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Many people recognize the horseshoe as a symbol of luck. However, there are many superstitions surrounding horseshoes that go back hundreds of years.
Horseshoes can be found all throughout pop culture. People wear horseshoes as jewelry, hang them in their homes and use them as decor. However, many people are unaware of the various horseshoe superstitions that exist and their unique histories.
Throughout the world, people use horseshoes for good luck and others use them to ward off evil spirits. Some people even believe the luck of horseshoes comes from blacksmiths, as they are said to possess special powers. There are many superstitions that exist alongside the horseshoe.
1. Hanging a Horseshoe Brings Luck and Keeps the Devil Away
Hanging a horseshoe with the open end facing upwards is thought to bring good luck into your home and keep the devil away. Many people will hang upright horseshoes on doorways to give luck to anyone who enters their home.
Some even believe that when guests enter a house through a door with a horseshoe above it that they must exit through the same door. Otherwise, they will take all of the luck from the horseshoe with them.
The origin of this practice goes back hundreds of years to a blacksmith by the name of Dunstan. As the tale goes, the devil came to Dunstan, requesting that the blacksmith fit him with a new pair of shoes.
Recognizing that this was the devil, Dunstan nailed a horseshoe to his hooves, causing the devil great pain and agony. Dunstan then chained up the devil, only releasing him upon the condition that he will never enter a home with a horseshoe hanging up. In 959 AD, Dunstan became the Archbishop of Canterbury and later he became St. Dunstan.
2. An Upside Down Horsehoe Brings Bad Luck
An upside down horsehoe is considered unlucky because it open part of the horseshoe facing down spills out the luck out. Also, some people think an unpside down horseshoe will prevent the devil from sitting in it.
Hanging a horseshoe up or down or down for luck varies between beliefs, but hanging it upwards for luck is the most popular way.
3. Horseshoes Ward Off Evil Witches
This is perhaps the most bizarre superstition regarding horseshoes. People used to save old horseshoes to ward off witches, but not just any witches, butter-thieving witches to be exact.
People would put old horseshoes in a butter churn. The horseshoes would then prevent witches from stealing their delicious homemade butter.
4. Horseshoes Bring Luck on Wedding Days
To bring good luck to a new marriage, a groom should carry a horseshoe in his pocket on his wedding day. Though carrying a horseshoe around all day seems a bit inconvenient, it will mean a happy marriage, or at least that is how the superstition goes.
5. Seven Iron Nails in a Horsehoe Bring Luck
Using seven iron nails to nail a horseshoe brings additional good luck. Not only is seven a lucky number, but many believe iron to be magical, as people use it to ward off evil spirits.
6. Sleep With a Horseshoe Under Your Pillow on New Years’ Eve
To ensure a prosperous and lucky year, you should sleep with a horseshoe under your pillow on New Years’ Eve. Though it may not be the comfiest sleep, at least you will have a good year ahead of you.
7. Dreaming of Horseshoes Can Be Good Luck
Dreams often come with many different meanings, some sinister, others good. If you dream about a horseshoe, then this could be a sign of good luck.