Shorting horses always looks like it hurts. Sure, the outer walls of horse hooves have no nerve endings, much like human fingernails.
But you are driving metal nails into their feet and even fingernails have nail beds. A farrier needs to be delicate, patient and perhaps a little lucky to avoid going to deep workhorses need new shoes every four to six weeks, which means a lot of shoes end up being melted down or otherwise disposed of. But a horse's trash can be a human's treasure as long as you hang it right.
Hi, everyone, I'm Alastair Murden, and this is Superstitions, a Spotify original from podcast, we all need a little luck sometimes. Exactly how you get it depends on who you ask. And the same goes for what you should avoid.
On this show, we endeavor to give you the full lay of the finger crossing land. Convictions, contradictions and all superstitions explores ancient beliefs, whispered magics and how these legends made their way to the modern world like the monkey's paw or rabbit's foot. The lucky horseshoe is a charm with an animal rights adjacent past. But this superstitions origins go far beyond the equine world. Drawing on stories of Jin Fei and even the plagues of Egypt, a horseshoe hung above the doorframe invokes centuries of legends and folk tales, its placement simultaneously causing good luck and warding off evil.
Not superstitions, are fueled by the power of belief. And one must keep the faith.
You must never waver. Not for a second.
For, as our dear friend Kristen learned, CLO's doesn't always count in horseshoes. You can find episodes of superstitions and all other originals from podcast for free on Spotify.
Please be warned. Today's story contains descriptions of Ghar assault and references to harm against animals.
We advise caution for children under 13. Coming up, a pair of new roommates tests the luck of this equine wall decoration. Now our story begins.
It was raining in the desert. Christine wish she believed that some higher power was having a laugh at her expense. But she knew better. The fact that a freak rainstorm had followed her in her move from the swamp laden south to the Arizona desert was just a coincidence. It had nothing to do with her.
She was the first in her family to leave the Gulf Coast, the first to go to college. Sometimes it felt like everyone back home was waiting for her to fail, but she had a few tricks up her sleeve.
She dragged a soggy cardboard box under the awning of the building and ran back out to the moving truck. Her clothes were soaked through. She wanted a hot shower. And for this move to be over, she managed to drag two more boxes inside the entranceway and headed up the stairs to her new apartment. Her new roommate, Nicole, was rummaging through the boxes that had already made that up. Nicole was Donaire, raised on occupied land on the other side of the state.
And while she and Kristen had never lived close by before, they'd been best friends for most of their lives. They had grown up on the Internet together. They found each other on neopets and kept moving across social media networks. It only made sense that they had room together in material space eventually. But neither of them knew what their dynamic would be like outside of FaceTime and watch along.
Hey, Kristen said, I will show you all of my cool stuff when I'm not filled with moving malaise.
Oh, sorry, I thought this was the kitchen stuff. Nicole promptly stepped away from the box, but she didn't go far. She seemed like she was waiting for something. Kristen gave her a look. What's up? Just one question, said Nicole. What's this?
She reached down into Kristen's box and picked up a rusted metal horseshoe. The ends was so worn and broken it barely kept its crescent shape. Kristin laughed.
That's our horseshoe. You hang it over the door for good luck. It's a tradition from somewhere, Ireland or Italy.
I don't know some older European country that knows better than us. Nicole groaned. Europeans colonized half the world because they thought they knew better. They did not actually make anything better.
Kristen cringed in their many years of online friendship, Nicole had done a fair amount of educating, teaching Kristen to say dinner rather than Navajo, that sort of thing. Kristen always did her best to be mindful on her own, but she'd still slip up every now and again. She hoped this wasn't a red flag for her new roommate. I'm sorry. Thanks for calling me in. Please forgive the ignorant white girl Nicole pointed at her. I will.
Under the condition that you acknowledge that I can only speak for myself and not the other. Kristen agreed. Nicole smiled and brought her a bowl. OK, peeled this garlic for me and explain your backward European belief that a piece of cowboy garbage is something you need to have in your house. Aren't you allergic to horses when Nicole put it that way? It did sound kind of silly. But Kristen was nothing if not persistent in her beliefs about happy spaces.
Oh yeah. They make my face swell up like Rocky Balboa, but it's made of iron, which scares fairies and witches. The shape is supposed to be like the moon. I know this one isn't, but you get the general idea and the moon is good for things. Nicole fiddled with the stove, the rusty horseshoe still in her other hand, in my culture, the moon carrier asked that births and deaths occur more frequently at night. They dictate vegetation and time cycles.
Not sure how it works for the Italian or Irish.
