Monday, May 21, 2018
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Shoes were hidden in walls to ward off witches


Posted on Sunday, 10 December, 2017 | Comment icon 15 comments

People were a lot more superstitious in the past. Image Credit: sxc.hu
A growing number of old shoes have been discovered concealed inside the walls of British homes.
The peculiar practice, which was thought to have been carried out by superstitious builders and homeowners, was intended to help protect the buildings from evil spirits.

One such example was discovered by Laura Potts - a homeowner who was undertaking renovation work at her Georgian home near Norwich when she came across a woman's shoe in the wall.

According to History professor Malcolm Gaskill, it had probably been left there to deter 'witches'.

"In the early modern period, people also believed in demons, ghosts, elves, goblins - but witches were the most frightening because they were in human form," he said.

Fear of these supernatural beings was rampant throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.

"One theory proposes that the shoes were intended to act as lures for witches, spirits, and other supernatural threats," said historian Ceri Houlbrook from the University of Hertfordshire.

"The theory is that the evil force believes the shoe to be the person, attacks the shoe instead, and becomes trapped inside it."

Source: BBC News | Comments (15)

Tags: Shoe, Wall, Ward

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #6 Posted by Eldorado on 11 December, 2017, 10:41
i found a pair of old boots. I cleaned them up and they now work for the Dept of Work and Pensions.
Comment icon #7 Posted by freetoroam on 11 December, 2017, 10:57
Not according to the article: the idea was to ward off witches. People were very superstitious back then, and believing in demons, ghosts, elves, goblins and witches allowed for much of it. Today people are more knowledgable and thanks to science and much research, explanations are given.There are still some who still believe in demons etc. But you do not have to believe in religion or be naive to be superstitious, but it helps.
Comment icon #8 Posted by _KB_ on 11 December, 2017, 11:26
well yeah but if they do that then their technically casting a spell making them witches... besides what's wrong with being a little superstitious, i mean I've seen some strange sh*d and you can only handle so much of it before you start thinking maybe theres something to this magic stuff
Comment icon #9 Posted by Piney on 11 December, 2017, 15:57
They find shoes sometimes while revamping houses that were part of John Fenwick's Colony in Salem, New Jersey but this aspect was never mentioned by historians around here.
Comment icon #10 Posted by BorizBadinov on 11 December, 2017, 16:57
I had never heard of this with shoes but I can understand the concept. A personal item would have stronger effect to a believer. Wards or protection symbols used to decorate barns to create a hex free zone and bring good luck, similar concept. Fighting fire with fire. That little muddy shoe conjures an image of a small child playing out in the mud and catching a fever. Perhaps placed by a concerned parent out of options to cure a sickness thought to be witchcraft perhaps. The stories we will never know. Pretty fascinating thanks for sharing it.
Comment icon #11 Posted by paperdyer on 11 December, 2017, 16:57
The spell, or non-spell must have worked. Didn't all the witches move to New England?
Comment icon #12 Posted by Piney on 11 December, 2017, 23:13
No but they use to persecute us Quakers as witches in New England.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Herr Falukorv on 12 December, 2017, 8:34
An oldco-worker were renovating his sommer cottage 4-5 years ago and were tearing down an inner wall. Inside he and his wife found an old arabic dagger and a little box with old coins in gold. The auction house they visited said the things very worth some 35.000 euro.. Thats a nice bonus to the holiday fund.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Calibeliever on 12 December, 2017, 17:49
The way I understood it, the shoes (or other personal effects of the dead) were placed in the walls to bind the deceased owner's presence to the house. That spirit acted as a guardian and protected the home from other harmful spirits. Source: Anecdotal, remembered from a conversation many, many years ago.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Myles on 13 December, 2017, 16:36
I've remolded the house over the years, I always put a few things in the wall for someone to come across at some point. Nothing of real value though. Maybe a newspaper. Last time it was an MP3 player we no longer used. I love when I find stuff like that, so I just want to pass it on.


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

6185997
263190
175223

 
'Made in China' label solves shipwreck mystery
5-20-2018
The origins of a mysterious 800-year-old shipwreck have been determined thanks to a rather helpful label.
Planet-hunting probe captures first image
5-20-2018
NASA's new spacecraft has returned a breathtaking two-second exposure which features over 200,000 stars.
Firm wants to build city of floating pyramids
5-20-2018
Italian architecture firm Lazzarini Design Studio is looking to construct entire neighborhoods that float in the ocean.
World's smallest house built using nanorobotics
5-19-2018
Scientists in France have created a house so small that not even a mite would be able to fit through the door.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Where are all the B batteries ?
Posted 5-20-2018 | 2 comments
Batteries such as AA and AAA are common, but where are all the other letters ?
 
Meerkats caught in a dust storm
Posted 5-15-2018 | 1 comment
This group of meerkats in the Kalahari desert must split up to hide and survive the storm.
 
10 times Michio Kaku blew our minds
Posted 5-12-2018 | 2 comments
A look at some of theoretical physicist Michio Kaku's most mind-bending arguments.
 
Density ball
Posted 5-9-2018 | 0 comments
Michael takes a look at a ball with some rather unusual properties.
 
Slow motion jelly dive
Posted 5-3-2018 | 1 comment
The Slo Mo Guys record slow-motion footage of a person diving on to a large block of jelly.
 
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
Mystery bristle brush
5-9-2018 | Whittier, U.S.A.
 
Dreams and clues to the future
3-31-2018 | Philippines and Germany
 
Black cloaked figure
3-31-2018 | Carlisle, Cumbria, England
 
Three knocks
3-8-2018 | Canada
 
Two shadows of me
3-8-2018 | Bellflower, LA
 
I think I know what I saw
3-5-2018 | Near Sultan, Washington
 
Ghost, or something else ?
3-5-2018 | Ohio, USA
 
 
Black hole in Bismarck
2-14-2018 | Mandan
 
 

         More stories | Send us your story
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com 2001-2018
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