Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Mass Psychogenic High School
November 18, 2007 8:44 PM   Subscribe

Several students at William Byrd High School in Virginia have a mystery illness that causes twitching. Parents are concerned, students protest, Center for Disease Control checks things out- but it appears the twitching could be the result of a mass psychogenic illness.
posted by PHINC (36 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ahh yes, mass psychogenic illness. One of the prime causes I think for chronic fatigue syndrome.
posted by wilful at 8:52 PM on November 18, 2007


Byrd Flu?
posted by L. Fitzgerald Sjoberg at 8:53 PM on November 18, 2007 [6 favorites]


I can see relate. Just reading the article made my eyelid start twitching. I HAVE BEEN INFECTED!!!
posted by Senator at 8:54 PM on November 18, 2007


Mass hysteria. Or rabies. You be the judge.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 8:57 PM on November 18, 2007


Rabies. Put 'em all down, boys.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:07 PM on November 18, 2007


I dare anyone to prove that this is not some evil magic.
posted by kuatto at 9:08 PM on November 18, 2007


Ah, yes, memories of Salem, MA -- whether it was ergotism or, some sort of "mass hysteria" ( as per Henry C. Mabuse comment).
posted by ericb at 9:12 PM on November 18, 2007


kuatto: but I can't prove a negative. :(
posted by ODiV at 9:14 PM on November 18, 2007


Sure you can. Just "dunk the witch!"
posted by ericb at 9:15 PM on November 18, 2007


If she drowns then she was innocent. If she doesn't, drown the bitch/witch at the stake!
posted by ericb at 9:16 PM on November 18, 2007


Zeitgeist Fever- Catch It!
posted by maryh at 9:17 PM on November 18, 2007


Err -- I meant to say: *burn the evil, fucking, God-hating, twitching fucked-up bitch/witch at the stake*
posted by ericb at 9:18 PM on November 18, 2007


Stress related. Kids are suckers for all kinds of pressures in November. Twitching, duh.
posted by Brian B. at 9:22 PM on November 18, 2007


It could be lupus!

Wait, it's never lupus.
posted by infinitewindow at 9:24 PM on November 18, 2007 [4 favorites]


"There's rumors it was carbon dioxide from the photography room," said sophomore Joe Bradshaw.

I would just like to point out that in the news clip, sophomore Joe Bradshaw is wearing a t-shirt reading "No Comment".

Also, just a heads-up: AskMe might be contagious.
posted by Reggie Digest at 9:34 PM on November 18, 2007


Morgellans?
posted by augustweed at 9:34 PM on November 18, 2007


oops . . . morgellons
posted by augustweed at 9:35 PM on November 18, 2007


BURN THEM
posted by dhammond at 10:15 PM on November 18, 2007


elaborate senior prank?
posted by samthemander at 10:41 PM on November 18, 2007


Swamp gas.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 11:02 PM on November 18, 2007


I just read a report that the affected students had been exposed to a cloud of Nyodene D. just a few days before experiencing nausea, auditory hallucinations, and deja vu.
posted by mistersquid at 11:15 PM on November 18, 2007


Neutrogena. Dermatologist recommended, terrorist approved. Act before it's too late!
posted by stavrogin at 11:23 PM on November 18, 2007


it's.. it's... education!
posted by blacklite at 11:59 PM on November 18, 2007


Its funny, I've had fits of twitching in my extremities (mostly my fingers) off and on since high school ... and as I recall, it all started during the run-up to a particularly stressful exam. I still get it once in a while when I'm stressed out.

Either that, or I have Parkinson's. If thats the case, I better start gearing up for my Janet Reno/Adolph Hitler impressions. Gotta try to make lemonade outta lemons, people.
posted by Avenger at 2:50 AM on November 19, 2007


I'd chalk it up to raging teenage hormones.

At any rate, it's time to call in the frontier psychiatrist.
posted by SteveInMaine at 3:19 AM on November 19, 2007


Marsh gas reflecting light from Venus off a temperature inversion.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 4:03 AM on November 19, 2007


Ahh yes, mass psychogenic illness. One of the prime causes I think for chronic fatigue syndrome.

A stupid theory mostly propagated by Elaine Showalter's poorly researched and alarmist Hystories.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 4:46 AM on November 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sampling datura is never a good idea.
posted by scruss at 4:55 AM on November 19, 2007


Excellent, an opportunity to mention the Tanzanian Laughing Epidemic of 1962.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 5:22 AM on November 19, 2007


"but it appears the twitching could be the result of a mass psychogenic illness."

As opposed to what?
posted by Eideteker at 5:41 AM on November 19, 2007


game warden, While reading about the Tanzanian Laughing Epidemic I noticed that I kept . . . smiling. Seeing the word "laughter" and "laugh attack" over and over again started to make me, well, laugh.

Damn your eyes.
posted by mistersquid at 6:40 AM on November 19, 2007


Is there no possibility it could be a giant prank done by the students?
posted by Jess the Mess at 6:55 AM on November 19, 2007


I misread the title as "Miss Psychogenic High School", and I dove in, anticipating a lot of different things that this post was not.
posted by sidereal at 8:34 AM on November 19, 2007


Here's video of one of the twitchers:
Links from video titled "William Byrd Twitching Case":
posted by PHINC at 9:01 AM on November 19, 2007


Roanoke. Hmpf. Maybe they're being haunted by the ghost of Jerry Fallwell.
posted by pax digita at 9:18 AM on November 19, 2007


Looks fake.
posted by rusty at 12:05 PM on November 19, 2007


« Older Reading Tea Leaves and Campaign Logos...  |  Who would the world elect... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments