The Legend Behind Hanging Lucky Horseshoes

Lucky Horseshoes
Lucky Horseshoe

Have you ever seen someone with an iron horseshoe hung above the front door of their house? The story behind horseshoes superstition has a long history dating all the way back to ancient times in 959 A.D. And as you’ve learned from Elvis Presley, it and four leaf clovers are meant to be good luck charms.


The lucky horseshoe is a big part of Irish folklore and history (despite being typically associated with western cowboy culture). The story of Saint Dunstan and the horseshoe varies greatly depending on where you look. But the gist of the story is that in the 10th century, St. Dunstan (a blacksmith at the time) was visited by the devil himself. The hoofed devil asked for a horseshoe for himself. So then, Dunstan used iron nails to secure a red hot horseshoe tightly on one of his hooves, and the devil howled in great pain. The devil begged for Dunstan to remove the hot shoe. Dunstan agreed under one condition — the devil must respect the horseshoe and never enter any place where one was hung above the door.

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