A high school in Mocoa, Colombia recently hired hypnotist Miller Zambrano Posada to entertain a group of 590 youth for a student fun day.
For 700 pesos (40¢), the students were promised clowns, jugglers, and a mesmerizing display of casual mind control. What they got instead was a group freak-out. Reports Hispanically Speaking News:
Twelve kids were called to the stage, and then four were returned to their seats; the remaining eight were put into trance by Zambrano with hand movements, deep eye contact and a monotone voice.
Zambrano made them lift their arms, walk in circles, cry like babies, laugh hysterically, bark like dogs, act like chickens and whatnot. Students laughed and clapped at the end of the show and when Zambrano left the stage, the students were ushered back to their classrooms.
Suddenly, as the students walked back, several students developed bizarre symptoms. Police at the scene reported some of the students were crying, others dived into the ground for no reason, others hit their chest with their palms. One girl went as far as to scream that she was seeing the devil, and before too long a larger group of kids went into a mass panic attack.
Strangely enough, only one of the 36 girls and 5 boys affected, had shared the stage with the hypnotist, who was put in police custody as parents, students and a few teachers were accusing him of witchcraft.
Once the mass hysteria subsided, psychologists diagnosed the students with "collective neurosis induced by the hypnosis event" and noted that several of the affected students exhibited signs of epilepsy. The hypnotist, who was placed in police custody, claims to have never seen this sort of mass hysteria through his years of performing. It's unclear why authorities haven't implicated the clowns in this psychic meltdown. After all, kids hate clowns.