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The Flogsta Scream – Screaming into the Night to Relieve Stress

For decades, students living in the Flogsta neighborhood of Uppsala, in Sweden, have been engaging in a unique tradition that has come to be known around the world as the “Flogsta Scream”. Every night, at 10 pm, they open their dorm room windows and scream out into the night as a way to relieve stress.

In most parts of the world, walking down the street at night and suddenly hearing human screams from the surrounding buildings would send cold shivers down your spine, but in the Swedish city of Uppsala, it’s just a part of daily life. Students attending Uppsala University have been practicing the Flogsta Scream since the 1970s, so everyone is well used to it by now. It’s become a campus tradition, and today universities actually remind students where and when they should scream.

Photo: NunoSantos/Pixabay

No one knows exactly how the Flogsta Scream began, but according to Swedish archivist it actually began at the University of Lund, sometime in the 1970s. Apparently, some of the students there saw a documentary about primal screams and decided to use them as a way of relieving stress before exams. The tradition caught on and was eventually adopted by students at the University of Uppsala living in dorms in the city’s Flogsta neighborhood.

 

VICE Magazine reports that the  Flogsta Scream remained a popular tradition throughout the 80’s, but eventually died out until 2006, when a couple of students hosting a radio show on the Uppsala student radio decided to bring it back to break a world record. The tradition caught out once again, and has remained popular to this day, thanks in no small part to the university constantly reminding students when and where they should scream, as well as local newspapers dedicating one or two pages to the tradition ahead of every school year.

 

“The scream can be heard every evening at 22:00 on Sernanders väg in Flogsta, from the windows of students who feel the need to let off some steam,” the Uppsala University website states. “At 22:00 precisely the windows open and the screaming begins. Decibel measurements have been done, as well as film and sound recordings of the phenomenon. The Flogsta scream has become a tradition, an attraction and a much needed safety valve for all those who feel that a cry of angst can work wonders for handling the stress and demands of student life.”

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