[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
May 1966

Voluntary Propulsion of the Eyeballs: The Double Whammy Syndrome

Arch Intern Med. 1966;117(5):648-651. doi:10.1001/archinte.1966.03870110040008

THE EVIL eye is a form of witchcraft, owing its origin to the presumption that the human eye is capable of operating to the detriment of the recipient of the glance at a distance. Virgil speaks of the evil eye making cattle lean and from its Latin name, fascinum, comes the word fascination. Since that time, every aspect of the evil eye has been a source of fascination.

It is of interest that in Southern European countries, the baleful effect of the evil eye is counteracted by closing the fist, pointing the fist toward the evil eye, and extending upright the index and the little finger. This same symbol of defiance is still used today to mutely describe the more sophisticated scientific attitude toward the whole concept of the evil eye.

In 1928, Ferrer 1 reported a patient who had the ability to dislocate at will either eye separately