The authors review the literature on Munchausen's syndrome and speculate about possible underlying psychological mechanisms. The proposed DSM III classification of factitious illnesses suggests a continuum from hysteria on one end of the spectrum to malingering on the other. Two case studies are presented which represent variants of this syndrome. Both patients were given a sodium amytal interview, a procedure not previously reported in the Munchausen's literature. The procedure was helpful in eliciting a more accurate history and a clearer sense of the underlying dynamics. Some suggestions for further research are made.