The Science of Being Scared to Death

‘Death by fright is a phenomenon that was first documented by anthropologists in societies that had strong taboos and a belief in hexes. Individuals who had been cursed or broken a taboo would become so distraught that they would drop dead. When physiologist Walter Cannon brought it to the attention of the medical community, he termed it “voodoo death”—a name that has stuck. “It is a fatal power of the imagination working through unmitigated terror,” Cannon wrote. Of course, the real cause of voodoo death (or psychogenic death, the name I’ll stick with) is a bit more scientific than that. To get an expert to explain things, I called Gregory Davis, a forensic pathologist of 22 years and a chief medical examiner in Alabama…’

Source: Motherboard