The community believes doll with cross marked across face is responsible for the sickness – which has led many to believe they are haunted by evil spirits
A community is in crisis after more than 30 of its villagers have been ‘possessed by the devil ‘ after discovering a voodoo doll.
Residents living in Santa Tomas, close to Waspan, in the south of Nicaragua, are said to be suffering from grisi siknis (translated into English as ‘crazy sickness’).
Grisi siknis is a culture-bound syndrome that most often affects communities in Central America.
The contagious syndrome often exhibits symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, dizziness, irrational anger and fear, as well as periods of ‘rapid frenzy’.
People suffering with grisi siknis also have visions of spirits and demons.
Terrifyingly, each time a person is ‘possessed’, they name the next victim of the disease.
One woman who lives in the community, known as Marisella, has attempted to help her neighbours by creating homemade remedies to ‘cure’ the syndrome.
She creates medicines, which are poured across the back of the affected villager in the hope that it will ward off the evil spirits.
After investigating the disease further, Marisella said she believes that she has found the cause – a small voodoo doll.
Speaking to Central America media, she said: “A doll with black ribbon and a cross marked on its face [has been found in a street].
“It suggests that it’s affected by dark spells and bad influences. A type of bad spirit.”
The villagers have now decided to burn the doll.