It was just another show for stage hypnotist Miller Zambrano Posada. Several high school students were on stage, responding to his suggestions just as others had in the past.
But once it was over and the audience started leaving, then it happened. In what appears to be a case of mass hysteria, over 40 of the students began acting oddly. First a few, then several, then many of the students started displaying abnormal reactions. They were all taken to a hospital and all are reported to be okay. The hypnotist himself was taken into police custody as parents accused him of witchcraft.
With very little to go on, its hard to come to any other conclusion than this being a case of mass hysteria. It is known that only one of the students affected were ever on stage. It does also demonstrate the power of hysteria as it developed from just one person to a whole groyup. What I find interesting is the breakdown: out of the 41 students, only 5 were boys while 36 were girls. The article doesn't say which was the one who was actually on stage but the odds are very much in favor of it being a girl.
Unfortunately this sort of thing (and the reporting that accompanied it) just furthers the stereotypes involved. Furthermore, the stereotypes here, where the hypnotist was accused of "Witchcraft", are even worse than most here in the Us.
- "Columbian Magician Arrested After Hypnotizing 41 Kids" – A doubly-misleading title, as he wasn't arrested, only taken into protective custody, and only one of the kids was actually hypnotized by him.
- "Out-of-control hypnotism ruins high school fun day" – More stereotyping.