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Hand of Glory

Hand of Glory

A hand of glory is the pickled hand of a man who has been hanged. Usually the left hand was used. If the man was hanged for murder, then the hand with which he committed the crime would be used.

Fat from the hanged man would be used to craft a candle, which would be placed in the severed hand. Sometimes the wick would be made from the hair of the same man.

A hand of glory was believed to possess magical powers in European occult traditions. It was believed a Hand of Glory would render people motionless, open locked doors or give light only to the person holding it.

The Whitby Museum has the only known remaining Hand of Glory on display.