Beyond Science

Strange Cases of Mass Hysteria Through History

Mass Hysteria
Engraving of Hendrik Hondius portraying three women affected by the ‘dancing plague.’ Work based on original drawing by Peter Brueghel, who supposedly witnessed an outbreak in 1564 in Flanders. (Wikimedia Commons)

Mass hysteria is a term used to describe the situation in which physical or psychological symptoms appear en masse, spreading rapidly throughout communities, and occasionally...

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