Saturday, October 30, 2010

Encore: The devil and the horse shoe

I posted this on day short of a year ago last year. Since it is devils night/angels night today we need a story to start off the spooky season.
It's a story I grew up hearing from my mothers best friend. Not long before she passed away she sent me a bunch of horse related papers. This was a story in the bundle of horse related papers I acquired and remembered her telling me when I was young. Enjoy.


I am sure each and every one of you have seen an old horse shoe hanging over the door. Do you know why we hang horseshoes over the door? For good luck right? Well that isn't the original reason behind it.
My mothers best friend was a farrier and gave me this story of the devil and the horseshoe when I was very little. According to her it is out of a a 1912 horseshoers journal. The legend however originated in Germany. I hope on this day my mothers friend is watching down on all the trick or treaters. Halloween was her favorite day of the year.

Many, many years ago, in a little German village a blacksmith was hard at work. The sounds of the anvil attracted the attention of the devil. He saw the man making horse shoes and thought getting his own hooves shod would be a good idea. The devil struck a deal with the man and put his foot up. But the blacksmith knew right away who he was dealing with and so he nailed a red hot shoe square into the devils hoof. The devil paid the man and left but the blacksmith was honest; he cast the money into the fire knowing it would bring him bad luck.
The devil left the forge walking a long distance. Soon he began to suffer in agony from the shoes. The more the devil danced, pranced, kicked, swore and played tricks on people the more torture he endured from the shoes. After going through the most painful agony he had ever imagined, the devil tore the shoes off and threw them away.
From that moment to this whenever the devil sees a horseshoe he runs in the opposite direction; eager to keep away from the torturous devices.
German peasants remember this legend and because of it you will scarcely find a doorway or barn that does ot have a horseshoe nailed above it.
Of course horse shoes to keep in the good luck if kept upright. To hang a horseshoe upside down you made all the luck fall out!

So on this halloween hang horseshoes above your doors and in your barns for you never know which ghoul, goblin or little demon might be making their ways onto your doorstep


allhorsestuff said...

Well now, you never know when something interseting about something as commonly seen as horseshoes over doorways, will avail tiself to your mind! HAHA!
Tyhanks for the memory and story Sydney!
Makes sence to me!

Dreaming said...

Thanks for sharing the story. It's not one that I had heard before. I knew about 'holding' the good luck in the shoe, but not the devil aspect.

Susan said...

It sounds like a good way to keep the devil away. I have old horseshoes that we've found on our place nailed up.

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

Ha, that's great!!! I have Laz's old shoes (figured I paid so much freakin money) all over my house. U shape UP! :)

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