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Dancing Plague of 1518

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posted on Mar, 3 2010 @ 12:26 PM
I'm just reading a bit about it,googling away,and it does seem a very likley candidate for the dancing plague hysteria,and the monkey man,and possibley many others...fascinating stuff,resides in bread/wheat and can be ingested by many folks before any problems/hallucinations appear.

By that time,the whole town is in another dimension,with crazy behaviour bouncing off folks,and crowds having mass psychosis.

I guess we can detect and prevent the mold a lot better these days,or imagine the "government sprays hallucinogens on town" threads we would get here on ATS...

Ooh,hang we do have those threads don't we?

posted on Mar, 3 2010 @ 12:29 PM
reply to post by Stormdancer777

Excellent Link Stormdancer777. Thanks for the backup and info.

posted on Mar, 3 2010 @ 12:35 PM
From Stormdancers link,this sort of sums it up:

Convulsive ergotism is characterized by nervous dysfunction, where the victim is twisting and contorting their body in pain, trembling and shaking, and wryneck, a more or less fixed twisting of the neck, which seems to simulate convulsions or fits. In some cases, this is accompanied by muscle spasms, confusions, delusions and hallucinations, as well as a number of other symptoms.

Sounds horrid!

posted on Mar, 3 2010 @ 12:36 PM
This is tyhe most amazing thing i've seen on the internet ever.

posted on Mar, 3 2010 @ 12:36 PM
An individual in a quasi-bicameral state could easily dance themselves to long as the auditory hallucinations commanded them to continue.

Now imagine if they we're directed to cut stones instead of to dance. They would work until told to stop or until they died.

This should be looked into by someone familiar with Jayne's theory of consciousness.

Plagues of the mind which affect the function of consciousness are more often associated with pain epidemics and described by Dr. Sarno. This could be a case of a mind-body disorder that causes dancing instead of pain.

During this period of time, people also suffered from hysterical blindness and hysterical deafness. Maladies we do not see in modern times.

posted on Mar, 3 2010 @ 12:44 PM
Interesting topic. Solasis brought this to my attention in my thread..

The 1962 Laughter Epedemic of Tanganyika

They are bot pretty freaky.

posted on Mar, 3 2010 @ 12:46 PM
Most of us from the 60's "chemical" classes in college are familiar with ergot.

And, I come to the conclusion that some of those with "hysterical blindness" are here on ATS at times.

posted on Mar, 3 2010 @ 12:52 PM
I always heard that "El Mal Del Sambito" (Dancing illness) was caused by evil spirits entering the body.

I dont know if this is true or not, not having had it myself.....

posted on Mar, 3 2010 @ 12:53 PM
Jeez talk about wacking on about drugs and rye , Lsd or anything could never make people dance to death , And did you all forget they danced for 3 months ,talk about researching , 3 month dancing is not drugs , its something else ,i dont know what , but two weeks later a friggen Peace Treaty was signed for all of friggan europe , THE ONLY OTHER BIG EVENT IN 1518 ,

lets find some real research people , 3 months dancing ,focus

posted on Mar, 3 2010 @ 12:58 PM
reply to post by StaceyWilson

The individual dancers only lasted three or four days before they died. The plague "spread" over the period of a month. This would correspond to the period that the infected grain was disseminated to the populace. When the infected grain ran out, the plague ended. Where did you get the idea that a person could dance for three months? It's not in the OP.

posted on Mar, 3 2010 @ 01:10 PM
reply to post by xynephadyn

Ergot would be my first guess. It is fully capable of driving a person to something like that. And sustaining them far past normal indurance.

posted on Mar, 3 2010 @ 01:18 PM
It's not unheard of, even in our times.

Just look what happens in just 3 minutes at the 2009 Sasquatch Festival:
Mass Dance Hysteria!

EDIT: To embed video.

[edit on 3-3-2010 by tyranny22]

posted on Mar, 3 2010 @ 01:25 PM
The research into the Dancing Plague specifically rules OUT ergot poisoning:

It has been suggested that the cause of the plague was ergotism, which results from consuming ergot-laced bread. Ingestion of ergot, a psychotropic mold that grows on rye, can lead to delirium, hallucinations, and seizures, as well as other symptoms. While today this is called ergotism, contemporaneously it was known as "Saint Anthony's fire". However, another symptom of ergotism is loss of blood supply to the limbs, making coordinated movement like dancing difficult; as such, Waller considers it to be an unlikely cause of the plague.

As much as ergot might fit, research is showing that they were DANCING, not seizing, and dancing would rule out ergot.

What I find most fascinating is the screams of hallucinations and possession that went along with this. I have decided to make this a new project for myself^^, so keep talking everyone!

Totally random uninteresting fact:
I met my husband online. Our first "date" was us watching "Once More With Feeling" together using IM. It's my fave Buffy episode and now I'm listening to the soundtrack. My kids are not thanking you.

posted on Mar, 3 2010 @ 01:29 PM
reply to post by tyranny22

wow- that really made me laugh.

Thanks for sharing this!

posted on Mar, 3 2010 @ 01:41 PM
reply to post by tyranny22

Haha Brilliant video, I love these moments of Unity it really makes me smile. I guess sometimes you just got to dance, and once one person has the balls to do it everyone moves in like "Whooooooooooo"

Sometimes I can be out walking with I-pod on and think the same thing "Shall I dance" you know like just totally letting go in front of all the traffic. I guess if I did it, I wouldn't stop either because everyone would be like "Whooooooooooo"

Or they would just run me over

posted on Mar, 3 2010 @ 01:46 PM
reply to post by cjcord

I dunno, but a lot of dances look like seizing to me. Maybe on the medical side, they were "dancing" because it helped restore circulation in their painful legs. Legs that lost circulation due to ergot poisioning.

Without any of us actually being there or possessing blood samples, all we can rely on is the written history. All else is conjecture.

[edit on 3/3/2010 by alttracks]

posted on Mar, 3 2010 @ 02:18 PM
Curiously perhaps, the original 'Cinderella Story' had the little orphan girl putting on the glass slippers at the Ball (or silver slippers, depending on what version you read) whereupon she began dancing with the Prince...slow at first, but then faster and faster and faster and faster until she died from dancing - literally 'burned up' from the movements, hence, La Cenerentola ('the Little Cinder Girl', aka Cinderella)

One wonders if this Fairy Story had a basis in 'fact' !!


posted on Mar, 3 2010 @ 03:27 PM
I think reincarnation exists... and those who died are here with us today...

plaguing arcades, playing Dance Dance revolution...

but great post BTW. I think they were forced to dance because they probably feared that if they stopped, they would die.

posted on Mar, 3 2010 @ 03:51 PM
Someone should do a control test and dance for a really long time, and see if 1) people join in, or 2) The police are called.

posted on Mar, 3 2010 @ 04:49 PM
Great thread x

I suffer from cluster headaches - the treatment is ERGOT - it is pharmasised ergo, ergotomine- ie it has all the effects of ergot - excluding the hallucinations.
Even in small doses, the stuff makes you feel unbelievably heavy - like your body is made of lead - I cannot imagine (even if accompanied by the hallucinations) that this stuff would compel you to dance.

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