Hanging a horseshoe on or over the door of a home, to bring good luck to those inside and to keep the devil away, has long been a tradition in Ireland and something my husband and I do in our home.
The legend goes that a wise old blacksmith was hard at work one day making horseshoes, when he attracted the attention of the devil. The devil, of course, has hooves himself and he decided he would try getting them shod. The blacksmith recognized the devil and nailed on red-hot shoes, driving the nails deep into the devil’s foot. The devil paid him and left. The blacksmith threw the money away knowing it would bring him nothing but bad luck.
After walking some distance, the devil began to suffer pain from his new shoes. Finally, after having endured searing agony for some time, he tore them off and threw them away. From that time on, whenever the devil saw a horseshoe, he turned and ran. Hanging a horseshoe on or over the door of a home, therefore, was sure to keep the devil away and bring good luck to everyone who lived there.
Hanging the horseshoe with the heels up ensures that the luck keeps collecting and can’t flow out.