Medieval History

The Plague That Made People Dance Themselves to Death

Now dancing doesn't seem that appealing, does it?

Bhavna Narula
Mar 7 · 10 min read
The dance of death representation

1. A German housewife was the first to start dancing

A sketch of Frau Troffea and her, maybe, husband

2. 400 people danced non-stop in Strasbourg

People dancing uncontrollably on the streets of Strasbourg

3. Physicians diagnosed the dancers with ‘’Hot Blood’’

Physicians trying to figure the reason for this mass outbreak

4. The party atmosphere backfired

A wrong sort of ‘fun’ being perceived by some people

5. The city cracked down on gambling and prostitution

A scene from the typical brothel

6. The city even banned dancing and music

A band of musicians playing together

7. Dancing mania strikes Europe

The dancing outbreak in the city of Aachen, Europe.

8. Paracelsus blamed the women

A representation of Paracelsus blaming Frau Troffea for the Dancing Plague

9. The dancers turned to Saint Vitus to cure them

Dancers at the St. Vitus’s shrine

10. The dancers were carted in wagons to a shrine

The red holy-soaked shoes given by St. Vitus

11. What caused the strange dancing outbreak?

Some women dancing during the outbreak while holding hands

12. Roots of mass hysteria

A representation of the ‘cult.’

In closing

Lessons from History

Lessons from History is a platform for writers who share…

Sign up for Lessons from History

By Lessons from History

Lessons from History is a platform for writers who share ideas and inspirational stories from world history.  Take a look.

By signing up, you will create a Medium account if you don’t already have one. Review our Privacy Policy for more information about our privacy practices.

Check your inbox
Medium sent you an email at to complete your subscription.

Bhavna Narula

Written by

Every thing I write turns into sarcasm, but feel free to Email me at bhavna88.bn@gmail.com.🐣

Lessons from History

Lessons from History is a platform for writers who share ideas and inspirational stories from world history. The objective is to promote history on Medium and demonstrate the value of historical writing.

Bhavna Narula

Written by

Every thing I write turns into sarcasm, but feel free to Email me at bhavna88.bn@gmail.com.🐣

Lessons from History

Lessons from History is a platform for writers who share ideas and inspirational stories from world history. The objective is to promote history on Medium and demonstrate the value of historical writing.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store