There is a popular belief that scaring a hiccuping person would cure the hiccups:

  • This Straw Is Designed to Instantly Cure Hiccups

    Lots of folks will try to scare hiccups away with a shock or surprise.

  • Can a Scare Cure the Hiccups?

    The recent death of a Fort Hood U.S. Army soldier in Killeen, Texas, shows that a belief in the folk cure of scaring away hiccups can have tragic effects when taken to the extreme, but does the cure have any basis if administered within reason?

  • 9 Unusual Cures For The Hiccups

    Another remedy was to terrify the person inflicted. Perhaps this one grew out of the fact that many primitive people believed that hiccups were caused by demons entering the person and that the only way to get rid of them was to scare them to death. Sometimes this method actually works.

Is it true?

  • 1
    @Kyralessa: a research saying "we found evidence that it works" or "we didn't find evidence that it works".
    – Quassnoi
    Sep 15, 2023 at 17:08
  • 3
    But how would you experiment on this? You'd need a way to induce hiccups.
    – Kyralessa
    Sep 16, 2023 at 6:47
  • 4
    Startling, not scaring. It causes a tightening up and a sudden intake of breath. More "boo" and less "I see dead people" if that makes sense. Sep 18, 2023 at 13:45
  • 3
    Also, it's not necessary to induce hiccups to test this. You teach groups techniques, ask them to use them as needed, and give them a way to report back if they try it and whether it worked, It would be a slow experiment (months or years) and not super accurate, but you could do it. The reason people haven't is that hiccups isn't medically important enough to spend money on curing. Sep 18, 2023 at 13:47
  • 4
    @Kyralessa The practicality of inducing hiccups seems rather irrelevant - it's not like doctors go around inducing cancer in order to conduct cancer research. You can study a phenotype without specifically inducing it, the only problem is that your data is limited to the natural rate of incidence. Medical phenomena far more rare and serious than hiccups have been studied in great detail. Sep 18, 2023 at 18:26


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