If I were a ghost, I’d find a better place to haunt!
Thousands of workers at a factory in Bangladesh stopped working and rioted earlier this week, demanding that a ghost be removed from their building. It all began when a female worker said she felt sick and attributed her condition to “an attack by a ghost” inside a toilet in the women’s washroom. I get the same feeling when I eat Indian food.
News reports state that more than 3,000 frightened workers at a plant in Gazipur protested, with dozens of them vandalizing the factory before the police were called in to use tear gas to bring the situation under control. Similar events have occurred in Bangladesh in recent weeks, with hundreds of workers in the capital of Dhaka and other factory towns complaining of feeling ill with no apparent cause.
Medical authorities concluded that most of these cases were due to mass hysteria, also known as “Mass Sociogenic Illness”. Mass hysteria often begins when individuals under stress convert that stress into physical ailments. My guess would be the stress caused by the appalling working conditions.
What about the ghost in the toilet that sparked the riots?
This case is unusual in that typically mass hysteria’s do not involve ghosts. However, both ghosts and hysterias often begin with unusual or unexplained phenomena. It is only a small step from being concerned about a mysterious, undetectable health menace to being concerned about a mysterious, unseen presence. The belief in ghosts is widespread among the largely Muslim Bangladeshi population, and it is not uncommon for accidents and illnesses to be blamed on evil spirits.
Few claimed they personally encountered the ghost or had anything to do with it. And apparently, the woman herself didn’t claim to actually see the ghost; instead, she said she felt sick and assumed that a ghost was responsible.
Typical ghosts aren’t thought of as spending a lot of time in the bathroom but in the Middle East and Asia, the idea of a ghost or spirit haunting a toilet is not uncommon. Genies and other spirits are said to dwell in many places, including toilets and sewers, and Japanese folklore tells of Hanako-san, a spirit that resides in women’s bathrooms. If I were pervert spirit like Hanako-san, I would think women’s dressing rooms would be the better choice. Whatever floats your boat, I guess?
With that in mind, the factory owners held “special prayers” at the site to remove the ghost. The factory was also shut down for several days to give everyone a chance to calm down. When the building reopens, it is said to likely be ghost free.
So was this woman’s illness caused by a toilet ghost? Or was it caused by some bad Curry Chicken? Let us know what you think. Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, tweet us @WhoForted, or leave a comment below!