Hypnotist Jim Spinnato Captivates WHS Students with Laughs


WHS seniors laugh while hypnotized.

Karalyn Kickham

WHS seniors laugh while hypnotized.

The annual Hypnotist Show is one of Walpole High School’s most popular events. Every year, several members of the senior class volunteer to be put under hypnosis and to be laughed at by their peers for the duration of the night. On November 29, Student Council hosted the show with the return of hypnotist Jim Spinnato.  14 seniors were hypnotized, including Eric Jansen, Nolan Murray, Tom Demarais, David Driscoll, Molly Breen, Hannah Romaine, Becky Chariton, Jen McDonald, Michelle Baldwin, Richie Breen, PJ Hayes, Tom McGourty, Emily Muller, and Sarah Bryce.

Spinnato started the show by inviting any seniors interested in being hypnotized to the front of the auditorium where he tested them to see if they could be hypnotized, and then invited them to the stage.The first act of the night was Spinnato telling the hypnotized volunteers that whenever he said the word “microphone,” they would believe that the person next to them smelled irresistible.  This resulted in Romaine, Chariton, and McDonald on top of each other trying to get more of the scent.  Baldwin and Richie Breen also got close to smell each other, until Spinnato informed them that the smell was now repulsive ,and some students almost left the stage while still under hypnosis to get as far away from the bad scent as they could.

One of the funnier acts of the night was when Spinnato assigned different tasks to the boys and the girls.  Each girl thought her last name was hysterical whenever she tried to say it herself, but whenever Spinnato said her last name she got angry and yelled at him for making it sound weird.  The boys, on the other hand, got emotional while answering questions Spinnato asked them about goals for their futures and college.  Murray began to cry while telling the audience how much he would miss his mom. The stars of the show, Richie Breen and Nolan Murray, were then given instructions to perform different tasks.  Richie Breen was instructed to search for an audience member’s missing dog, Fluffy.  Richie walked around the auditorium screaming “Fluffy!” in a loud high-pitched voice.  He did not stop until Spinnato told him that he found Fluffy. While Richie was searching for Fluffy, Murray was given a water gun that would not squirt when he pointed it at the audience, but sprayed every time he pointed it at his face. Baldwin then believed that she could use “hypnodust” to hypnotize the other volunteers and make them fall asleep.  Next, Spinnato told the volunteers that they were ordering at McDonald’s. One of the funniest orders came from Jen McDonald, who said, “I’ll have a happy meal. With the girl toy.”

One of the most entertatining parts of the show was when Spinnato told the volunteers that they saw the hottest celebrity in the audience, but it was really just a student watching the show.  Chariton got to meet Justin Bieber in the form of senior Kaitlyn Lanchester and Jansen met Jennifer Lopez in the form of sophomore Stephanie Lund.  The funniest encounter was when Murray met Victoria Justice in the form of sophomore Kody McCann.  McCann wrote Victoria’s signature on Murray’s back, and when Spinnato said Murray could give Victoria a kiss on the cheek, Murray politely said, “That’s only for the second date.”

For the final portion of the show, Spinnato assigned each volunteer a certain song, and when they heard the song play they did a specific task.  Driscoll rocked out to Carly Rae Jepsen’s hit single “Call Me Maybe,” followed by Bryce and Muller believing they were female body builders. McDonald and Baldwin strutted around the auditorium believing that they were supermodels.  Jansen danced along to PSY’s “Gangnam Style,” and then Chariton rapped in a made-up language.  Chariton later said, “I can honestly say I don’t remember anything. I heard I did some hardcore rapping, which I’m absolutely proud of.” Romaine danced around the auditorium under the impression that she was auditioning to be Jennifer Lopez’s backup dancer. Molly Breen did a disco dance, followed by Richie Breen’s slightly disturbing dance as a belly dancer.  Murray galloped around the auditorium yelling “Who’s your daddy?” and McGourty tried to dance like Michael Jackson.  The show ended with all the volunteers dancing to “YMCA.”

After the show, Romaine said, “I was hypnotized. It was weird and it was like my body and my eyes felt heavy and numb. At the time you kind of know what you’re doing but you can’t stop, and then after everything is blurry. It was so weird, but so much fun.” McCann, who was mistaken for Victoria Justice, said, “It was really weird because I don’t know (Murray). I’ve never talked to him before and he thought he knew me and that I was Victoria Justice.” Although it was obvious that most of the volunteers were actually hypnotized, some have been accused of faking the entire thing. McGourty admitted, “I was faking the whole time. I think Dave (Driscoll) was too, but I think everyone else was really hypnotized.” Hypnotized or not, the senior class put on an extremely entertaining show leaving the underclassmen excited for Spinnato to return next year.