The National Society for Epilepsy is using "astonishing" research that reveals one in 20 Londoners think epilepsy is caused by evil spirits to raise awareness about the condition during National Epilepsy Week, which began on Monday.
The charity's research also showed that one in three people would put something into a person's mouth if they were having a seizure and one in four would attempt to restrain the person. Both responses are outdated and dangerous. Three in four said they would call an ambulance, which is not always necessary.
"It is astonishing that there can still be such ignorance about epilepsy," said Margaret Thomas, head of communications at the society.
The charity has also launched a direct mail campaign, targeting 6,500 schools, colleges and universities, and 1,500 police stations, containing posters illustrating what to do when someone has an epileptic seizure.