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Plague Doctor Costumes


Did you happen upon this page because you were seeking out the mysterious plague doctor or did you come here by glorious accident? Perhaps you're stuck at the Renaissance festival and have come down with the pox! Well, that would be terrible... but there is a solution! It is time to send the messengers, take out a few coins from your purse, and call on the aid of the plague doctor. 

Now, these folks were medical physicians who were pretty keen on finding ways to halt the progression of the bubonic plague. They were mostly hired by the cities themselves, hoping that they'd keep everyone else alive. Of course, that would have gone a good deal better if the plague 'doctors' actually had any real medical training. Oh, well! What can you expect in a time where nobody knew that the plague was caused by bacteria hiding in fleas? (The poor rats were just the unfortunate carriers of the critters and their invisible illness.) 

They treated folks in a rather arcane manner, which was to be a bit expected. But, they did have a particular immunity to the plague it seemed. Turns out that was probably just because they took such care in avoiding actually touching the afflicted and never came into contact with the bacteria in the first place. Still, who can deny that their look was pretty awesome.

The plague doctors tended to wear garments that were invented in 1620. They consisted of layers of light fabric that was waxed to prevent the "miasma" from getting inside. They wore creepy masks with a long beak that resembled bird heads, but the eye pieces were colored glass and the beak was filled with numerous types of herbs and spices, everything ranging from juniper, mint, rose, and cloves. Of course, that was to keep everything smelling nice while they were dealing with... well, things that didn't smell so sweet and, still, the hope it would keep the dreaded cause of the plague far from them. Turns out all those layers of protection did keep away the fleas, so very few plague doctors ever fell victim to it. (Most simply ran out of town when everyone else realized that they weren't curing anything.) 

So, why jump to the plague doctor costume for your Halloween needs? Well, one, not only does this getup work great for any Renaissance festival attire (and generally crafted without all of those waxed layers) but they've also become an iconic look for all sorts of spooky realms. Want to jump into a steampunk horror world? Well, you aren't going to go very far without seeing a plague doctor with a weapon at the ready! There aren't many creature costumes out there that can captivate as much horror as a masked figure in a long, black coat... and when they've got associations with something as deadly as the black plague, well, this is definitely a look that is going to climb pretty high in the mystical monster category! 

Take a look at our variety of plague doctor costumes and accessories to land on the perfect look for the character you wish to create. Let us know how it goes; just don't get chased outta town!