07.24.2012 10:35 AM

From the mailbox: the lunar effect

Does the full moon affect human behaviour, per today’s column?  Reader Gary Brigden sends along this interesting anecdote:

Warren: I worked at Spankys nightclub in Brampton from 1983 to 1987.  The owner noticed once a month we would have a much earlier crowd, more drinking and more fights. Sure enough, we got the books out and followed three years of stats. Without fail, on full moon nights, the crowd came earlier (we used to mark people in between 8 and 9, then 9 to 10 etc)., the drinking totals were about $2,500 higher (worked out to 2 drinks more per person) and lots more fights. (Usually two a night, whereas we might have one a week otherwise).

I would have never believed it, but the facts don’t lie.

Gary Brigden


  1. Tiger says:

    Well… some say that the lunar cycle affects the timing of women’s periods.

    So that would affect what pheromones they give off. Which would affect some of the men — more mating behaviour, etc., including fighting.

    So theoretically that would explain why you’d see more socializing and more violence at the height of the full moon…

  2. Mr. Murdoch esq says:

    I worked in a hospital for 9 years as a repair guy, during my school years and I recall the Doctors and Nurses always commenting on what to expect during a full moon. It was always drugs, punch ups and knifings and a lot of domestic hostilities. The cops and EMS people said the same thing.

    I think the magnetic effect of the moon. pulls cerebral fluid to a part of our brain that results in the potential for weird behaviour and all of this is compounded in heat and humidity. Kind a like a Brain Tide ( copyright ) 🙂

    • Merrill Smith says:

      I’ve always been puzzled by this. The only difference between a full moon and any other phase, is that it reflects more light. The mass of the moon and its density have not changed, so the magnetic effect should be constant.

      • Merrill Smith says:

        Check that. The full moon occurs when the moon and sun are on opposite sides of the earth, so the moon’s gravitational should be countered by the sun’s (I think), so it will be reduced during a full moon. Maybe there is something to that.

  3. Rob says:

    Any Emergency Room doctor can corroborate this theory.

  4. Greg from Calgary says:

    My wife is a teacher and it was their experience that there were more behavious problems during a full moon. But she has always been quick to add it might be we just notice them more as we assume they will increase during a full moon.

  5. Clive says:

    Anecdotally, having worked the phones at a Distress Centre in a major Canadian city for 10 years, I can also vouch for this effect.

  6. smelter rat says:

    There’s anecdotes, and then there’s science. Maybe we should try to move out of the dark ages some time soon: http://www.skepdic.com/fullmoon.html

    • smelter rat says:

      I have no doubt that the Behavioural Sciences can explain superstitious behaviour. Correlation and causation etc….

  7. Chubsy Ubsy says:

    One only needs to do a survey of MP riding offices on the increase of walk-ins and regulars on full moons. They usually come in over a 48 period. It’s the truth. No word of a lie.

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