I thought you were Cagen. I am Kristen was realizing everything she had learned about the moon may have come from the craft skipping the moon, you hang it with seven nails, which is a lucky number. I don't know why, but it is any time my order comes with the seven, I get extra fries or a free upgrade to my airplane seat. I know it's kind of a potpourri of good luck charms, but it works. Nicole shrugged and gave a small smile.
Fair enough. I'm just glad you're not misrepresenting your jambalaya skills. She let the horseshoe drop back into the box and headed to the bathroom to scrub the rust off her fingers, Christine sighed.
OK, so she'd made a weird impression on her roommate, but Nicole would soon be taking in the good energy, too.
She grabbed a small step stool and the horseshoe spot me. Nicole stood next to her holding the nails so Kristen could focus on balancing the overborne soles of her sneakers made her feet slide unsteadily, but she held firm with each pound of her hammer. She felt the luck filling the space.
Her move was going to be better than anything that had ever happened to her. She knew that now she'd be able to afford new shoes and a new stand mixer. Before she knew it, she steadied herself against the wall and admired the misshapen horseshoe.
I know it's weird, but good things are going to happen. Nicole laughed, helping Kristin clean down if it makes you feel better. It makes you feel better. The two women took in the space around them. It didn't look like much between the boxes that still needed unpacking and the walls that still needed decorating. But it would be something soon. Suddenly, Kristin remembered her boxes in the hallway. She'd left the back of the moving truck open. Her precious belongings could be ruined or worse, stolen.
She took off down the hallway. She paid no heed to the slick rubber of her shoes.
As soon as she stepped from the carpet to the wooden staircase landing, her foot went sliding along the floor. She couldn't stop the momentum. Kristen covered her face with her hands. As she tumbled through space, her body slammed into something hard.
She was still upright.
That was a good sign. She opened her eyes slowly. Her entire field of vision was obscured at first, a throat cleared in front of her. She looked up and the world started to make some sense. She had crash landed into a man very tall, very broad man. His head was a good foot and a half above her own. He had nice hair, just softly brushing his shoulders. Well conditioned. He Lochaber. Kristen tried to take a step backward, but her foot hit the ledge of the stair above her.
He helped her steady herself, then smiled at her.
She felt more than a little dizzy. Hi, I'm Michael. Had three words ever sounded so intriguing. Kristen didn't think so. Running face first into a hot new neighbor literally was a dream situation for her.
I'm guessing those are your boxes downstairs. He tilted his head down towards the front door of the complex.
Need help? Kristen was about to ask how he knew the boxes were hers, but then she realized that both she and they were soaked with rain. Yeah, that'd be amazing. Thank you.
She watched him walk down the stairs and followed behind.
Slowly, her arms were screaming and protest that the idea of picking up the last of them. But she told them to not ruin this for her. Kristen watched Michael have three boxes up the stairs. She grabbed two of her own and followed suit.
They carried the boxes up, smiling at each other as they shared the stairs. There was not enough room to fit them both comfortably, but they were making it work.
She didn't mind being squished in the corner if she could look at him.
When they reached the landing, they looked at each other in awkward silence. Kristen was trying to work up the nerve to invite him in when? Can I get your number? It was all too beautifully overwhelming, Kristin went inside, leaving the boxes out in the hallway for a few minutes. She dragged them in when he wasn't looking for now, she wanted to be a little mysterious. He sent her a winking emoji.
Kristen was figuring out which emoji best conveyed noncommittal flirting when a new email appeared in her inbox. Misery's We'd love to have you in for an interview. The rest of the message was cut off. She'd have to actually read it later. For now, she was going to bask in everything that was going right. Christine kissed her hand and pressed it against the doorframe. Thank you, Horseshoe. Up next, Christine's newfound luck is off to the races. Listeners, this month marks 60 years since John F.
Kennedy became the 13th president of the United States, ushering his already prominent family into the highest enclaves of political power. But behind the storied successes lies, secrets and scandals so severe, if it were any other lineage, they would have been left in ruin this January. To commemorate this iconic milestone, dig in to the dramas of a real life American dynasty. In the Spotify original film podcast, The Kennedys Crime History Mystery, this exclusive series from Spotify features your favorite past hosts, including me, examining one of the world's most formidable families from all angles, whether it's assassinations and conspiracies, corruption and cover ups, international affairs and extramarital ones to discover all of the Kennedy family's most controversial moments.
All in one place, you can binge all 12 episodes of this limited series starting on Tuesday, January 19th. Follow the Kennedys free and exclusively on Spotify. Now back to the story. Kristen was delirious with joy. She hadn't even been in this new apartment for a month and already her new life here was turning out better than she could have imagined. Could I have a special horseshoe made when Michael and I get married, or is that taking things too far?
She asked her roommate while staring at the rusted hunk of metal displayed over her door.
