5. A Halloween Radio Broadcast That Resulted In Mass Panic.
On October 30, 1938, Orson Welles directed and narrated a Halloween radio broadcast. The topic was an adaptation of H. G. Wells’ famous novel “The War of the World’s”. According to some historians, approximately 6 million people listened to the broadcast. To make matters worse, the broadcast lasted an hour without any commercial breaks and was read in a bulletin format. Thousands of listeners were convinced that a Martian invasion was taking place, which led to mass panic. 1.7 million people out of the 6 million thought it was true and reported a weird gaseous smell in the air and some even reported seeing flashes in the sky. Popular legends state that listeners must have missed the introduction which stated that the show was a drama and tuned in during the middle of the broadcast.
In the following days, people started expressing outrage in the media and some described the bulletin style broadcast as being deceptive. Even though it caused a mass panic among people, the broadcast was behind Welles’s fame as a dramatist.
6. The Vanishing Genitalia Epidemic, Nigeria.
Nigerian men and women were affected by a genitalia vanishing epidemic in the 1990’s. The outbreak resulted in the deaths of countless innocent people. Both men and women who were thought of as the ‘victims’ would claim that they were experiencing a burning sensation or strange feeling in their genital area as soon as an unlucky stranger bumps into them. This usually occurred in public places such as markets where there would be a crowd. Once a stranger bumps into someone, the victims would accuse them of genital theft. They would go as far as getting undressed to prove to the bystanders. The accused one will soon be swarmed by an angry mob and often beaten to death.
The 1990’s Nigerian epidemic eventually ended up costing lives of innocent men, women and children. This particular hysteria has been known to repeat throughout history. It’s been known to occur in Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Sudan, Gambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Though the idea of stealing someone’s genitals just by touching them sounds funny to us, it’s not for the innocent victims who are falsely accused of this superstition.
7. The Reclusive Monkey-Man of Delhi.
Another form of hysteria sweeps India and it’s citizens. This time, the citizens of New Delhi were claiming to be attacked by a mysterious monkey-like creature at night. More than 50 witnesses had come forward with the claim that they had seen what they believe to be a monkey-man. According to the witnesses, the creature is about 4 feet tall with a hairy body and metal claws. The sightings were reported so often that the authorities ran out of vehicles to investigate the location of the alleged sightings. According to a local newspaper, the monkey-man has claimed two lives and wounded several others. One of the victims was a pregnant woman who was sleeping on a rooftop. She died after she ran down the stairs and slipped. Neighbors and locals believe that the monkey-man was behind the incident. Another victim was a man, who jumped off a rooftop screaming that the monkey-man was coming for him. Since no evidence of the alleged creature has been discovered, authorities believe that the situation is nothing more than mass-hysteria created by the locals themselves.
8. Tulipomania, That Caused Holland’s Markets To Crash.
Tulipomania was a phenomenon that occurred during the Dutch Golden Age, where the cost of newly created tulip bulbs were at its highest peak and then suddenly collapsed. To make it simple, during the peak time, a person was capable of selling a single tulip bulb and buying an entire estate. When the price hit dirt bottom, it was as cheap as an onion. In March 1637, the price of specific tulips were estimated to be 10 times the annual income of a skilled craftsman. The newly created tulips were introduced to the Dutch by Turkey. After their import, the tulips underwent a non-fatal virus known as mosaic, which didn’t kill the flower, but caused it to create color patterns on them. Since the flower was already unique, the color patterns made it extraordinarily unique and thus increased its price.
Soon enough, people were trading their houses, farms, lands and cattles for a piece of the greenery. A domino effect took place as everyone was trying to sell them and no one was buying. The stock market soon collapsed. While many benefited from the trade, not all were successful. The dealers refused to honor their contracts and soon people started to realize the mistake they had made. The government stepped in and offered to honor the contracts at 10% of the face value but it was not a success.