Hanging Horseshoes at Home

Hanging Horseshoes at Home

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Jennifer Hunter
Jun 20, 2015

Maybe you've noticed a horseshoe or two hanging around our tours? Do you know why they're there and why they're usually hung "heals up?" We looked into it and here's what we found out.

The hanging horseshoe has become symbol for good luck but why? The superstition dates back to the 10th century and a myth about a blacksmith named Dunstan. One night the devil came to visit Dunstan who noticed the devil was limping on his cloven hooves. So Dunstan offered to make him some shoes. Instead of a soft, comfortable shoe, Dunstan nailed an iron horseshoe onto his foot and, before he would agree to remove it, made the devil promise to never enter a home protected by a hanging horseshoe!

There's even an 1871 lyric poet about the myth called The Horse Shoe: The True Legend of St. Dunstan and the Devil.

(Image credit: Hoog Blog)

As for the tradition of hanging it upside down? There are conflicting stories there. Most think that hanging the shoe in a "U" shape will collect good luck like a bowl, but there are some who think letting it hang the opposite way spills luck out onto whoever passes through the door.

Just look at these great horseshoes hanging in our tours:

I grew up on a farm so you know I have one hanging in my house. Do you?

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