Lightning is rumoured to be responsible for lots of strange things. In 1971 Edwin Robinson became blind and deaf as the result of an accident. Nine years later he was struck by lightning while feeding his chickens.
Within hours he could again see and hear and was also conscious of another new and strange sensation. After being bald for 35 years he sprouted hair.
We’ve talked about “electrified” people and things here before. Galen thought electric eels could cure a prolapsed anus. He speculated that it was the “frigorific” principle of animal spirit coursing through the creatures that was responsible.
With the discovery of static electricity centuries later much stronger shocks than those of an eel could be produced. On one occasion at Versailles, 180 of the King’s guards were caused to leap simultaneously by all holding hands and connecting the soldier on the end to a Leydon jar. A similar exercise was conducted at a Carthusian monastery where a “mile of monks” leapt together after also receiving a charge from a capacitator.
In the 19th century hot and cold electric air baths were all the rage. Negative breezes were supposed to cure baldness. That theory has been thoroughly disproved but it still sounds a lot safer than standing around waiting to be struck by lightning.