Photo: Kids Hospitalized after getting hypnotized
Magician Miller Zambrano Posada was taken into custody after 41 students went into hypnotic trance after his show in Mocoa, Colombia.
A Mocoa, Colombia high school’s “fun day,” complete with circus acts, clowns and the much awaited hypnotism act turned awry after several kids went into a mass panic attack and had to be taken to the hospital.
In what was supposed to be the highlight of this “fun day,” 590 high school students paid 700 pesos (about $0.40) to witness a few of their class mates obey several harebrained suggestions given by a hypnotist magician.
Twelve kids were called to the stage, and then four were returned to their seats; the remaining eight were put into trance by Zambrano with hand movements, deep eye contact and a monotone voice.
Zambrano made them lift their arms, walk in circles, cry like babies, laugh hysterically, bark like dogs, act like chickens and whatnot. Students laughed and clapped at the end of the show and when Zambrano left the stage, the students were ushered back to their classrooms.
Suddenly, as the students walked back, several students developed bizarre symptoms. Police at the scene reported some of the students were crying, others dived into the ground for no reason, others hit their chest with their palms. One girl went as far as to scream that she was seeing the devil, and before too long a larger group of kids went into a mass panic attack.
Strangely enough, only one of the 36 girls and 5 boys affected, had shared the stage with the hypnotist, who was put in police custody as parents, students and a few teachers were accusing him of witchcraft.
Doctor William Orlando Galarza, director of the José María Hernández hospital where the kids were taken, said that to different degrees, all children presented symptoms of collective hypnosis.
Most kids have been released from the hospital and only one had to be readmitted.
The mortified Zambrano told police that he has been doing this very act for many years in different places, and it is the first time something like this happened.