What Is The Origin Of The Superstition About Horseshoes?


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Jennifer Bone Profile
Jennifer Bone answered
Many cultures consider horseshoes to be a good luck charm and their placement and shape are very important.  A horseshoe is hung on a door with the ends pointing up as to have them pointing down brings bad luck.  The idea behind this is that the good fortune will spill out if it is facing down.  Some people also believe that you must find a horseshoe that has been lost by a horse for it to be lucky.  A few traditions dictate that any luck – either good or bad– will only affect the owner/finder of the horseshoe and not simply the person who hangs it up. Some people believe that guests must enter and leave a house under the same door with the horseshoe hung over it in order to take the luck with them.
The story of Saint Dunstan and the Devil tells of a blacksmith who becomes the Archbishop of Canterbury in 959 AD.  It is said that Saint Dunstan once nailed a horseshoe to the Devil’s hoof when he requested re-shoeing.  Seeing that the Devil was in great pain, Dunstan made the Devil promise never to enter a place that had a horseshoe hung over the door.  Horseshoes are made by blacksmiths who work with fire and iron which were considered magical and so the trade was considered lucky.  Many believed blacksmiths could heal the sick and that if they presided over a marriage it would be a lucky one.  Another lucky aspect of the horseshoe is that it is held in place by seven iron nails.  Seven has long been thought a lucky, significant number.

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