Nicole rolled her eyes. If you're asking if my uncle could be commissioned, it's a bit complicated. He could make you a saddle blanket, but he doesn't believe in outfitting Horse Nation with shoes. Also, this is your second date. Calm down. I know the first date had gone so well, though. Nice movie. Quiet Walk Home Romantic Make Out in the rain.
She looked down at her phone.
Michael's coming over tonight. I know you've only said it six times so far today. Right? But things kept getting in the way.
There was that sprinkler misfire and his car breaking down. I got that call from work. But that's going to change. My Holzschuh has my back.
Nicole side. That's a lot of bad luck, Chris, if it's going to make it up to you, it needs to do something really great, like rescue dogs and bunnies.
Christine completely missed the irony in Nicole's voice. Gosh, can you imagine she breezed into her room.
She had spent the entire morning cleaning it. Her sheets were freshly laundered. She'd even dry cleaned address.
Usually the expense wasn't worth it, but this was her potential future husband.
If she wanted to keep him, she had to take some big risks. The door slammed shut and there was a clang of metal against wood, Kristen poked her head out, but she didn't see any sign of Nicole.
She called out in the loudest voice she could manage. No one answered. Kristen reminded herself that the sudden disappearance was normal.
Nicole had three custom battle map and model commissions to do. She was effectively dead to the world for the foreseeable future. Kristen didn't have time to investigate further. She had two hours to get ready. She showered, waxed tweezers and lotion her way to the smooth skin possible. She used three different makeup tutorials as references when she was certain her eyeliner was perfect. She put down her brushes and cleaned up the mess. All that was left was the dress she wiggled her way into the red silk no and flailed her arms about wildly to grab the zipper in the middle of her back.
Once she caught it, she pulled it up. Michael's knock was perfectly timed. Kristen ran towards the door and felt pain shoot through her foot.
Her horseshoe was laying in front of the door, nails jutting upward right into the bottom of her foot, nausea welled inside her.
Oh, God, she hated blood, but this was even worse. She tried to remember the last time she'd had a tetanus shot, but it wasn't coming to her. Just a second, Christine gingerly dragged her leg to the couch, she braced herself on the arm, digging her fingernails into the cloth. She placed her uninjured foot on top of the ends of the horseshoe to brace and began to count on three.
She gingerly lifted her bloody foot off the nails.
She bit back a shriek. Black dots bloomed in front of her. She swayed lightly for a minute before regaining her grip on the sofa. She was OK, very bloody and in pain, but OK. Her worries about a possible infection would have to wait.
Michael was still pounding against the door.
She limped over and did her best to smile.
Tracts of mascara were probably melting down her face, but he liked her. For her.
It shouldn't matter what she looked like. She opened the door.
You look awful. He entered the room without even asking how she was. He didn't even seem to notice the trail of blood she'd left on the carpet.
Yeah, I. My horseshoe fell. She didn't have a better explanation right now.
She didn't know if it was the blood loss or the trauma, but words weren't flowing for her the way they usually did. He idly kicked at the bloody metal with his boot. Now that she looked at it, his work boots seemed to have a dark brown crust on the top of them, almost like dried blood. What do you do for work again? She asked. I'm an actuary, he said, as though she should have remembered, but they hadn't been big on talking.
Why would an actuary have work boots? Kristen told herself to calm down. There was nothing weird about the situation except his staggering lack of empathy. Do you think you could get me some gauze from the bathroom? She wasn't going to wait around for him to get some basic decency.
She needed supplies and he possessed two uninjured feet. She dragged herself over to the kitchen to get some ice. A moment later, warm breath stirred the back of her neck.
She couldn't believe him. She was bleeding through her foot and he was getting hot and heavy.
Kristen ignored him and opened the freezer door. She reached in for a bag of peas and then stopped. She heard a rip of fabric and felt something cold against her skin. Not just cold, but pointed a knife's edge. Kristen tensed. She had made dumb decisions before, but she wasn't about to be some simpering victim to whatever this guy wanted.
She swung around and smashed the frozen food into his head. He fell back and the knife went with him.
Nicole chose that exact minute to walk in, muttering something about not wanting to interrupt. Kristen screamed at her to look up. Nicole took in the scene the blood on the floor, the unconscious man on the couch, Kristen, leaning heavily on one foot. She blinked. So the wedding horseshoe is off the table. Then Kristen grabbed the knife from Michael's hands.
Just help. Despite her sarcastic comment, Nicole was by her side in a blink. Together, they pushed the body out into the hall. He was just beginning to stir as they closed the door on him.
What do we do? Kristen whispered. But then her eyes fell to the bloody horseshoe. She set her jaw spot me. She grabbed the step stool and placed it in front of the door. Taking a deep breath, she climbed on top of it. Her foot protested, and she nearly lost her balance. But Nicole caught her. Kristen, she hissed. What do you. A bang came from the other side of the door. Michael wanted back in.
