Tickled To Death?


First Post
This may sound very strange but can a characther died from tickling? For example, If the victim is immobilized by a torture rack and the torturer tickle the victim feet with a feather.

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I suggest this article:


My questions are: (a) Why are some people ticklish and others not? (b) Is it true the Chinese used tickling as torture? (c) Can you actually tickle someone to death? (d) If so, how would death result? --W.L.M., Chicago
Dear W.:

Precious little serious research has been done on this topic, W., meaning that the following is going to consist of about 1 part fact to 20 parts harebrained speculation. So what else is new?

The physical mechanism of tickling is not well understood (it's thought to be associated with the sense of pressure in some way). Nor is it known why some people are more ticklish than others.

Nonetheless, it's clear that tickling is no mere idle diversion. Rather, it's a profoundly ambiguous act fraught with numerous mundo bizarro psychosexual implications. No jive.

Consider, for instance, that you cannot tickle yourself. According to Darwin, this is because "the precise point to be tickled must not be known," lest some sort of mental tickle-canceling mechanism be automatically invoked.

From this we deduce not only that it takes two to tickle, but that the tickling sensation is associated with a loss of control over the relationship.

Furthermore, consider the fine line between pleasure and pain that tickling entails. You entertain babies by tickling them, but your girlfriend is making you suffer by causing you to enjoy yourself (i.e., laugh) too much.

Can you literally be tickled to death? Maybe. According to researcher Joost Meerloo, who wrote a monograph on laughter some years ago, it's possible to die laughing.

Epidemics of laughing, a type of mass hysteria, have been noted since the Middle Ages, and similar episodes are occasionally reported in the medical literature today. For instance, 1,000 people in Tanganyika suffered a mass laughing fit lasting several days in 1963.

Most of the victims of laughing fits recover. But some die from a combination of starvation and exhaustion. You can't eat or sleep while laughing, and we all know if you try to drink it just sprays out your nose.

As for being tickled to death, Meerloo offers a possibly apocryphal story about a sadistic method of torture devised by the Romans (and for all I know, used by the Chinese as well).

The victim is strapped to a scaffold and his feet are dipped in a salt solution. Then a goat, attracted by the salt, licks the victim's feet with its raspy tongue. This drives the poor sap nuts with laughter and gradually abrades away the skin at the same time.

The feet are then recoated with salt and the process resumes. Finally the victim, having suffered unimaginable agonies, dies horribly.

However, according to Meerloo, the more important meaning of being "tickled to death" is not real death but metaphorical death--i.e., sexual surrender.

[part edited out. had to do with sex.]


Nuclear Platypus

First Post
I'm pretty sure it was those "Strange But True Facts" type books but I could've sworn there was some culture that was humane in their executions since they tickled the prisoner to death (by asphixiation).

I'm A Banana

I like the idea of massive fits of laughter that rip through a community....

And I imagine that because laughing makes your breathing all screwed up funny, you could probably pass out, or perhaps get a bit overloaded on soemthing...

So now I have this idea of a laughing disease.......hmmmm..... :]


First Post
In one of our Deadlands games, a PC was spanked to death by his own midget.

The midget was being mentally controlled by Fungi from Yuggoth.

It was just all-around ugly.


First Post
Gospog said:
In one of our Deadlands games, a PC was spanked to death by his own midget.

The midget was being mentally controlled by Fungi from Yuggoth.

It was just all-around ugly.

This post is arguably the most disturbing thing I've read this weekend. :eek:

Mystery Man

First Post
You can die laughing

9 people who died laughing.


I've seen number 8, and yes it is funny but its not that funny. :D

Echyyyyyyyy THUMP!!!

Oh, and for those of you who may not be able to get to the site for various reasons...

