The mass hysteria at SMK Pengkalan Chepa II in Kelantan has erupted again.
More than 30 female and several male students were stuck by the “body possession” phenomenon yesterday (4th May, Wesneday), causing the school to close early.
According to The Star Online, quoting a Form Two student identified as Mat, the hysteria occurred after the first break in the morning at about 10am when several students including his classmates started screaming and shouting.
“This hysteria is much worse than the last one. I saw my classmate was screaming at the top of her voice and was aggressive..it’s much scarier than the last one I saw. The affected students were immediately brought to the school’s infirmary with the help of civil defence personnel to ensure that our classes were not disrupted,” he said.
The school enlisted the help of 2 Civil Defence ambulances to take the students to the nearest government clinic. After which, about 1,000 students were allowed to leave school early after many were screaming and yelling for no apparent reasons.
Just last month, it was reported that several schools in Kelantan suffered from hysterical attacks, with 50 female students and teachers of SMK Pengkalan Chepa II struck by hysteria. At that time, one teacher told local news channel Astro Awani that she felt a “heavy” presence was hanging on to her, while another claimed that a “black figure” was attempting to enter her body.
This was supported by a photo which depicted a “black figure”, supposedly spotted at the grounds of one of the schools, that went viral on social media:
— Philip Golingai (@PhilipGolingai) April 18, 2016
A senior staff member from the school later told BBC, “Our students were possessed and disturbed (by these spirits). We are not sure why it happened. We don’t know what it is that affected us. But the place is a bit old, and these children can be disobedient and sometimes throw their rubbish around the school grounds. Perhaps they hit some ‘djinns’ and offended the spirits.”
School authorities shut the school down and called in experts i.e. “bomohs” (witch doctors) to do prayer sessions and exorcisms. The news made international headlines, with outlets such as BBC and Vice covering the incident extensively.
Meanwhile, American-born sociologist Dr Robert Bartholomew, who has conducted extensive research on mass hysteria in Malaysia, explained that the incidents were a psychological phenomenon caused by stress and anxiety. He said that the real trigger of the mass hysteria attacks was the photo of the “black figure” as it contributed to people’s anxiety.