Supernatural sightings are being blamed by some for a rash of high school girls falling faint and writhing uncontrollably at two schools in Kratie province, local officials said.
Dr Cheam Sa Em, provincial director of the Kratie health department, said nine students from Prek Prasap district’s Chambok High School become faint and writhed on the ground while 10 other female students displayed the same symptoms in Kratie City in incidents that occurred on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Though the principal at one of the schools affected believes the convulsions were brought on by the appearance of a ghost, Dr Sa Em offered a less spooky explanation for the girls’ strange behavior: bad diets.
“The affected students were the same. They are on diets to be slim and only eating two times a day. They are lacking glucose,” he said.
Dr Sa Em said that military police and doctors are investigating the incidents, closely monitoring what the girls are eating and drinking and have ordered the schools’ grounds to be cleaned thoroughly. He added that drugs or poison could also be a possible explanation for the students’ symptoms.
However, Vin Sokheng, principal of Kratie City’s Preah Mohaksatany Kossamak High School, said that he believed the reason for his students falling ill was supernatural.
“When they entered the classroom, they were scared, shouting and then some of them became faint and were writhing on the ground,” Mr Sokheng said of the possession-like symptoms of the teenaged girls studying in 10th through 12th grade.
Teachers at the high school and parents of the students were not taking any chances either and invited local Buddhist monks and pagoda laymen to hold a prayer ceremony at the school on Thursday but two students showed the same symptoms on Friday and the religious figures were invited back to continue their efforts to bring an end to the problem.