The Dancing Plague of 1518

Nicholas C. Rossis

Vitmor Gomes recently shared on Quora one of the most fascinating Medieval stories I’ve heard: the dancing plague of 1518.

The dancing plague of 1518 | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's bookImage source: Quora

In July 1518, in the town of Strasbourg, Alsace (now France), something unexpected happened.

A housewife, called Frau Troffea, came out of her home onto the street and started dancing. People, including her husband, found it odd but no one gave it much attention.

She literally danced all day, only stopping when she fell asleep due to exhaustion. The next morning, as soon as she woke up, she started dancing again.

This time people did pay attention as this was highly unusual, and they formed a crowd around her to see her dance to no music. At this point, her feet were already bruised and bloodied but she didn’t appear to be willing to stop.

Within the next 4 days, something even weirder started happening. 34 people…

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