Chalkboard Erasers from the Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic


The Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic of 1962


Chalkboard Erasers


Causes fits of uncontrollable laughter


Effects are extremely contagious


Clapping erasers together

Collected by

Vanessa Calder



Date of Collection

March 19, 1973



The Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic was an unusual series of fits of uncontrollable laughter. It occurred in Tanganyika, now modern day Tanzania, at a missionary-run English boarding school for girls. Throughout the school girls would have uncontrollable bouts of laughter, being unable to stop. Eventually it was decided that the girls could not continue their studies and were sent home. However, the laughter infection soon spread towards their families and neighbors. The total count of people effected were around one thousand.

After a thorough analysis of water, food, physical health, and psychological well-being, it was decided that the incident was due to mass hysteria. The social pressures surrounding the girls and the nation at the time, (the end of segregation, being away from their families, culture shock from Western education), caused the girls and their families to have a lot of bottled anxiety. It is suggested that the release of laughter was a way for the body to rid itself of the stress.


After the erasers have been clapped, those in the surrounding area will feel their anxiety and stress turn into laughter. The more stress one has the more violent the laughter will be. Those affected will be unable to stop until their built-up stress has been released. The effect of this artifact is extremely contagious, affecting all those who hear the clapping of the erasers or the laughter of those affected. The laughter must either be allowed to die out or the erasers must be neutralized to stop the effects.


Vanessa collected these from a CDC sourced call from Africa. After hearing of another village suffering from the same symptoms as those in the Tanganyika epidemic she was off to investigate. Using an artifact that caused temporary deafness she was able to navigate the scene without being affected. She later discovered that another missionary school had sprung up in the community. After neutralizing every object on the scene she hit pay dirt with the erasers.

Artifact MathEdit

When the dust from Aldrich Ames' Chalk is clapped from the erasers the resulting dust will cause those that are trying to hide something to bust out laughing. The laughter will only subside when the truth is revealed. While it definitely has merit during an interrogation, whether or not it defies the Geneva Convention's prohibition against torture is unknown.

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