The Dancing Plague of 1518

  • Simply Weird
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

 A strange ''Event'' took place in Strasbourg, France in July of the year 1518 AD. And while some readily explain it quite possibly ''biochemical'' in nature, the incident is still somewhat frightening, still inconclusive in explanation and well worth a look. One must image The Middle Ages then. Superstition was rampant. Education was practically nil. And Medical Science......barbaric to say the least. While most ''religious'' Societies would shun outright dancing for pleasure as ''sinful'', it was on that somewhat warn day, that a Young Peasant Woman, walking on a Strasbourg Street, without cause or reason suddenly staring ''dancing uncontrollably''. Her movements were ''erratic and puppet-like'', as if She had no control over Her body. Within minutes, those around Her started to dance and jerk around. People were said to have no control over their faculties or bodies. Some accounts cite as many as 400 people Men, Women and Children were affected.

Non stop and for hours this bizarre spectacle went on. Authorities from both The City and Church could not stop the ''dancing''. It was reported that as many as 50 to 100 victims simply ''danced themselves to death''. Several other European Cities and Towns would report similar happenings that year (and several years after). Naturally, The Church cited ''demonic influences'' and The Event no doubt spurred several ''Witch Hunts'' as a result. Today, Medical Science points to psychogenic drug ingestion as a probable cause. The consumption of which could be linked to local mushrooms, building up in the body until sufficient amount of naturally occurring LSD severely damaged The Brain and Nervous System. Such ''things'' would not have been known in the 16th Century. ''Mass Hysteria'' is another example cited. Or perhaps, it was ''something else ''.