Darlings, this simple and spooky DIY prop from Instructables user ChrysN could be just the thing to light up your Halloween festivities this year. Using a rubber glove, wax (or candle remnants), and a few candle making supplies, you too can create a facsimile of a dark and spooky Hand of Glory. This sinister object was once legendary in occult circles as a powerful charm for thieves, made gruesomely from parts of a hanged criminal and said to give the owner the power to render people motionless, to give light in dark rooms only to the bearer, and to unlock any door.
Take the right or left hand of a felon who is hanging from a gibbet beside a highway; wrap it in part of a funeral pall and so wrapped squeeze it well. Then put it into an earthenware vessel with zimat, nitre, salt and long peppers, the whole well powdered. Leave it in this vessel for a fortnight, then take it out and expose it to full sunlight during the dog-days until it becomes quite dry. If the sun is not strong enough put it in an oven with fern and vervain. Next make a kind of candle from the fat of a gibbeted felon, virgin wax, sesame, and ponie, and use the Hand of Glory as a candlestick to hold this candle when lighted, and then those in every place into which you go with this baneful instrument shall remain motionless. – Albertus Magnus, Secrets merveilleux de la magie naturelle et cabalistique du petit Albert, 1782.
While any actual power conferred from such a hand is debatable, and the term is arguably a corruption of the much more innocuous mandrake, I think its legendary creation technique and use is enough to still give your Halloween party-goers a bit of shiver, kittens. You can find complete step-by-step instructions for your hand candle on Instructables. If you’d like to make the prop look more realistic, consider adding candle dye to your wax or dipping the finished product in a tinted wax. You can also paint your candle using a candle painting medium and regular acrylic paint.
One final note, darlings – always use caution when burning candles, particularly one of this type that could be extra flammable. Never use props with flames near where trick-or-treaters might walk. To display this prop safely, I would consider placing it inside a large, unlidded glass jar with a spooky label when it’s finally time to introduce flame to candle this Halloween.