Hypnotized (1897)

Throughout human history, there has been one universal truth: humans get bored. And boredom causes us to break away from watching grass grow and come with something that’s actually fun. So, if people have always suffered from boredom, what did West Boylston residents do for fun 120 years ago?

Hypnotized, news article

They got hypnotized. Mary Cook, writer of West Boylston blurbs for the Telegram & Gazette and preserver of history, tells us about an event from December 18th, 1897 in which a hypnotist, Prof. J.A. Ward, came from Boston to show off his skills to an eager audience. Mary Cook tells us that the hypnotized men did incredibly unusual things: they played ball and ascended in a hot air balloon without the aid of a ball or hot air balloon. The results must have been hilarious. The blurb also mentions how Professor Ward’s associate, E.J. Clemens, was made to sit motionless in the window of a local shop for an entire day.

Thanks to Mary Cook, we have a record of the type of entertainment brought to West Boylston at this time.