Jerusalem Syndrome: The Madness That Grips Foreigners On The streets Of The Holy City

The London Daily Telegraph reports: An Irish schoolteacher who came to a Jerusalem hospital convinced she was about to give birth to the Baby Jesus when in fact she was not even pregnant.

A Canadian tourist who believed he was the Biblical strongman Sampson and tried to tear stone blocks out of the Wailing Wall.

An Austrian man who flew into a rage in his hotel kitchen when staff refused to prepare the the Last Supper for him.

These are just a few examples of what has come to be known as the Jerusalem Syndrome: a well-documented phenomenon where foreign visitors suffer psychotic delusions that they are figures from the Bible or harbingers of the End of Days.

Israel’s health ministry records around 50 cases a year where a tourist’s delusions are so strong that police or mental health professionals are forced to intervene. Many more incidents go undocumented on the streets of Jerusalem’s Old City.

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