A school in northern Malaysia has been forced to close amid claims of screams and sightings of a black figure.
Local media has called the case “mass hysteria”, which began a week ago after teachers at the SKM Pengkalan Chepa 2 reported supernatural experiences.
The school, located in the city of Kota Bharu, was closed on Thursday following three attacks of hysteria.
Principla Siti Hawa Mat said all the victims had described the same black figure and by Wednesday, 50 pupils suffered attacks along with 11 teachers.
Several students said they had seen the ghostly figure in the canteen, the hall and classrooms, reported the Straits Times.
The school, Kelantan which has 1,044 students and 84 teachers, re-opened on Sunday after authorities brought in Islamic traditional experts, scholars and witch doctors in a bid to rid the school of the problem.
But reports of the screaming and shouting continued, according to Free Malaysia Today.
Norlailawati Ramli, a teacher at the school told local news channel Astro Awani: “When I was holding one of the pupils, my arms felt extraordinarily heavy.
“I recited the Istighfar [seeking forgiveness from Allah]. Things were truly out of control at the time. But after the pupil recovered and went home, I then felt as though someone was hanging on to the left side of my body. I saw flashes of black, like a black figure,” she added.
Another teacher, Kamariah Ibrahim, she said she tried to recite verses from the Qur’an when she realised that she was losing control of herself.
“I saw a black figure, like it was trying to enter my body, but my colleagues were surrounding me, reciting verses from the Qur’an. I felt like my head was bloated, I felt numb and tears kept pouring down my face,” she was quoted as saying. “I silently recited the Ayatul Kursi [a verse from the Qur’an], over and over again, then my head began to feel lighter after about an hour.”
In 2012, the World Health Organisation said an outburst of poisoning at girls’ schools in Afghanistan was more likely to be mass hysteria, as opposed to a Taliban plot.
The Tangangyika laughter epidemic of 1962 was put down to an outbreak of mass hysteria. The continuous laughter ended with the closure of the school, but schools in neighbouring villages were reportedly affected, which eventually stopped months after it began.
Students in the Philippines claimed to be possessed by evil spirits at a high school in 2013, where classes were also suspended.
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