Ozark Encyclopedia – H – Horseshoe

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Mountain Man Traditional Healing

To protect a house from witchcraft – “Probably the commonest way to keep witches out of the house is to nail a horseshoe over the door; this is regarded as a sort of general prophylactic against witches, bad luck, contagious disease, and other evil influences. Many hillmen insist that it doesn’t work unless the open end of the horseshoe is upward, but the reason for this has never been explained to me.” ~Randolph OMF 283

To keep witches from the butter churn – “Some people put a horseshoe into the churn…Most of them say simply a horseshoe, but sometimes one hears that it should be a hot horseshoe. It may be that a hot horseshoe really would make the butter come, and not by any supernatural spells, either.” ~Randolph OMF 295

“If your butter won’t come, the cream is bewitched. The spell can be broken by heating a horseshoe and…

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