The English city of Chester is known for its unique medieval architecture, but recently it seems to be home to another medieval relic in the form of a creepy plague doctor that has been spotted roaming the streets at night.
As reported in the Chester Chronicle, social media has been buzzing with sightings of a mysterious cloaked figure wearing the iconic beaked mask and brimmed hat of a medieval plague doctor. No information other than blurry pics posted to social media has arisen about the figure, leading most people in Chester simply scratching their heads.
Historically, plague doctors were traveling physicians who went from place to place, treating the epidemics that would infect entire towns and cities. They came to be associated with the eerie beak mask that many of them wore to keep themselves from catching the very sicknesses they were treating. The masks would be filled with aromatic items that, according to the belief of the time, kept the doctors from inhaling infectious vapors.
Today the image of the plague doctor simply looks like something out of a horror movie. While the spooky figure roaming the streets of Chester and haunting the historic, stacked “Rows” has yet to be identified, their silent, scary enigma schtick is reminiscent of similar stunts where people dressed as sinister clowns. The mini-trend of creepy clown lurkers popped up in cities from California to Northampton around 2015, with a number of different sightings of silent clowns aimlessly wandering the streets.
A sort of ambient prank by way of a horror movie, the Chester plague doctor seems to be a new twist on this fad. Either that, or there is really the ghost of a damn plague doctor roaming the streets.