Horseshoes are lucky-at least they're supposed to be. My Granny Gazzie had horseshoes wrapped in aluminum foil above a few of her doorways. Seems like I remember at least 2: one in the kitchen and one at the front door. You're supposed to hang them with the curve facing down and the two sides facing up-so all that good luck doesn't just poor out.
I found the horseshoe in the photo several years ago in Pap's big garden. Pap said it probably came off his Grandpa's horse or mule. Since I found it-it's been hanging outside my front door.
According to Frank C. Brown's Collection of NC Folklore:
- You know the old saying-if the sun is shining while it's raining it means the Devil is beating his wife? I've heard that all my life-but not this part: if you lay an old horseshoe on the ground-place a white cloth over it-and put your ear to the cloth-you can hear the beating. I'm not sure I want to hear actually hear the Devil beating his wife, but hmm… is it tempting.
- To ward off evil carry a horseshoe nail. (I used to have a ring made from a horseshoe nail-ever seen one of those?)
- Nail a horseshoe to the hog trough to protect the hogs.
- While churning butter-if it fails to come and gather-put a horseshoe in the fire.
- If you find a horseshoe-hang it in a tree for good luck.
- Horseshoes nailed above the door will keep conjuring spirits out.
- A horseshoe can be placed in the fire to protect your sheep herd.
- Place a horseshoe at the bottom of your bed to ward off evil.
Unless you have horses yourself, its not as common for folks to come in contact with horseshoes today-especially old ones. Makes me wonder how many kids would know what an aluminum foil covered horseshoe meant.