Bizarre, Antique Shoes Found in Attic of Clinton, MI Home
Does anyone else love seeing random discoveries made in long-abandoned attics?
Recently shared in the Facebook group, Abandoned, Old and Interesting Places in Michigan, a person by the name of Ralph F. was working on rewiring an older house in Clinton, MI and found an interesting pair of shoes:
Now, thanks to the comment section, there are a few different theories as to why these shoes are shaped the way they are:
They look like shoes worn during prohibition when they would carry alcohol. The soles were made to look like cow hooves. The shape of the shoe is definitely different though. - Janna J.
Birth defects make sense. Clubfoot was common and the design of these shoes with a wide ankle/heel area makes perfect sense if you take a look at photos of adults with clubfoot - Sarah S.
Could they be for someone with very swollen ankles? They look victorian. The added sole pieces would also help support their ankles as they walked if they had those attached - they would support their ankles. That's my guess. - Susan S.
Aside from these practical guesses, some were suggesting they were hidden in the attic due to a superstitious belief. Now, personally, I've never heard of a superstition involving putting shoes in an attic but one quick Google search proved me wrong. It's known as 'concealed shoes'.
Dating back to the 1500s, people would often hide shoes in their homes to ward off evil. Primarily, witches. They would put them in places that were thought to be easy access points of the home, or 'portals', in the hopes that the shoes would keep witches out. While the superstition is said to have died out, at least in the UK in the 1900s, people now renovating older homes are discovering these long-forgotten, concealed shoes.
In fact, so many have been found that UK's Northampton Museum created an index. So far, that index lists over 3,000 shoes that have been found in homes. Read more here.
Superstition or not, these are an incredible piece of history to just randomly find while restoring a house. The original poster, Ralph, was given permission by the owners of the home to keep the shoes. So, if any weird things start happening in Ralph's life (or in that house)...we'll know why.
A few people said that Ralph should take the shoes to a museum. And, he did. On his post he commented:
I did take them to the lenawee county historical museum and they tried to find info on who lived at the house. They could not find anything. There were also alot of old books up there but they were all torn up.
To which Michaela F. responded with,
I might have to agree with Michaela on this one. You can see all the comments and suggestions as to what these shoes could be here.
If you love all things vintage and are in the Kalamazoo area, check out these recently opened vintage shop: