Burning the Fingertips of Dismembered Hands

After Howie became very suspicious of the island people and discovered that they planned to sacrifice Rowan to appease their god he went to the inn so he could sleep and think of a way to stop them. While he was in bed, Willow and the innkeeper came in and set a dismembered hand on a mantle and lit the finger tips on fire. From what they said it would keep him asleep for a long time.

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Howie actually heard what they said and as soon as they had left the room he turned over and put out the fire. This scene was so odd and I’m curious about  couple things. Did they really want him to sleep? The whole thing was a trick in order to get him to come to the area that they planned to sacrifice him, so why would they want him to sleep for so long? My second question is what was their rationale for thinking that this burning hand would keep him sleeping? What kind of ritual is this?

Upon researching this I found that this ritual is called the “Hand of Glory.” This process involved cutting off the hand of someone who had been hanged, drying the hand, and then pickling it. The hand usually cut off was the left hand as it is perceived as the “evil” one. The hand used in this scene is also the left hand of some one. The old European belief is that using this as a candle would cause anyone it was used on to become motionless.

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There was actually a short scene in which we see a dead person with two coins covering their eyes as well as a missing left hand. I couldn’t find and screenshot of this though. I’m curious as to why they killed this person if they don’t believe in murder. I will update this if i find a screenshot of this scene.

Hand of Glory Information  Received From: http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/hand.html

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