Monday, January 2, 2023

Something About Lending a Hand

Why did no one ever volunteer a foot?

How many of you were introduced to the Hand of Glory thanks to The House with a Clock in its Walls (1973)?  The talisman's description is vividly described in the text and illustrated by Edward Gorey on the cover of the original hardcover edition.  I know plenty of fans who collect trinkets based on items in the books and – well, the Hand of Glory was never an item I thought was worthy of collecting.  You know, a real one.

Maybe for your Wicker Man anniversary events later this year?

There is a real one out there, though, in the museum in Whitby, North Yorkshire, England.  You have to hand it to them for using the so-called talisman on their signage (see image).  Given to the museum in 1935, the hand was discovered in a cottage in Castleton by stonemason and local historian Joseph Ford.

The Haunted Palace blog recently shared some comments about the five-fingered thing, including how to prepare the candles and what the hand could do; namely:
  • Induce a coma-like state for anyone already asleep in the household.
  • Open any door, however securely it had been locked and bolted.
  • Cause the holder to become invisible to others.
  • Make any person to whom the candle was presented, motionless.
  • Burn forever.
The post notes while it's doubtful a Hand of Glory was a powerful magical instrument, people likely tried to make them.  Hopefully, with someone else's hand.  Can you imagine making one of these things one-handed?  And what about – oh, yeah.  The blog quote:
There are just too many stories, from too many countries, to dismiss them as complete nonsense.  It is a shame that only one has survived as more physical evidence could give us a better understanding of this traditional occult practice.  What happened to the others?  One possible explanation is that they were buried in secret locations where they could not cause harm and another is that they were simply destroyed. 
Could you trade up for one of these with your lucky rabbit's foot?  What would you do with a hand if you had one?  Would you feel like it always waving at you?  Would you wave back?

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