The Hand of Glory – A staple of horror films, most notably seen in British Lion’s ‘The Wicker Man’. Legend refers to to being the preserved arm of a hanged man, which either had its fingers lit or held a candle made of the rendered fat of…. a hanged man.
The town of Walsall has it’s own Hand of Glory and the object pictured above is a fabricated relic relating to this. The object was created using bone, lapis lazuli, garnet, and pearl beads sewn with Japanese gold thread. The wrap is velvet with gold thread, and it is presented in an antique pine box. Click for more information.
The various legends around the hand includes such points as:
- The arm must be cut from the deceased before he is taken from the gallows
- The sleep trance will only work on those already asleep – those still awake won’t be affected
- If a finger refuses to light that means someone in the house is still awake
- Water will not douse the flames – but milk will.
The only purported example of a real hand of glory is in the museum in Whitby.