In India, it is the shared belief in spirits and possession that often triggers such mass delusions.
The best way to fight superstition is to promote rational thinking. Schools can be a starting place because as the history of mass hysteria shows, children are quick to pick up irrational ideas and carry them along. Their most innocuous pranks — like two boys cutting off a girl’s hair — can trigger mass panic.
It is not the first time Jammu is experiencing this collective delusion. Let’s skim through the ‘mass hysteric’ moments in the history of Jammu and Kashmir:
Ganesha Drinking milk
In 1995, people fed milk to Ganesha statues in temples, believing that the milk is being absorbed by the statue
Kaal Kache Wale Chor
This gang of thieves triggered mass hysteria in early 90s. From schools to offices, this remained the hot topic in those days, with people carefully locking their doors and spending the night in fear.
In May 2001, vigilante groups patrolled the streets for days on end, to find the face-scratching “monkey man” who had been “sighted” at least 350 times according to complaints made to the police.
Private Parts Cutting
The rumor has surfaced alongside braid-chopping rumor, with some photographs going viral on social media. In actual, no such incident has been reported as per police records.
Broken car Windshields
People have even woken up to find the windows of their cars broken. This incident also triggered myriad rumors of ‘ghosts’ breaking the glass etc.
White horse, Witch Spotted in Mubarak Mandi
Residents of old city have also faced a tough time, with rumors of white horse and a wierd yet soothing noise of anklets surfacing. People complained of seeing a translucent white horse and witch in the vicinity of famous Mubarak Mandi Fort. Click here to Read Ghost stories from Mubarak Mandi complex
Female Ghost in Gho Manasa
It all started as a matter of superstition once Surinder Singh Bhau died under mysterious circumstances. The people of Kukrial in Gho Manasa have lived in fear for over a month and a half starting 3 April when Surinder Singh died. Read here.