FANS of the character Ghost Rider have been warned to stop emulating their hero by setting their heads alight.
The comic book character is also the subject of poor quality films starring Nicholas Cage, the latest of which Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance has just been released in the UK.
A & E doctor Emma Bradford said: “Since the Ghost Rider sequel came out we’ve seen a huge increase in people who’ve deliberately set their own heads on fire.
“They failed to understand that, as well as being a fictional character, Ghost Rider’s Johnny Blaze is supernatural in origin.
“My advice to anyone considering setting their own head on fire is to ask themselves, are you an undead former stunt biker escaped from Hell in a desperate bid to win your soul back, or are you the actor Nicholas Cage, playing that character?
“If the answer to both those questions is ‘no’, do not strike that match.”
Ghost Rider fan Tom Logan, whose head was on fire, said: “It hurts, it hurts so very much.”
Fellow fan Nikki Hollis said: “Of course I wouldn’t set my head on fire. I’m a woman, the character is male, therefore it wouldn’t be logical.”
It is not the first time Nicholas Cage films have triggered self-harming acts among viewers.
In 2006 audience members of The Wicker Man put cages containing angry bees on their heads in a gesture that mimicked the film’s final scenes as well as being an emotional response to the experience.