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Hair Raising Frights

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As a general rulo unscientiíic opinions on a scientific subject are of but little valué to the student and the tor. Yet to be permitted to ask such questions appears to relieve one to a I tain extent, even though the answer be far from satisfactory. There is a variety of opinions among the authorities.concerning the subject of the hair "standing on end" in time of extreme fright, some of which are tenable and altogether probable, others ridictilous in the extreme. The notion, if notion it be, that the hair occasionally raises and lif ts the hat is of extreme antiquity. In the oldest book in the Bible Uob iv, 14-15) I find the followiug: "Fear came upon me and trembling, which made all my bones to shake. Then a spirit passed bef ore my face. The hair of my flesh stood up. ' ' Do yoti remember what Virgil says about his hero in the celebrated vox f aucibus hoeset passage? I read from Couiugton's translation: While thus in agony I pressed From house to house the endless quest, The pale, sad specter of my wife Confronts me larger than in life. I stood appalled, my hair erect. And fear my tongue tied utlerances cliecked. Macbeth relates his experience as follows: Why do I yield to that suffgestion Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair? And again in Hamlet we read: I could a tale unfold whose lightest words Wonld harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood, Make thy two eyea, like stars, start from their spheres, Thy knotted and combined locks to part And each particular hair to stand on end, Like quills upon the fretful porcupine. Similar instances of "hair raising" being ruentioned in literature could be multiplied, but the above are sufficient, even without scientific corroboration, tb prove that the phenomenon is nota freak of the imagination. One of the authorities bef ore me gives this opinión: "Plainly stated, the hair raising notion is without a substantial basis. In short, the sensation is only an imaginary one." Hildreth says, "In such cases the hair actually stands erect, a result of a sudden contraction of the f ollicles. ' ' Wilson's "Normal Condition of the Hair and Skin" says, "The phenomena of hair standing erect in cases of extreme terror cannot satisfactorily be


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