According to legend, the dried and pickled hand of a hanged man possesses supernatural powers. These hands are said to possess the power to manipulate the movement of a room or house full of people… But what is it !?
The Magic Behind The Hand
Im sure all you Harry Potter fans out there will be going nuts over Mr Malfoys Hand of Glory. This cursed item, in particular, is surrounded by mystery, black magic and death. It has a much darker purpose than most objects of a similar nature.
The hand made it’s first appearance during the 1600’s, it was mentioned in the grimoires similar to Petit Albert and the Compendium Maleficarum, It was also published in some manuals for witch hunting. The creation of this sinister object varies, as do its magical uses. They all involve a rather obvious hand but sometimes it is the severed hand of an executed criminal or a dead child’s hand, but the latter not so often.
(The Last Hand of Glory on Display)
The exact instructions are : Take the right or left hand of a felon who is hanging from a gibbet beside a highway; wrap it in part of a funeral pall and so wrapped squeeze it well. Then put it into an earthenware vessel with zimat, nitre, salt, and long peppers, the whole well powdered. Leave it in this vessel for a fortnight, then take it out and expose it to full sunlight during the dog days until it becomes quite dry. If the sun is not strong enough, put it in an oven with fern and vervain. Next make a kind of candle from the fat of a gibbeted felon, virgin wax, sesame, and phone and use the Hand of Glory as a candlestick to hold this candle when lighted …
None of this sounds too difficult and this item could come in handy to any local thieves! The most common suggestion of the hands uses where the use of the dead man’s fat to fuel the flame, in doing so the user would be able to paralyse anyone in a house or building, anyone but the user.
Other theories vary. Including the candle having the power to open any lock, the flame burning brighter in the presence of treasure, or only provides light to the wielder ( Potterheads ).
This does all sound incredibly useful ! But I can guarantee that your local store does not sell Zimbat or Ponie. Although the word ‘ Ponie ‘ is thought to mean horse poop ! So you have a little bit of a head start there.
Now there are ways to protect yourself from the creepy ass reach of a Hand of Glory. You can render it ineffective by running the threshold of all the windows and doors of your home with a mixture of screech owl blood, fat of a white hen and the gall of a black cat.
In these modern times, researchers do now think that the idea of a Hand of Glory is a kind of ” lost in translation ” moment. The theory first arrived when the word ” Mandragora “, or the mandrake root ( Potterheads ) was mistranslated from the french word main de gloie. However, this did not stop the Hands of Glory appearing time and time again throughout English Folklore and in actual homes !
One story involving the Hand of Glory comes out of the Spital Inn in North Stainmore 1797, where a burglar was found in the dead of night and in possession of one of these rather useless severed hands. There is also an actual Hand of Glory in England’s Whitby Museum. The magic relic was found sealed up in the walls of an old cottage in Castleton in 1935. It is apparently the last genuine Hand of Glory in existence.
Today the Hand of Glory has been used in a few movies like Hellboy and Harry Potter. There are even a few songs about the hand. It will remain in English Folklore and hopefully, the last remaining hand stays in good condition for hundreds of years. An awesome example of the madness of the 1600’s. http://www.the-line-up.com/hand-of-glory/