1. CALCHAS (Greek soothsayer, c. 12th century BC)

Calchas, the wisest soothsayer of Greece during the Trojan War, advised the construction of the notorious wooden horse. One day he was planting grapevines when a fellow soothsayer wandered by and foretold that Calchas would never drink the wine produced from the grapes. After the grapes ripened, wine was made from them, and Calchas invited the soothsayer to share it with him. As Calchas held a cup of the wine in his hand, the soothsayer repeated the prophecy. This incited such a fit of laughter in Calchas that he choked and died. Another version of Calchas' death states that he died of grief after losing a soothsaying match in which he failed to predict correctly the number of piglets that a pig was about to give birth to.

2. ZEUXIS (Greek painter, 5th century BC)

It is said that Zeuxis was laughing at a painting of an old woman that he had just completed when his breathing failed and he choked to death.

3. PHILEMON (Greek poet, c.236-263)

This writer of comedies became so engulfed in laughter over a jest he had made that he died laughing.

4. CHRYSIPPUS (Greek philosopher, 3rd century BC)

Chrysippus is said to have died from a fit of laughter on seeing a donkey eat some figs.

5. PIETRO ARETINO (Italian author, 1492-1556)

Aretino was laughing at a bawdy story being told to him by his sister when he fell backwards in his chair and died of apoplexy.

6. THOMAS URQUHART (Scottish writer and translator, 1611-60)

Best known for his translation into English of Rabelais' Gargantua, the eccentric Sir Thomas Urquhart is said to have died laughing upon hearing of the restoration to the throne of Charles II.

7. MRS FITZHERBERT (English widow, d.1782)

On a Wednesday evening in April 1782, Mrs Fitzherbert of Northamptonshire went to Drury Lane Theatre with friends to see The Beggar's Opera. When the popular actor Mr Bannister made his first appearance, dressed outlandishly in the role of `Polly', the entire audience was thrown into uproarious laughter. Unfortunately, Mrs Fitzherbert was unable to suppress the laugh that seized her, and she was forced to leave the theatre before the end of the second act. As the Gentleman's Magazine reported the following week: `Not being able to banish the figure from her memory, she was thrown into hysterics, which continued without intermission until she expired on Friday morning.'

8. ALEX MITCHELL (English bricklayer, 1925-75)

Mr and Mrs Mitchell of Brockley Green, Fairstead Estate, King's Lynn, were watching their favourite TV comedy, The Goodies. During a scene about a new type of self-defence called `Ecky Thump', Mr Mitchell was seized by uncontrolled laughter. After half an hour of unrestrained mirth, he suffered a heart attack and died. His wife, Nessie, wrote to The Goodies thanking them for making her husband's last moments so happy.

9. OLE BENTZEN (Danish physician, d.1989)

An audiologist who specialised in developing hearing aids for underdeveloped countries, Bentzen went to see the film A Fish Called Wanda. During a scene featuring John Cleese, Bentzen began laughing so hard that his heartbeat accelerated to a rate of between 250 and 500 beats a minute and he was seized by a heart attack and died.
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First Post
Mystery Man said:
4. CHRYSIPPUS (Greek philosopher, 3rd century BC)

Chrysippus is said to have died from a fit of laughter on seeing a donkey eat some figs.
Ancient Greeks must have been pretty hard up for entertainment.

Mystery Man

First Post
Tewligan said:
Ancient Greeks must have been pretty hard up for entertainment.

I dunno, I laughed so hard I almost passed out when my dog tried to eat a peanut butter sandwhich.

It must be pretty funny, maybe they're sticky or something.

Mystery Man said:
See, that sort of thing just invites tickling. You're lucky this is the internet! :p
Tickling also invites a violent reaction on my part. If you tickle me, it's at your own risk. I'm a tall girl with long legs capable of kicking *really* hard.

So - if I were being tickled to death - it would require amazing restraints to keep me still... it'd be one of those "amazing feats of strength" on my part... like if my baby were trapped under a car wheel... except with more tickling and less baby.

:uhoh: I don't know if that made any sense...


First Post
Yes...people try to tickle me-people die. I HATE to be tickled. Many an ex-gf was surprised to find out I'd leave or send them home if they didn't stop when I asked.

Epic Threats

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