The excellent Dark Roasted Blend posted about three very curious examples of mass hysteria, basically collective craziness. Along with the Mad Gasser of Mattoon who we've already met here on BB, the post tells the tale of the Monkey Man of New Delihi and the Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic. From the post about the laughter epidemic:
Things supposedly started innocently enough. Kashasha, near Lake Victoria in Tanzania in 1962: One girl in a boarding school there told another girl a joke. Maybe, "Have you heard the one about?" or "A Jew, an Indian, and Herbert Hoover walk into a bar …" or "Take my wife, please … " Whatever the setup, the delivery, or punch line, the result was laughter. Whether it was a giggle, a guffaw, a chortle, a snort is irrelevant. The listener found it funny.
But then things went dark, weird, and creepy: one girl laughed, but then so did another, and then another, and then another, and then another.
Weirdest Examples of Mass Hysteria (Dark Roasted Blend)