Plague Doctor Costume Guide for Cosplay and Halloween – DIY, Buy for 2021

(Plague Doctor Costume Guide for Cosplay and Halloween)

The best Plague Doctor Costume

About Plague Doctor

Plague Doctor was a kind of physician who treated patients suffering from the bubonic plague. Plague Doctors offer services to towns hit by an epidemic for a fee and tried to treat everyone regardless of status. However, they were not the most experienced medically and are often amateur or second rate, often drafted from other non-medical fields and referred to as Empirics. They occasionally charge individual patients extra for short-term remedies and “special treatment.”

At the beginning of the 17th century, Plague Doctors began to wear masks that resemble bird beaks. These masks are filled with fragrant substances to ward off smells (called Miasma), which they believe carry diseases under the disease’s miasmatic theory.

Their activities spread across Europe, especially the Netherlands, France, and Italy, during outbreaks of plagues. They worked alongside actual doctors and “General Practitioners” often at the same place and time.

About Plague Doctor Costume

The Plague Doctor costume was an item of popular clothing in the 17th century, worn mostly in Italy and France during the outbreaks of plagues and diseases. The entire attire includes an ankle-length overcoat, gloves, a wide-brimmed hat, and a “beak mask” with fragrant substances.

Historic records attribute the costume’s invention to Charles de Lorme, a French doctor, in 1619. He came up with the full “head-to-toe” protective clothing idea, giving a detailed description of the mask’s shape.

The Plague Doctor Costume features in other works, such as that of Jean-Jacques Manget in 1721, described the clothing worn by plague doctors during the Great Plague of Marseille in 1636-1637 in his “Treatise on the Plague” work. The plague ravaged Italy, killing 145,000 in Rome and 300,000 in Naples; during the time, Plague Doctors heralded death’s imminence and induced fear whenever they attended to patients riddled by the plague.

Read more about Plague Doctor here.


National Geographic