Wednesday, 13 October 2010
The "Hand of Glory" supposedly comes from an executed criminal and was cut off the body while the corpse was still hanging from the gibbet.
The recipe for its preparation is simple : squeeze the blood out of the hand; embalm it in a shroud and steep it in a solution of saltpetre, salt and pepper for two weeks and then dry in the sun.
The other essential for its use is a candle made from hanged man's fat, wax and Lapland sesame. This candle was then fixed between the fingers of the hand and lit when a burglar broke into a house. Reputedly it prevented the inhabitants of the house from waking up thus allowing the burglar to investigate the house at his leisure. Various forms of this European legend abound.