For many hundreds of years, iron has been believed to be a substance that repels most of if not all of the supernatural entities of most of the world.
Human blood has a very distinct smell which can often times be instantly categorized as iron. But back in the day, people did not know that blood contained elements of iron in it, so they simply equated iron to lifeforce. Being that iron is a mineral buried within the earth, once it was uncovered that you could obtain iron not only from meteorites, but deep within the earth, certain cultures regarded iron as the lifeforce of the earth. It was regarded as a magical substance because it could withstand both the elements of fire and a deep freeze of the cold, and because it was still harder than most if not all metals at the time.
Many people have heard that horseshoes are good luck, but not many sections of the lore go into depth that they are only good luck because they are made out of – you guessed it – iron. And depending on the way that horseshoe is hung in or on the home, it could not mean good luck at all. If the horseshoe was hung upright, with the tips facing the ceiling, that meant that any good luck in the area would be absorbed into the horseshoe, and it would be held there, as the way a cup holds liquid. But if it were hung upside down, with the tips pointing to the ground, that means that it was bad luck because all of the luck the iron horseshoe had accumulated was constantly being “poured out”. But further, in some cultures, people believed that an upside down horseshoe was also good luck because as it poured out the good luck, the luck was poured out and around the home, enveloping it in good luck.
Iron is not just found in horseshoes. I have a working theory. Now, before listening to this theory, you have to approach this topic with two fundamental beliefs: a) That ghosts/spirits/demons actually exist, and that b) in order to exist, they absorb and utilize electrical energy to increase their strength levels. Let’s just say for arguments sake that yes, these things do exist and that they do require electrical energy to manifest.
If you were to turn on any ghost hunting show today, you would see all sorts of equipment, such as infrared cameras and most commonly, an EMF meter – which is responsible for measuring the electromagnetic field in a specific area. In most cases, the person is using them correctly, but if there are appliances or otherwise perfectly normal reasons for large amounts of electrical energy, these meters are useless. This also applies to the home’s wiring and whether or not it involves romex cables.
If there is any electrical presence, the meter will react to that. Something as small as a mini-light bulb can set those needles off, so this should also be taken into consideration. This is why most EMF readings in paranormal investigations are not regarded as hard proof, because it can’t be proven if before you recorded your evidence, you got a valid, true baseline reading.
Now, for anyone involved in the field, you would know that usually during times of EMF “spikes” or abnormalities, people will very frequently mention that they are feeling a “hot” spot or a “cold” spot. Anyone who knows anything about physics knows that all heat is, simply put, is motion. Motion, in turn, is simply energy. So logically, when someone experiences a “cold spot”, then the most plausible answer is that the motion in that area has drained it of all of its energy.
Furthermore, since energy cannot be destroyed, only converted into another form of energy, it would stand to reason that if ghosts did indeed exist, then they would need to absorb surrounding energy fields so that they could manifest and make themselves known, thus increasing their power and strength levels. So with this being said, anyone who has ever dealt with electricity knows a few things that they most likely would have never thought to compare with superstition, and this is where I will point those things out.
Most folklore would have you believe that iron, specifically cold iron, would repel witches, warlocks, spirits, demons, devils, and otherwise wicked or dark spirits. In reality, if iron does indeed affect a spirit, it would most likely affect all spirits, not just negative ones. Since Demons are simply “bad” angels, and angels are entities that do not possess any physical characteristics, that in effect makes them spirits. They are beings of nothing more than ancient and unlimited intelligence packed with a divine grace or a divine exile. So once again, it stands to reason that an angel/demon/spirit would be affected by this iron theory of mine. Horseshoes were as stated above used to keep good luck, but also to repel negative entities. Old prisons also use iron, even in modern days to “confine” that energy. In prisons, it was believed that a man could be just as wicked as a negative entity, and in order to contain both the physical man, and the entity in the event of a sudden death, they needed material that would affect both worlds, so they chose iron. Prisons used iron bars to restrict the man, but it’s ‘magical’ properties would also keep the entity confined as well. Most people do not think that the iron spans the entire premises of a prison, they figure that it is limited to the bars, which in turn would be negated when the cells are opened and thus allow the spirit to exit the premises. However, in most prisons, the concrete or even stone blocks are laced with iron rebar re enforcements inside them for this exact reason. I personally have visited a prison reputed to be both very old and very haunted. It is one of the oldest prisons in the country, located in Pennsylvania. It is the Eastern State Penitentiary, and it is in a state of ruin. Once inside, you can literally see the stone/concrete blocks chipped away, and the iron rebar exposed all throughout the prison. Now you know why.
