Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Hand Of Glory!

The 'Hand of glory' is a device which superstitiousburglars considered an essential part of their kit until the early 19th Century. The hand was that of a gibbeted criminal: after the blood was squeezed out, the hand was embalmed for two weeks in a solution of saltpetre, salt and pepper, before being dried in the sun. Acandle wa made from a number of curious ingredients sucha as hanged man's fat, wax, and a substance called Lapland sesame. The resulting confection was thrust between the dead fingers, and lit when the burglar broke into the house. The hand was supposed to open locks, render the thief invisible, and send the household into a deep sleep.
It was believed that the candle's spell could be broken only by putting out the flames with blood or skimmed milk: then the houshold would wake!
Apparently there is a 'Hand' on display in Whitby Museum, N. Yorkshire, England

1 comment:

JS said...

So when are we going to Whitby Museum then? Aint that by the seaside, we could make a day of it.
Oh and nice picture by the way.