People from a village in Kazakhstan who have been plagued by a nightmare sleeping illness which doctors and scientists have failed to explain, have reported a worsening of their condition recently with new symptoms including; increased sexual appetite, hallucinations, and personality changes.
The villagers who sometimes sleep for days at a time were recently being monitored by government officials who were attempting to find out the cause of the illness. But since investigations begun the symptoms have taken an even scarier turn.
Hallucinations of monsters and disfigurements, outbursts of swearing and cravings for sex now also plague the sleepy village.
One woman told MailOnline: “‘The doctors laugh and the nurses blush when they see our men.
“Other women were saying the same. As soon as men were recovering after waking, they needed sex right there and then, and this feeling lasted for at least a month.”
After years of research and tests Tomsk Polytechnic University’s scientists ruled out a mystery illness caused by a virus or bacteria and instead concentrated on environmental factors.
Professor Leonid Rikhvanov from the Department of Geo-ecology and Geo-chemistry said: “We eliminated viral and bacterial infections but also obtained test results that ruled out the possibility of radiation sickness too.
“We also failed to find any evidence that toxic chemicals were buried in the area as many locals claimed.”
Experts finally concluded the former local mines were to blame as the village was built near to former Soviet-era uranium mines now abandoned.
Although they had not left dangerous radiation levels, the legacy remains.
Prof Rikhvanov said: “The mines left open spaces underground which were slowly filled with water that has risen upwards, driving pockets of gas inside them to the surface.
“The gas has a toxic effect that pushes a person into a dream like state, and the person then falls asleep.”
Medical expert Doctor Egor Korovin who examined some of the sufferers said: “In medical terms they are suffering from encephalopathy, a disorder of the brain but the cause is unclear.
“Scans have shown that many of the sufferers have excessive accumulation of fluid in their brains.”
Other villagers describe the effects as turning loved ones into zombies.
Igor Samusenko, 43, another local man, whose son suffers from the condition, said: “He runs around and then he gets inert, starts staggering.
“When he turns his head his eyes stay fixed at what he was looking at. If you try to wake him it seems the wants to open his eyes but can’t.
“Sleepy valley, sleepy hollow, that’s what people call us.”