Also, on an additional sidenote, the next time you walk by a cemetery, reach out and touch the gates. They are iron too, you know, and now you know the reason why. It is to prevent the energy of the dead from getting out, and to prevent the energy of parasitic, negative energies from entering. This is also why “resting places of the dead” are also regarded as sacred – it is not only due to religious beliefs. And that is also the same reason that some countries and religions chose iron as well – the Catholics chose to make their crucifixes out of iron, both pre and post Crusade-era, and countries like Germany and Russia also adopted the “iron cross”. That was just some free food for thought right there
And as far as iron repelling witches and warlocks? Fat chance. Throughout history, it has been common knowledge that witches and warlocks have been found in possession of objects crafted of iron, such as the famous witch’s cauldron and erroneous utensils.
Yet another quick reference of folklore would tell you that burying an iron knife under your doorstep would prevent a witch or negative spirit from entering your home. I suspect that after you hear the theory, you will believe as I do that it would have stopped all spirits, regardless of good or bad. In India, they believe that iron would repel the famous Djinn, and in other areas such as Scotland, Ireland, and Europe, iron is used specifically to keep malicious faeries from doing harm near you or your loved ones. This is because the “popular” belief is that iron is the “life of the earth” and is sacred, but when man had wrought it, twisted it, and mutated it to form shapes and objects, they tainted its natural reverence and turned it into something disgusting and putrid to the ancient faeries. It is no longer in its purest form, and that is what repels them.
Very much like a “cold spot“, if a spirit, good or bad, relied on energy to make him or herself strong enough to affect the physical world, how would you deal with that spirit? It’s simple: You would rob him/her of its energy. Take away the electricity that they are using, and they have nothing to draw power from. This process is called “grounding”. Many of you have heard the term “grounding the wires“, or “only use grounded wires”. The way to ground electricity is to have that electricity run through a conductor that is literally embedded into the ground. Most houses, even modern ones will have a “ground spike” located outside, around the perimeter, usually near the electricity meter. This is most usually iron but can also be used with copper as well.
So, using this knowledge, it is in fact quite possible that ancient lore may be valid and correct, but the science behind it was simply unknown at the time. If someone were to use a grounded object, and simply “touch” an entity with it, once the grounded object passed through the entity, it would literally suck out and absorb all of the energy that the spirit was using to strengthen itself with.
Other folklore includes the fact that ancient Greeks and Romans actually refused to put any iron, especially iron rods into the ground at or near cemeteries, because they feared that it would “scare away” the souls/spirits of the departed. And, Babylonians, Egyptians, and Aztecs believed that iron came from heaven, though many believe this is because they most likely obtained their first bits of iron from meteorites, which contain large quantities of iron, among other minerals.
Now, the one thing you should take into consideration – spirits are energy. And energy, as discussed above, cannot be destroyed, only converted. So, for example, say that you have a poltergeist or a demon haunting your house, and you smack it with a grounded object such as iron, yes, you will win the battle. But these things may take this as an offense or you as a threat, so assuming that they exist, you could honestly become the target of their existance. And you would have to carry around a grounded object on your person all the time. This is not recommended. Ultimately, they could win the war.
I personally do not have any grounded objects, but I did have a special, handmade fighting knife/dagger made in Nepal. It is actually a Kukri/Khukhri, made out of 100+ year old abandoned iron railroad tracks from the company that provides the Nepalese Army with their official fighting Kukri’s/Khukhuri’s. This was a special order, and some poor guy actually had to go out and rip up the old tracks, and then craft my weapon out of those tracks. (Yes, I requested that they take photos of the actual material gathering). As soon as I can find a good translator, I intend to acid etch “The Prayer of Saint Michael” onto the blade in the language of the angels/demons, Enochian on one side, and Latin on the other. So yes, I do believe that iron repels spiritual energy.