Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mysteries Among Us #7

Welcome back to "Mysteries Among Us." In this feature, we share mysteries that intrigue us. They could be mysteries in the national news, in our own communities, even in our own families. Or they could be mysteries from the past that continue to haunt us. Mysteries are everywhere! Maybe some of what we've found will spark ideas for fictional mysteries. We'd love to know what mysteries fascinate you too!

Kristen Kittscher: I can't help but be puzzled by the mysterious illness that suddenly overcame 12 teenage girls at LeRoy High School near Buffalo, NY this past fall. Almost overnight the girls began having sudden, uncontrollable painful jerking, twitching, and speech problems that resembled Tourette's Syndrome. The symptoms were so devastatingly severe for one girl that she has yet to return to school. School authorities maintain there are no environmental causes of the girls' illness. Distraught by the lack of explanation for the girls' symptoms, the girls' parents have taken to the airwaves to publicize the strange case. Several doctors are convinced the girls' disease is a case of "mass psychogenic illness," which is a collective social delusion most often suffered by women, especially adolescent girls. Sufferers from mass psychogenic disorders  have very real and tragic symptoms that nonetheless have no physical cause. Rather, stress or excitement unconsciously leads them to mimic one another's ailments. The dancing manias chronicled in the Middle Ages, such as St. John's Dance, as well as the many cases of nuns' "demonic possession" from the 1400 - 1800s are examples of other alleged instances of mass psychogenic illness. Of course, the mystery lover in me can't help but smell a cover-up somewhere here . . .

L.R. Giles: Recently, I was reminded of one of the most sensationalized mysteries of the last century. A murder with a nickname so familiar that even if you don't know any of the surrounding details, the mere mention will likely ring a bell. The Black Dahlia. Elizabeth Short was the victim's true name, and her death became Hollywood lore. The mystery has been the subject of books, movies, and TV, bringing the young girl fame in the worst way possible. As well known as Elizabeth became, her killer remained anonymous. That's the worst part of all.

Laura Ellen: I've said it before --I love mysteries that suround the unknown, especially when it comes to discovering living things we didn't know existed. There are so many stories out there of such things -- Big Foot, the Loch Ness Monster, aliens from other planets -- but no one has been able to answer definitively if those things exist. Recently, however, twelve species of fish never before documented were found off the coast of Bali. You can read about it here:
 This discovery just reaffirms my belief that we don't know everything there is to know about our world -- and there are still Mysteries Among Us to discover -- we just have to look!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...