1725 Home near Boston Was Protected from Sprits by Shoes Buried in the Foundation
The Tilden House sits in Canton, Massachusetts, and was built by a couple named David and Abigail almost 300 years ago back in 1725, according to the home's website. Today, the structure is one of the first surviving houses in the area, and "preservation efforts are underway to protect and preserve this unique American home."
So, where do the shoes come in?
Well, the site explains that during a project to "frame out the new accessible bathroom and a small catering kitchen," several shoes were found underneath the kitchen floor.
It turns out that it's fairly normal to find shoes hidden in older houses, especially in crawl spaces, attics, floors, and other nooks and crannies. As superstition goes, it was believed that the footwear prevented evil spirits from entering the homes.
In this interesting BBC article, various experts gave their best take on why shoes were chosen as a means of warding off spirits, witches, demons, and so on.
History professor Malcolm Gaskill guessed that since shoes mold to the shape of one's foot, they were "considered "imprinted" with the "character and essence" of the wearer." Historian Ceri Houlbrook also explained that "the evil force believes the shoe to be the person, attacks the shoe instead, and becomes trapped inside it."
The specific motive for hiding the shoes likely evolved as time went on, according to the article. Whatever the reason, stories like this are always really cool, and we're glad those at the Tilden House had this fun and fascinating find.
To learn more about the ongoing excavations at the Tilden House, click here.
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