A hypnotist is planning to put a world record number of people in a trance tonight using the internet.
Chris Hughes has signed up more than 6,000 people for the stunt being run through social networking sites Facebook and Twitter.
Mr Hughes (34) said: “It started when someone suggested we do a mass hypnosis.
“Nobody has ever tried this before on such a mass scale. There is no world record so we are attempting to set a world record for the largest online group hypnosis session.
“Since we launched it, I've had people register from 85 countries, from Peru to Israel, with Italians, Britons and Americans the most interested.
“Social media is all about bringing people together, so it is a perfect way to help educate the world about hypnosis. Now I'm getting one to two registrations a minute, it has gone absolutely mad.”
Mr Hughes, from Banbury, Oxfordshire, has been a hypnotist for five years and is keen to promote its benefits.
“Hypnotism is not just about doing silly things, although those are great for entertainment,” he said.
“It's really about accepting ideas for change and dealing with things in your life that you may be having trouble accepting — like cutting out cream cakes or giving up smoking.
“I truly believe that everyone can be hypnotised, and people shouldn't be afraid of it.”
The event, called SocialTrance, which coincides with World Hypnotism Day, will begin at 8.30pm and is expected to make it into the Guinness World Records book.
A computer with an internet connection, speakers or headphones, and a comfy chair are needed to take part.
“This session will be designed to help people achieve what they want to in 2010 and give people a really good start to the year,” said Mr Hughes.
“When someone is hypnotised they can, at a subconscious level, accept ideas that they could otherwise think are too hard or too much effort to achieve. Hypnosis helps people internalise change and make big differences in their lives. This session will give positive, fairly general, suggestions for change that can be applied to most individual's goals.”
The session will feature an audio webcast, with Mr Hughes conducting the half-hour social trance live.
“Within a minute of starting the session, those listening will be gradually taken into a relaxing level of hypnosis and it should be very enjoyable.”