A coffin nail is exactly what you’d think it would be. A metal nail extracted from a wooden coffin; a used coffin to be exact. More specifically, a used coffin that held a human corpse and was buried underground for an unspecified length of time. As you can imagine, these are quite uncommon. Perhaps that is why they are considered a very powerful in ritual magick; much stronger than a pin or other nail. They have been used for Centuries in ritual magick, sometimes for positive spell work, but most often for hexing or spells of malice and harm.
Coffin Nail History & Facts
Long ago, before the days of metal caskets and burial vaults, people were buried in simple wooden boxes, mostly made of pine. These coffins were cheap and easy to make. Thin boards about 3/4″ thick were nailed together in a standard pattern with a hinged lid and either rope or other rudimentary handles. The nails used were hand forged, square shaped and mostly made of iron. Coffin nails ranged in size between 1 1/4″ to 2″ in length. Blacksmiths would pound them into shape and taper one end to form something close to a point before flattening out the other end to make it suitable for pounding. Old records show that a good Blacksmith would have been able to produce over 200 nails in a single hour. There were several jigs and devices constructed in the 1700’s and 1800’s which improved the output, but it wasn’t until the early 1900’s when machine-made wire nails became readily available. But, I digress. The history of nail-making is certainly intriguing, but not particularly interesting to those trying to learn about coffin nails and there use in witchcraft, magick, and spellcasting.
The supply or non-supply of coffin nails is highly questionable. History tells us that wooden burial containers have been around for thousands of years, dating back to ancient Egypt, but that doesn’t mean they are being dug up for their nails. Some wooden coffins are still used today, but the construction has changed significantly, with nails being replaced with screws or dovetail joints. Most coffins today are stainless metal or fiberglass, with fewer and fewer wooden boxes being considered. Also, modern burial methods are significantly different with concrete vaults being used, making it really difficult to dig up a grave without anyone noticing.
The internet or your local metaphysical shop will likely have listings for coffin nails, each complete with what spells they can be used for. But, common sense would tell most of us that possessing a few coffin nails would be difficult to achieve, and having a steady to supply for sale seems near-impossible. What they are actually selling are old square cut nails made of iron, which have become commonly known as coffin nails.
Did you know: A casket is defined as a fancy coffin in the dictionary, but that’s not 100% accurate. A casket has four sides and is rectangular shaped, while a true coffin is hexagonal shaped, with six sides.
What Are Coffin Nails Used For?
Coffin nails are a necessary component in many forms of ritual magick, including Hoodoo, Voodoo, Wicca, Witchcraft, Obeah, and Santeria, just to name a few. As noted, they are mainly used for negative spells or charms. Due to the nature of these types of spells, the exact processes and other ingredients will not be published on this site. They are used to put a hex on someone, literally putting a nail in that person’s coffin. Coffin nails are also used in spells of malice, to make someone ill, to drive them away, or even to cause a premature death. In Voodoo, they were used to drive a victim insane. They are also used in revenge spells and other destructive magickal workings.
On the positive side of things, coffin nails are used to break curses, reverse spells, break addictions, rid oneself from evil, to stop fights, general protection, or to ‘nail down’ something such as a goal or specific objective. They are also used in certain wealth or money spells. In these cases they are hammered into the corners of the home or in the door jambs and window sills, to keep your money ‘at home’. Coffin nails can also be used to add power to other spells, sealing them or anchoring them down. They are often included in nation sacks, mojo (gris gris) bags or amulets of protection.
American Folk Magic practitioners believe that coffin nails are one method to connect with the dead. This is very important since they also believe that the dead can be enlisted to help the living, when it comes to spell work.
In candle magick, coffin nails are often used as a scribe, to carve symbols or other magickal markings into the wax, before burning.