He claimed he was just messing around. She should be able to take a joke. Kristen grabbed the hammer and horseshoe from the side table. She inserted a nail and knocked it into the wall. As the door rattled under Michael's hands, she placed the second nail in Michael's pounding only got harder. Nicole threw herself against the door. Should that really be our priority right now, Chris? She drove the third nail in.
Michael rammed himself against the door, shaking the frame. Kristen's foot slipped and she would have gone crashing to the floor if Nicole hadn't studied her. Chris, you're being ridiculous. Kristen bit her lip and concentrated. The fourth nail was in place within two steady blows. Michael's voice had turned to honey, but she stopped listening. Whether he was joking or not, she would not have him in her house or five.
The walls shook. Nicole put her full weight up against the door. Will you drop your stupid superstition and help me hold him?
Nail six. Michael called her every misogynistic term he could think of. He railed against her and all women that led men on and then wouldn't follow through. Then Nail's seven. The hallway went quiet. Kristen had done it. She leaned back to face her work, overwhelmed Michael the knife, the wound through her foot, it was all too much. She swayed Nicole, caught her again. She moved her to the couch, then dashed back to the peephole.
Kristen's eyes stayed glued to the horseshoe. He can't hurt us now, she whispered. Nicole just stared at her in disbelief. They later learned from their landlady that there wasn't a Michael who lived in the building, not anyone who looked like him either. But she promised to keep an eye out and would tell everyone else to. The women retreated to Nicole's room that night. Nicole glanced at the door every few seconds, too wired to shut her eyes.
But Kristin slept content in the knowledge that the Horseshoe was protecting her.
In the middle of the night, the horseshoe fell to the floor. Nicole was up in a flash baseball bat in hand.
Kristen watched her stalk into the hallway. She held her breath. Then a light flicked on Nicole called Kristen's name, she tiptoed out. Michael lay face down in the doorway, deathly still. A hunting knife lay uselessly at his side. His hair was matted with blood.
And they're stuck in his head nails first was Kristen's horseshoe. Though the superstitious can agree you're supposed to hang a horseshoe on the top right corner of the door frame, how you're supposed to hang it is a matter frequently up to debate.
Some say it should be hung, heals up to collect luck in the bowl shaped metal curve.
Others argue that the bowl must always be turned over so the accumulated luck can flow down upon those who move beneath it.
And overall, it is better for the horseshoe to be previously used, preferably either found or gifted rather than purchased, which I'm sure anois antique and junk sellers to no end.
Now, historically, horseshoes generally needed to be made out of a hard metal like iron.
This particular metal has been used in various cultures as a charm or shield against malevolent supernatural forces like Ginne, ghosts and demons because of its strength. But to discuss the origins of this superstition, one must first note when horseshoes came in to use the exact point of their origin has yet to be deduced. But a reference to brazen footed steeds in the Iliad suggests that foot coverings have existed for horses since humans have ridden them. These were likely made of leather or plant material.
One of the earliest appearances of the metal horseshoe comes from ancient Rome, and horseshoes are mentioned in a 1st century BCE poem by Catullus.
The lucky horseshoes popularity in the English speaking world probably came from the legend of St. Dunstan.
St. Dunstan of Canterbury, who was the Archbishop of Canterbury in 10th century England, was also well regarded Metal Smith. According to one story, Dunstan received a strange visitor one evening while working in his shop.
It turned out to be the devil himself who was there to disturb Dunstan to drive the demon away for good. Dunstan grabbed him, then drove nails through his hooves and hammered on a pair of metal shoes. It caused the devil such pain. Dunstan was able to make him promise that he would never enter a building where a horseshoe was displayed, although one wonders if Dunstan also carried a horseshoe with him when he went outdoors for extra protection. I'd always be looking over my shoulder if I'd driven 14 nails into the devil's field.
Thanks again for listening to superstitions. We will be back Wednesday with a new episode, you can find episodes of superstitions and all other originals from podcast for free on Spotify until next time. Be wary of the things you cannot explain. Superstitions is a Spotify original from power. It is executive produced by Max Cutler, Sound Design by Kenny Hobbs with production assistance by Ron Shapiro, Carly Madden and Erin Larson. This episode of Superstitions was written by Lil Dorita and Jennifer Rachet with Writing Assistants by Andrew Kelaher, fact checking by Claire Cronin and research by Adriana Gomez and Mikki Taylor.
I'm Alistair Murden. Fact, fiction, fame, discover the real story behind one of history's most formidable families in the Spotify original form podcast, The Kennedys.
Remember, you can binge all 12 episodes starting on Tuesday, January 19th. Listen free and exclusively on Spotify.