Town of Salem Wiki
RoleIcon CovenLeader Circled.png This page describes content that can only be accessed in the Coven Expansion.
RoleIcon Pestilence Circled.png Please note: You cannot roll Pestilence from the role wheel. The only way to get it is by rolling Plaguebearer and infecting everyone.

Screams rang through the cold night and the Doctor burst out of his house, barely just grabbing his medical kit as he raced along the streets. Arriving at the source of unrest, he discovered a young boy, lying down, coughing and sobbing. Instinct made the Doctor cover his face with his trusty mask, and he was right in doing so. A closer inspection revealed the alarming truth. The red rash, the hacking coughs, and the huge black boils that had risen on the pale skin… this boy had the plague.

The Doctor should have been scared, worried, horrified, he knew this, but instead, he felt... fascination. How quickly could this disease spread, how many people could it kill? Hastily he took a sample, and commanded the boy’s family to be quarantined. Then, he hurried home to test this intriguing sample further.

A week, and the Doctor finally held the result he was looking for. All he had to do was drop the solution on the path outside everyone’s houses, and the fumes would infect everyone who ventured there. He started to question himself, but then he remembered the other Doctor who always took the credit for himself, the Investigator who always snooped inside his house, the Jailor who roughly threw him in a cramped jail cell, and he felt better. Quickly and silently, the Doctor grabbed his solution and got to work.

Inhaling the sweet scents of the herbs he put in his mask, the Doctor infected person after person, using his dark robes to blend into the night. But on the fateful night that the plague spread to everyone in the Town, the evil Doctor realized its power. And as the moon was concealed under rolling grey clouds and the panicked screams rose from the town, Pestilence, Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse, laughed so hard that tears rolled off his mask. (credit)


  • You may choose to rampage at a target's house each Night. You will automatically attack anyone who visits you. You are equipped with a Powerful Attack and an Invincible Defense.
  • Your Invincible Defense means you can not be killed at Night at all. You will bypass even the highest of attacks, such as an Arsonist ignition, an assault by a fully-powered up Juggernaut, a Jailor execution, a final Hex, a Jester haunt, and even dying from a broken heart (in Lovers Mode).
  • You are immune to any role-blocks and controls, cannot be caught by a Lookout or Tracker without you killing them, and you'll also be seen as innocent to a Sheriff. Additionally, if you are jailed, you will automatically attack the Jailor even if they try to execute you.
  • Since you only deal a Powerful Attack, anyone protected by any form of protection, such as from a Town Protective, Guardian Angel, or Potion Master will survive, though the protector (except for the Guardian Angel) will die if they aren't also being protected by another protective role.
  • The only way you can die is through being lynched during the Day, so if the whole Town is against you (or any other faction that has the voting majority), you will most likely die. Utilize the support of any roles that do not oppose you (i.e. Survivors) to keep yourself from being lynched.
  • You will still automatically attack anyone who visits you when dead.


