all recovered.
According to psychiatrist Rika Kayama, adolescent students can feel extreme tension and anxiety, which are highly contagious. and also added that the group panic attack could be triggered by occultism.
“The only thing you can do (to avoid the recurrence of such incidents) is to distance yourself from people and topics that triggered such incidents. Rumors spread quickly in today’s society, through Twitter and other means, raising the possibility of panic attacks,” Kayama said.
Original Article: Japan Times