Jerusalem Syndrome

Scottish artist Nathan Coley has contributed a film short to a major Scottish exhibition on Jerusalem syndrome, a “travel psychosis” affecting up to 20 people annually, wherein tourists to the Holy City become convinced they are biblical characters and begin preaching, ordering preparations for the last supper, or in one case, travel to the hospital to prevent the miscarriage of the new baby Jesus. Almost all cases of the syndrome are in Christian or Jewish patients, and most doctors agree that the patients had preexisting mental illnesses that led them to “enact their dramas” in Jerusalem.