Now here is a really strange story of the demise of an unfortunate woman.
In the 1870’s in the US a woman named Miss Boomershine had what was described as ‘an awkward habit’ of eating clay which she usually, and perhaps unwisely, obtained from the roadside.
Unfortunately for her during that particular summer grasshoppers had swarmed in the local district, laying eggs everywhere as grasshoppers do. Obviously this didn’t deter Miss Boomershine from her clay eating habit, which turned out to be a real pity.
After eating this particular clay her craving for it subsided but other strange behaviours had begun.
She started nibbling on corn, leaves and weeds, things which were, predictably, just the type of things a grasshopper would be partial to. She also claimed she felt she could take wing and fly away.
Eventually the family called a doctor who said, unsurprisingly, he had never seen such a thing and that she must have been having some sort of mental hallucination.
She continued with her desire to fly until the day the grasshoppers had obviously eaten their fill and took to the air. She had a very restless morning watching the grasshoppers through the window then rushed out of the house, flapped her arms, rose about 10 feet in to the air then fell to the ground dead.
The doctor who diagnosed the mental hallucination then examined the body and revealed the fact that ‘within she was swarming with grasshoppers’. The article claims that the insects within poor Miss Boomershine had attempted to migrate with their outerworld brethren causing the strange behaviours and death of the unfortunate girl.
I was happy to go with the mental hallucination part of this article, a poor girl who had a clay-eating disorder (pica) perhaps associating the swarm of grasshoppers with the earthen substance she had eaten and convincing herself that she was being internally overcome by them. A dreadful story but one that I am sure mental health professionals would not be surprised at.
The other parts of the story made me wonder who on earth was reporting this event. Rushing outside, flapping her arms and actually flying for a short while? Her body being filled with grasshoppers? Really? Clearly we are not the only ones suspicious of this unlikely story. The headline is RATHER STRANGE – IF TRUE after all….