After fainting while allegedly playing with a Ouija board at school, 28 Colombian girls were rushed to the hospital.
“There were 28 possible cases of anxiety in school students,” Hugo Torres, the head of the Galeras Educational Institution where it occurred, told the media.
The alarm was raised after the girls reportedly experienced fainting, anxiety, and other symptoms at school. They were then taken to a municipal hospital, accompanied by their parents and school faculty.
The diagnoses of the students have not been released, but many parents blame the in-school use of Ouija boards, a device that uses a sliding pointer to spell out messages obtained from the spirit world and is typically used by a medium during a séance.
Ouija boards, invented in the United States in 1886, have become a fixture in occult lore due to their alleged ability to communicate with the dead.
One mother who works at the hospital where the children were taken reported seeing three or four of them come in after fainting.
“I work here in a hospital kiosk, and every day, three or four children arrive after fainting,” she explained.
“Parents, you must move and investigate what is going on at school because our children cannot remain in this situation.”
“Our children always have a good breakfast,” she added, “and it cannot be said that what is happening is due to a lack of food.”
Torres, on the other hand, has accused community members of inciting hysteria by spreading unfounded rumors.
“Given the reported cases, a series of comments were unleashed on the community that, rather than aiding in the resolution of the situation, created confusion and an unfavorable environment for our work,” he explained.
“The school is waiting for the medical diagnoses to provide more reliable information,” Torres explained, urging the community to refrain from making “early judgments and diagnoses of their own” in the meantime.
Meanwhile, this is not the first time something similar has occurred in Colombia.
Only a few months ago, another group of teenagers collapsed after using a Ouija board, with five of them being taken to the hospital.
It happened at another school, where 11 students, ages 13 to 17, fainted in a hallway and were discovered “short of breath and thick drool was coming out of their mouths,” according to the town’s mayor.