Dancing Plague of 1518

From Wikipedia:

The Dancing Plague (or Dancing Epidemic) of 1518 was a case of dancing mania that occurred in Strasbourg, Alsace, France (then part of the Holy Roman Empire) in July 1518. Numerous people took to dancing for days without rest, and over the period of about one month, most of the people died from heart attack, stroke, or exhaustion.


  1. There are a bunch of overly bizarre stories like that in history. It’s a dark, dark spot in the human psyche. Honestly, this really scares me.

  2. Norman Cohn’s amazing book: ‘In Pursuit of The Millenium’–recorded ther history of the crazes and manias which periodically spread across Europe during the Middle-Ages. There was a biochemical basis, connected with bda diet, for some of them. St Anthony’s Fire was caused by eating rye-bread contaminiated by ergotamine. Folks who had eaten the mouldy bread experienced LSD like visions for a few hours, then their legs turned black before dropping off.


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