News outlet Oregon Live has reported that a hospital in Coos Bay, Oregon was placed under quarantine after an unexplained outbreak of mysterious mass hallucinations. The outbreak was discovered when emergency personnel came to assist an assisted-living caregiver who called 911 early in the morning hours of October 12th. The caregiver claimed she had become alarmed after seven or eight people began attempting to tear the roof off of her car. Police arrived, declared the scene normal, and left.

Zombies would have been much cooler.

The next morning, the caregiver once again called police, this time claiming the exact same thing was happening. At this point, police began to suspect the woman might be psychotic and sent two deputies to escort her to a mental health professional. That’s when things got weird. The deputies reported that shortly after arriving, they began to feel strange sensations of euphoria and became light-headed. An elderly woman in the care of the seemingly-crazed caregiver then began speaking nonsense and acting erratically. Luckily, the deputies realized something was afoot and were able to gain enough composure to call for back-up. A hazmat team was dispatched to the house and all four stricken individuals were taken to a separate nearby hospital.

Coos County emergency personnel arrive at the hospital.

The hospital ward treating the four hallucinatory victims was placed under quarantine until a cause for the mystery illness is found. The original hypothesis was that the hallucinations were caused by fentanyl patches worn by the elderly woman since all four victims had close contact with the patches.

Mass hallucinations are thought to be one of the instigating factors in the deadly Salem Witch Trials.

Fentanyl is a powerful opioid narcotic that can cause confusion, dizziness, nervousness, hallucinations, and anxiety and was concluded to be the cause of legendary musician Prince’s death in 2016. Due to its rapid onset and similar effects, the fentanyl patches were an obvious cause for the mass hallucinations. However, all of the patches were accounted for in the resulting investigation and Coos County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Patrick Downing reported that police have ruled out the drug as the cause of the unexplained mass hallucinations:

Investigation has found that all those patches and potential medications that may have caused the symptoms have been accounted for. No source of the contamination has been found. The vehicles, equipment and uniforms have been checked with no contaminates identified or located on or about them.

Could this mass sociogenic illness be related to this month’s supermoon, which is believed to have strange, unexplained effects on people and animals alike? Some sources have speculated that this might just be another case of Folie à deux, a mysterious phenomenon in which hallucinations or delusions can be transmitted from person to person.

Beatlemania is thought by some to be an example of foile a deux, or mass sociogenic illness.

Me, I’m going with demonic possession as the dark denizens of the underworld prepare for Halloween. As of now though, police are still investigating the case, leaving the cause of this strange outbreak a mystery.

Brett Tingley

Brett Tingley is a writer and musician living in the ancient Appalachian mountains.

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