Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Hallowe'en item: The Hand Of Glory Part 2

People are into digital devices these days. But the most demonic of digital devices is "the hand o' glory". (Digital--digits--fingers-- get it? Aw, maybe you did, if you are over 25.)

As noted in my last post, Walgreen's has hand o' glory candles for sale! But not just in one color. Nooooo. Previously I showed you their Caucasian hand candle. But they also have them in a dark, gray-brown, mucky color. The color of mummified flesh. BETTER than the ordinary Caucasoid version-- more spooky. And it's multi-culti, since the darkly discolored flesh of a decayed hand could be anybody's!

In my previous post, I shared some lines of poetry about a hand o' glory that were written by a Thomas Ingolsby. Seems that the name is variantly spelled Thomas Ingoldsby (both being pen names for a Rev. Richard H. Barham, who lived 1788--1845.) Under the Ingoldsby name I found another whole, long poem by him involving a hand o' glory, and it can be read here. I recommend it, but it's not easy to just scan and enjoy, as it isn't short and it isn't contemporary. But in the Hallowe'en season, I am perfectly happy to meet the past and all its traditions on its own terms.

Burglars using a hand o' glory were said to recite a poem when igniting it:
"Let those who rest more deeply sleep;
Let those awake their vigils keep.
O, Hand o' Glory shed thy light,
Direct us to our spoils tonight.
Flash out thy light, O skeleton hand,
And guide the feet of our trusty band."
Hate poetry? Want prose? Well, three short English folk narratives about the use of a hand o' glory can be read here, followed by two more gruesome German narratives of similar objects known as Thieves' Lights.

If you read all the links I've set up for you, you might acquire a taste for more morbid-looking hands of glory. Where can I find them, you ask. If you wish to buy this one,
(and of course you do, as it's a gorgeous piece of craftsmanship), then go to this page of the Miskatonic River Art Studio website, and you'll see it among the other hand-made items offered, or here to find ordering info.

What? You say you're saving all your dough for trick-or-treat candy? Just want to windowshop and see some interesting hands o' glory? Go look up Scotsman Gordon Rutter; the one below is in his collection:

And this oneis on display at the Whitby Museum in Whitby, England.

Read more about the hellish "hand-le" (hand candle, natch) here.


Anonymous said...

I adore Halloween and weirdness in general. In October I do 'Weird Wednesday' all month on my blog.

Dane said...

This is truly interesting stuff, I could read about this all day. It's not the usual ghosts and witches. Well done, Severed Head!!

Max the drunken severed head said...

So glad you dropped by, Rhea. Checked out your Boomer blog and I enjoyed it very much!

Your "embalming instructions" post brought back memories to when I was a teenager in a small town. I worked for 6 months in a funeral home as a general assistant. (An experience that ultimately grew too distasteful for me, but I did throw a party there once while the owner was away.) Did everything BUT embalm. The "how to" descriptions of the post were perfectly accurate.

However, it failed to mention that formaldehyde makes a great mixer with gin. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.

Dane-- Thanks for the pat on the back...of the head! I just post whatever gets my notice and that I find fun or interesting.

Carpe noctem, everyone!


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