It is believed that the good luck powers of the horseshoe originate with the story of a blacksmith named Dunstan. The Devil came to Dunstan and requested that he fit him with new horseshoes. Dunstan recognized the devil and nailed a horseshoe onto his hoof. This caused the Devil great pain. While he was in agony, Dunstan chained him and only released him after the devil promised never to enter a place that had a horseshoe hung over the door. Dunstan became the Archbishop of Canterbury in 959 AD and is known as St. Dunstan.
Some believe that if guests come to a house where a horseshoe is above the door, they must leave by the same door through which they entered or they will take the luck from the horseshoe with them from the house.
To assure good luck for the New Year, one should sleep with a horseshoe under his pillow on New Year’s Eve.
The crescent shape of the horseshoe can ward off the evil eye.
Suspected witches who were tried and buried upon their deaths had horseshoes nailed to their coffins to prevent them from returning to life or resurrecting again as witches.