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The Vocal Vent

Ventriloquism, Mentalism, Magic and More!

The Vocal Vent

Ventriloquism, Mentalism, Magic and More!

Do Ventriloquists Suffer From Schizophrenia?


Schizophrenia is a real disorder which twists the way someone thinks, or perceives reality.  It is a serious disorder that is disabling and crippling unless controlled by proper treatment.  Schizophrenia is a real mental illness.  It is not a split, or multiple personality but a type of psychosis.  The person cannot tell what is real and what is imaginary.  This is a serious and chronic disease that a person suffers from.

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So why I am writing about schizophrenia in a site about ventriloquism?  Well, did you know that some believe that ventriloquists suffer some sort of schizophrenia? Without diminishing those who suffer from the disease, those who practice the art of ventriloquism are said to suffer from spontaneous schizophrenia.

Are Ventriloquists Crazy?

In many scary ventriloquism shows and movies, the ventriloquist is portrayed as a crazy, deranged, schizophrenic psycho who is usually tormented by the dummy.  The Twilight Zone has one of such episodes.  In this episode, Cliff Robertson plays a ventriloquist who has a possessed dummy who torments him constantly.  Robertson’s character is suffering from schizophrenia and end ups completely losing his mind and at the end, he becomes the dummy.  The dummy has taken over his mind, body, and reality.

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Ventriloquists have always been portrayed as deranged.  If we look at the history of ventriloquism we learn that ventriloquists were necromancers; they would pretend to talk to the dead.  By the 18th century, many thought that ventriloquists were witches and in cahoots with the devil himself.  There was even a formal scientific investigation launched in France to figure out this art.  After scientists figured out that there was nothing magical about ventriloquists, ventriloquism flourished and took off in Europe and in America.

Do Ventriloquists Have a Split Personality?

But what about the claim that ventriloquists suffer from schizophrenia?  Spontaneous schizophrenia occurs because the ventriloquist’s brain is working as two individuals:  himself and the dummy.  And believe it or not, almost every ventriloquist will admit that the dummy will say something that the ventriloquist did not anticipate and the ventriloquist will have to engage with what the dummy said.

Pretty freaky stuff, huh?

If you want to learn more about this topic check out these movies!

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