2003 – Khartoum: Foreigners Shake Hands, Make Penises Disappear. “The panic was caused by rumors of foreigners roaming the city and shaking men’s hands, making their penises disappear. The rumors were spread rapidly by text messages on cellular phones, and diverted the public’s attention from a breakthrough in negotiations in Kenya between Sudanese Vice President Ali Othman and SPLA leader John Garang”. “While the majority of accounts involved handshaking, another victim, who refused to give his name, said that while he was at the market, a man approached him, gave him a comb, and asked him to comb his hair. When he did so, within seconds, he said, he felt a strange sensation and discovered that he had lost his penis“.
2009 – Montana: Fears over economy lead to more gun permits. “Gun owners worried that a bad economy could lead to increased violence and suspicious that new stricter gun laws are on the horizon are rushing in record numbers to get concealed weapons permits“. “I do think there are going to be people who have very little, and they are going to decide you have too much and come get it,” said Rochelle Haughton of Billings, who described herself as a middle-aged housewife who likes to bring a gun when she travels on the open highway.
Mass Hysteria: “A socially contagious frenzy of irrational behavior in a group of people as a reaction to an event“. Symptoms include trance-like states, melodramatic acts of rebellion known as histrionics, and what physicians term “psychomotor agitation” (whereby pent-up anxiety built up over a long period results in disruptions to the nerves or neurons that send messages to the muscles, triggering temporary bouts of twitching, spasms, and shaking).