  • Your main threat is whichever faction is closest to the majority - usually the Town, but often the Mafia, Coven, and Vampires during the late game. Neutral Killing roles (i. e. Arsonists) are rarely as much of a threat, since they are generally loners and cannot harm you.
  • Since the Town starts with a large majority, it's important to wear them down. It can be helpful to you if you are still a Plaguebearer to narrow down the numbers so that you become Pestilence much sooner. Upon transforming, you should still consider keeping other Neutral Killing roles alive to direct suspicion, let them do extra kills (since they can't kill you), and overall a better chance of winning.
  • However, if you are still a Plaguebearer, those Neutral Killing roles suddenly do pose a big threat to you. The Werewolf, Arsonist, and Juggernaut can easily kill you. Although the Serial Killer can't harm you physically, they can easily expose you for being immune to their attack. So while you can't kill as Plaguebearer yet, you might want to lynch these roles early on to avoid getting called out or killed.
    • The Arsonist may be an exception, as by the time they ignite, you will most likely already be Pestilence.
  • Confirmed Town are particularly dangerous; their existence makes it easier for people to find you by process of elimination.
  • Vampires, when present, are a huge threat because their numbers are not obvious; they may be able to find you by process of elimination before you're even aware they're close. Worse, if they try to convert you the remaining Vampires will get a hint to your identity from the death. Fortunately, targeting most Town also weakens Vampires by denying them possible conversions.
  • Mafia and Coven are massive threats because they know their own members, letting them narrow down your identity. Given the huge threat you pose, it is not uncommon for Town, Coven, Mafia, Vampires, and even Neutral Killing roles to end up in an informal truce, halting all visits, claiming their true role, ceasing to kill anyone else and turning on and hunting you. Don't rely on them to take each other out (or even to visit each other at all) once you have become Pestilence.
  • Keep in mind that even though you have an invincible defense, you only have a powerful attack, meaning that Town Protectives can still prevent you from killing protected players. Because of your rampage ability, you will kill them if they protect your target, but your original target will live (just like with the Werewolf). Unlike all other killing roles, you don't have to worry about Bodyguards since they can't kill you and will die if they protect your target, making them just a worse Doctor (Bodyguards only protect against one direct attacker).
  • The main role that opposes you is the Mayor; if you end up in a 1v1 with them they can put you up on the stand and lynch you. Luckily, once you become Pestilence all the Town can do is delay their death. If a Mayor reveals, use paranoia to your favor to trick them into lynching the Town Protectives, and then go for the Mayor themselves since there is no Bodyguard or Crusader to protect them. Beware of Trappers, as they can buy the Mayor an extra Day to find you even if they die.
  • However, since your attacks are NOT unstoppable, the Doctor/Crusader combination is a relatively dangerous threat to you as the powerful defense they give each other renders them immune to all of your attacks. This applies for Doctor/Crusader, Crusader/Crusader, and (in extremely rare cases) Doctor/Potion Master combinations.
  • While you can bait people into visiting you the same way a Veteran does, this carries a lot of risks. First, if too many people have you as their last target in their Last Will, the Town will likely realize you're Pestilence; secondly, knowing that Pestilence is present, the Town will likely view any attempt at baiting as suspicious.
    • However, most players will also not visit at all as soon as you evolve, unless they have an Astral visit, so this strategy may not work.
  • For the Plaguebearer role, Werewolf strategies can be commonly used, potentially even more so than Pestilence due to Pestilence's higher capacity of destruction.
  • When you become Pestilence, the entire Town will receive a message about your evolution, so they will most likely prioritize finding and lynching you, as you cannot be eliminated any other way.
  • The message the Town receives is "A plague has consumed the Town summoning Pestilence, Horseman of the Apocalypse!"
  • You can use this to your advantage by accusing people of being Pestilence for one reason or another, and the Town will probably believe you and lynch that person, wasting a Day and buying yourself another Night.
  • However, back it up with fake proof and claims. Sometimes, it's also preferable to not accuse anyone and just go with the flow, as more experienced players may catch on. You also have to be careful that the information is accurate, and that you don't make yourself look suspicious in the meantime. Do try and act like a panicking Town member, but not to the point where you are obviously trying to mislead the rest of the Town.
  • Another option is to claim to be a Town Investigative role that found someone that might be Pestilence. This method gives your lead credibility but will put you under suspicion when the Town realizes you were wrong. To avoid this, remember to claim that you investigated the person you are going after BEFORE they "became" Pestilence.
  • Pestilence kills anyone who visits them, so claiming otherwise will make it obvious that you are lying and it might even get you lynched. However, this may work as a Jester strategy or for a fake Jester claim.
  • Try to make suggestions during the Day that could "help" to find Pestilence, but don't be too talkative. This way, you do not look suspicious during the Day, and you can go on with your nightly killings as an unstoppable force.
  • One strategy you can use as Pestilence, or basically any other evil role, is to act as a Jester. The only way to be killed as Pestilence is to be lynched (of course, except for leaving), and people want to refrain from lynching Jesters. As of version 2.3.0, Jesters can now haunt voters who abstain too, so it may be effective to keep acting like a Jester if you get on trial. Refer the Jester page for strategies regarding this. However, Town may be desperate too desperate in trying and find the Pestilence, and the Jester play might backfire, if the Town decides to take the chance and attempt to lynch you if they feel they do not need you, or if they want to give you the win. In the latter's scenario, either try and delay your death, convince the Town that you're a waste of time to lynch, or accept your mistake and die.
  • If you don't know who to kill at Night, just look back on the Night you Infected the most people with the plague, and go kill that player, as people could still be visiting them and you could take out a huge chunk of the Town. This strategy also works for the Werewolf.
  • As Pestilence, there is no point trying to be undercover with your kills other than when using the stay at home Werewolf strategy. Any Lookouts or Trackers who catch you are going to die (without a Doctor or Crusader), so your only threat is a Medium. Even then, Medium claims are rarely believed, so they might be lynched under suspicion of being the Pestilence.
  • Start the game out strong, and as a Plaguebearer, try and get confirmed as a Town member as soon as you can. This can be done in a variety of ways, and since you can see who visited your target, Lookout could be a viable option.
    • Trying to get yourself confirmed as Investigator, Tracker, or Sheriff is a good idea as the Investigator will most likely not investigate you. However, you are considered a threat to the Mafia or any other evildoers so asking for a Town Protective when "confirmed" as a Town Investigative is a good idea as they will most likely attack you, finding out you are immune, blowing your cover. Executioner is another great claim as it gives you the immunity defense as well.
  • Don't kill any roles that are harmless to you, such as Survivor, Jester, Executioner or Amnesiac, unless the Amnesiac wants to join an opposing faction. However, if these roles show signs of wanting to vote against you, do not hesitate to kill, but make sure they aren't the only ones against you. Otherwise, you could be lynched.
  • Killing Amnesiacs is less risky than killing the other neutral roles, as they have to remember to win and you are a one man faction. However, if you kill the Amnesiac, they can't carry on your win if you are lynched, so you have to be certain that you have control over the votes.
  • Gaining the support of roles such as Survivor is a big help for you, especially later in the game. They can give you extra votes, which can keep you from being lynched.
  • Remember, you can still be lynched whenever. Claiming to be an Investigator or a Tracker is a bad claim if the Town is notified of you being summoned due to these roles sharing investigative results.
  • Since you can only die by being lynched, the Mayor is a serious threat to you and should generally be dealt with quickly.
  • The Necromancer and a Retributionist are two of the few roles that can effectively oppose you; they can use Doctor, Bodyguard, and Crusader corpses to safely block your attacks, and can send different zombies to visit people in order to identify you (since they see how their zombies die.) Additionally, since they only visit the graveyard, their visits won't expose them to your rampage. So you should prioritize attacking Necromancers and Retributionists whenever possible.

