The Production of Warts by Suggestion

Back in 1981, Dr. Melvin Gravitz (a doctor at George Washington University Medical School) published an article in the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis in which he noted that it's possible not only to cure warts by hypnotic treatment (sometimes) but also to produce warts by suggestion as well.

Gravitz wasn't actually doing this himself, but he reported that back in the early 20th century (and presumably earlier as well) creating warts was a popular pasttime among girls in the Swiss canton of Vaud:

Charles Baudouin, a contemporary Swiss, noted that the canton or province of Vaud, in which Lausanne is located, was well known for its large number of lay wart healers. It was also possible for a patient to employ a prescription for the treatment of warts without consulting one of these folk healers. "In these cases, autosuggestion is seen in all its beauty. Prescriptions pass from village to village and 
hamlet to hamlet. Some of them are incredibly quaint. For example, to cause 
warts, the subject goes out one evening, moistens the tip of the finger, looks 
at a star, and simultaneously applies the
 wet finger-tip to the other hand. The operation is repeated, the finger being freshly moistened with saliva each time, while the subject counts, 'one, two, three . . .' up to the number of warts desired. Now, wherever the moistened finger-tip has been applied, a wart duly appears."

He noted that such practices were a form of amusement among the Vaudois girls who derived pleasure from passing their own warts on to someone else. "A ribbon is tied around the affected hand, and is knotted as many times as there are warts on the hand; then the ribbon is dropped on the highway. Whoever picks it up and unties the knots, will get the warts, and the original owner of the warts will be cured."
     Posted By: Alex - Mon Jun 06, 2016
     Category: Science | Psychology | Skin and Skin Conditions

Interesting. As a boy, I had warts all over one hand. I was taken to a dermatologist who was working on an ecxperimental remedy. He applied distilled poison ivy to my hip bone, then a week later applied it to the warts. His theory was that my immune system would think the warts were causing the allergic reaction. He didn't apply the poison ivy to all of the warts, reasoning that only a few needed annointing for the body to evict the lot of them. It worked like a charm, and the warts were gone within a few days.

Now I wonder if it was a placebo...
Posted by Douglas Adams on 06/06/16 at 11:53 AM
I should also mention that I still get warts every once in a while, but they only last about a week before disappearing.
Posted by Douglas Adams on 06/06/16 at 11:56 AM
I have had a few warts here and there, a plantar and a few on my forearms. No blood covered coins or dead cats were employed in their treatment.

The virus that causes warts is common in the environment.
Posted by KDP on 06/06/16 at 02:26 PM
Why would you want to cause warts on purpose even if you could??
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 06/06/16 at 11:37 PM
@Patty Might be good for Halloween dress up, or to chase off unwanted advances.
Posted by GFinKS on 06/07/16 at 10:05 AM
Patty, you must have missed the statement that "...such practices were a form of amusement among the Vaudois girls who derived pleasure from passing their own warts on to someone else."
Posted by Virtual on 06/07/16 at 06:53 PM
Still senseless and gross!
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 06/07/16 at 07:05 PM
But surely you must remember, Patty, that teenaged girls are the most cruel creatures under the sun?
Posted by Richard Bos on 06/09/16 at 10:10 AM
Oh yes Richard, I remember very well. High school was a nightmare, but even in grade school the cruelty of other children was memorable.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 06/09/16 at 11:24 AM
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