This blog focuses on mass hysteria, largely by sharing the history of specific cases β€” from anywhere in the world and as far back as there are written accounts. I plan to look mostly at episodes that are extreme and fear or stress-based. Those with an appearance that most would agree is pathological. So, for example, not the frenzy of teens in America in the 1960s at Beatles and Stones’ concerts. But yes, meowing nuns.

I will try to update at least weekly and hopefully more often than that. Please do check out the “In the News” section (one it’s up), which is mostly links to present-day reporting related to our topic. The Glossary is meant as a helpful reference but also ties the posts together and offers a different lens. And I promise to pepper it all with links to whatever excellent material I find.

Please do feel free to contact me and ask for any historical case you’d like to know more about to be included in the blog.

The image above is an 1853 painting, “The Examination of a Witch,” by American painter Tompkins Harrison Matteson. It’s part of a collection at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass and is thought to represent the trial of a girl Mary Fisher during the Salem Witch Trials.

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