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Hypnotist shocks skeptics

Program Board hosts Eric Kand to hypnotize students during a show. Vanguard Photo Editor | Brooke Elward

Hypnotist Erick Känd put over a doz- en students in a trance when he paid a visit to the Malcolm Field Theatre Wednesday night.

Students came up on stage and sat in a line of chairs. The audience watched as Känd hypnotized each volunteer and made them do things such as play an air guitar, pet their shoe as if it were a puppy, and ride a sports car.

Känd said one hour of hypnosis can provide as much relaxation as 8 hours of sleep.

He said a good candidate for hypnosis is someone with a strong imagination.

Ashlyn Smith is a secondary education junior who serves as a senior event planner with Program Board. She helps organize and execute free programs for students. She said that bringing in a hypnotist was appropriate for Halloween.

Smith said it was a fun event where students could laugh and relax as the semester continues.

“I am looking forward for events to finally be back in-person and be- ing able to do things like this again,” Smith said. “I hope everyone has a great time and laughs off the stress from midterms.”

Smith said that Känd made the show more than just hypnosis.

“Känd adds comedy into it so I think it’s an opportunity for students to let lose a little bit and show vulner- ability and allow themselves to have a fun time,” she said.

Smith also said she was happy events were finally being held in-person and not over Zoom.

“[W]e can finally start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel from these last few hard years,” she said.

Connor Earles is a computer information systems major who attended the event and was hypnotized onstage by Känd.

Earles said that he attended the event with no intention of being selected to go onstage. He said he had little faith in hypnosis working on him.

“I remember going up there and being in the mindset that there’s no way I’m getting hypnotized and that was the last thing I remember,” he said.

“The fact that I don’t remember any of it makes me scared about what people saw tonight,” Earles said. “But, afterwards, tonight, I’m very relaxed. I feel like I’m sinking into the floor I’m so relaxed.”

Earles was also shocked to discover he was onstage for over 45 minutes. “It was as if I was teleported to another part of the stage,” Earles said. Cory Carr is a computer science senior who was also hypnotized by Känd. He said this was his first time being hypnotized and that he remembered absolutely nothing from the experience.

“I never thought that hypnotizing people would actually work, but apparently it did and I would second that time flew,” Carr said. “I was just coming to experience what was go- ing on because I need to go study for a math exam, and then I look at the clock and I realize it’s 9:30 p.m. and I’m like holy crap, I need to go study.”

Carr and Earles both said they had no recollection of the air guitar dance battle they performed onstage, Carr going so far to say that he doesn’t like playing the guitar. Additionally, Carr said he was shocked by some of the things he was hypnotized to believe.

“People were telling me I lost my belly-button; I didn’t think that was possible,” Carr said.

Above all, they both said they were shocked by the power of hypnosis but left the event feeling more relaxed and calmer than ever.

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