A mysterious figure has been lurking around the Hellesdon area, near Norwich, wearing a 17th-century plague costume, complete with a bird beak mask. Norfolk police are now attempting to track him down because he has been disturbing the locals, especially the children
A Norfolk Police spokesman said in a statement that, “Officers have been made aware of an individual who was seen walking around the Hellesdon area wearing a plague outfit. Although no offences have been committed at this time, officers are keen to trace the individual in order to provide words of advice about the implications of his actions on the local community.”
“Should any further information come forward about any offences being committed, we will act accordingly,” the statement added.
Neighbors who witnesses the prankster say that he was wearing a full black suit in warm weather.
Local resident Jade Gosbell told the Associated Press that she was worried about her children.
“It’s clearly for attention or something like that, because normal people just wouldn’t do that,” she said.
Police in the U.K. are working to unmask the mysterious 'Plague Doctor' seen in Norfolk during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Posted by CTV News on Thursday, April 30, 2020
Historically, the robes and mask recognized as the plague doctor costume were invented by Charles de L’Orme in 1630, and were first used in Naples, but later spread to be used throughout Europe.
The protective suit consisted of a light, waxed fabric overcoat, a mask with glass eye openings, and a beak-shaped nose, typically stuffed with herbs, straw, and spices. Plague doctors would also commonly carry a cane to examine and direct patients without the need to make direct contact with them. The scented materials included juniper berry, ambergris, roses (Rosa), mint leaves, camphor, cloves, laudanum, myrrh, and storax.
Plague doctors practiced bloodletting and other remedies such as putting frogs or leeches on the buboes to “rebalance the humors” as a normal routine. These doctors usually could not interact with the general public because of their work and the possibility of spreading the disease.