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Quebec girls' school regrets hypnotism that left girl in trance

Quebec school says a student was in a four-hour trance and several others were affected by hypnotism session.
Hypnotist 2012 Enlarge
Hypnotherapist and actress Cathy Kay is stretched between chairs after becoming rigid as a board under the hypnotic suggestion of Shelley Stockwell, president and founder of the International Hypnosis Federation & Creativity Institute, at the International Hypnosis Federation''s Mind, Body, Spirit, Fun Conference, July 20, 2001 in Long Beach, CA. (David McNew/Getty Images)

A Quebec private girls' school regrets it did not act more swiftly after a hypnotism demonstration left several students sick and one stuck in a trance.

Quebec's College Sacre-Coeur said the June 7 session by a young hypnotist left one girl in a four-hour trance, five more students in a daze and 13 students feeling nauseous and with headaches, the Associated Press reported. School officials said the hypnotist's mentor had to be called in resolve the problem.

Maxime Nadeau called his mentor and trainer, Richard Whitbread who told the CBC "There were a couple of students who had their heads lying on the table and there were [others] who, you could tell, were in trance," he said. "The eyes were open and there was nobody home."

The Canadian Press reported they school had meant for the end-of-year hypnotism act to entertain students.

“There were fortunately no bad effects,” Principal Daniel Leveille told at a news conference attended by parents and students. “Nevertheless, we believe in retrospect we should have examined this event more closely because of the hypnotic component involved."

Leveille told the AP he didn't realize that people 14 and younger are more susceptible to it and regretted not getting parents' permission.

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