Not every story can put the entire country into fear, but the story of Koro thrown the whole of African men into a panic. The thefts were blamed on sorcerers.
Koro is a delusion story in which people believe that their genitals are shrinking or have been completely stolen. It has overtaken entire towns and villages in several African countries, where whole groups of people claim that their pen!ses are shrinking.
They will often attach rope or metal clamps to their manhood to extend them safely outside the body until a shaman can be found. The thefts are often blamed on wizards.
In 2008, rumors began in Congo that people with gold rings in public taxies are pen!s theft that performed spells on their fellow passengers. It became the talk of local radio stations. But the Koro panic itself was not the problem; it was the public reaction.
Congolese police were forced to arrest 13 suspected pen!s wizards and 14 alleged victims after the victims attacked the wizards as mafia.
It was probably a sensible precaution. In a series of events in Ghana in the 1990s, 12 reportedly manhood robbers were beaten to death by crowds.
In Nigeria, twelve people were killed in 2001 and five in Benin in the same year.
The Congolese police chief explained his frustration and said: “If you try to tell the victims that their manhoods are still there, they will tell you that it has become small or that they have become impotent. Then I say, ‘How do you know if you didn’t go home and try?’”