Dealing with the Pestilence

  • If you have identified a likely Plaguebearer before they transformed, finding the Pestilence is easy. Otherwise, while Pestilence's ability to kill anyone who visits him is extremely powerful, it is also his sole weakness. Carefully read the wills of anyone who died to Pestilence, and try to figure out who he targeted. From this, you can deduce if anyone targeted them (and died as a result).
  • Additionally, once Pestilence has transformed, any player who was visited after the announcement and who didn't immediately die cannot be Pestilence. This can be used to rapidly narrow down the list of possible culprits.
  • As a Doctor, try to find another Doctor or even a Crusader to pair up with them. Since Pestilence only deals Powerful Attacks, paring up with them will give you the defense needed to withstand Pestilence. The Doctor/Bodyguard pair, however, are not as effective since Pestilence can just simply attack the Bodyguard and kill the Doctor with their rampaging ability.
  • Pestilence kills both anyone who visits his target and anyone who visits himself. As a result, it is usually best to avoid unnecessary visits while Pestilence is active, especially if you are a member of the Mafia and there are few people left. (Arsonists, Town Protectives, Hex Master (especially with Necronomicon), Retributionist and Necromancer may be exceptions).
  • If you are a Jailor, in your will write "Kill" or "Execute" next to the names you execute. This way, if you die from jailing Pestilence, the Town will easily know who the Pestilence is.
  • Because Pestilence can only be killed by lynching, it's usually best for killing roles to cease killing as long as Pestilence is active; an active Pestilence can reduce the population of the town extremely fast, and killing anyone (even dangerous enemies) may leave you without the votes to lynch them. Additionally, visiting to kill while Pestilence is active risks exposing you to both their rampage attack and death by visiting them.
  • In Lovers Mode, Pestilence will not die when their lover dies. Knowing this, you can carefully look at who claimed who was their lover, and deduce if they died along with their lover or not. If they didn't, they are most likely the Pestilence.


  • If you turn into Pestilence in Lovers Mode and your lover dies, you will receive the message, "You care not for a lover for a Horseman feels no love, no pain, no happiness."

    The message you receive when your lover dies in Lovers Mode

  • A player can transform into Pestilence during the Day, if all other players are Infected, and the last uninfected player(s) is lynched.
  • If Pestilence is attacked by a fully powered up Juggernaut, all players will get an achievement: "An unstoppable force meets an invincible object." The Juggernaut will still die, because its defense cannot withstand the Pestilence.
  • There used to be a bug where the Juggernaut was able to kill Pestilence if they stayed at home. You can see the bug in a video linked here (Timestamp: 14:19).
  • Pestilence is currently the only role in the game that cannot die at Night unless it quits. Not the loss of a lover, not a Jester haunt and not even the Unstoppable attack from a Hex Master or Jailor execution can kill it. However, there was once a bug where the Pestilence died during the Night from a broken heart, and can be viewed here.

Pestilence's old victory screen

Pestilence's old role card (the green glow border only appeared when you transformed, then disappeared shortly after.)

  • Before the switch to Unity, Pestilence's victory screen was much different than other victory screens at the time. This also applied with the Pestilence's role card.
  • Contrary to popular belief, Pestilence only delivers a Powerful Attack, meaning any role that grants Powerful Defense can stop an attack.
  • The outfit worn by the Plaguebearer is likely inspired by the outfit commonly worn by doctors in the Second Pandemic of the Black Death (1348-1352) for these reasons: the black wax cloth was covered with oil because it was believed that this would make it so the plague could not stick to them, and the mask (bearing the appearance of a bird's beak in the case of the doctor) was filled with fragrant herbs because it was believed that disease was caused directly by foul-smelling air, which would be filtered out by the herbs.



  • 3.3.0
    • Pestilence's role name in various places now has a greenish outline color.
  • 3.2.4
    • Fixed bug when Jailor was killed by jailing Pestilence.
    • Temporary Defense given by certain roles through game mechanics now give attackers the message "Your target's defense was too strong to kill.".
    • Added a label to visually indicate Infected players for the Pestilence (SpecialLabel Plague.png).
    • Added Pestilence's role icon (RoleIcon Pestilence.png).
    • Added Pestilence's circled role icon (RoleIcon Pestilence Circled.png).
    • Introduced.