top of page

Coffin Nails

So what are coffin nails? And how are they used? They are one of the older types of ritual items that are used in ritual practices.

First off let me make it perfectly clear I am NOT referring to the nick-name of cigarettes, which are also called "coffin nails" because they can cause lung, throat, mouth and tongue cancers. Nor am I referring to a style of cosmetic nails that women wear. I am referring to nails that were at one time used to make wooden coffins. So first I'm going to start with a bit of History on the idea of Coffin Nails. Then on why it's impossible or very rare to get Real coffin Nails. Then on how you can make your own coffin nails. In terms of use there are many spells out there but I'll only give just a few.

So lets us start with THE HISTORY OF COFFIN NAILS Coffin nails are generally considered a component of baneful or negative magic and have a rich history in Hoodoo and other magical systems. However, they (or any nail) can also be imbued with properties of what is called “fixing down” energies or sealing a spell. An Iron nail is preferable because of it’s energetic properties; real coffin nails (those formerly used to affix a coffin lid or any parts of a coffin) are a rarity!

Iron nails were consider to ward off malevolent forces and hauntings when used in construction. In Egypt around 275 BC, iron was referred to as “The Bones of Typhon” or Devil’s bone as this metal was believed to be consecrated or dedicated to evil. The concept of “fighting fire with fire” had been developed with the idea that iron can become used as a talisman and magical object to ward off and protect against the very thing it's attributed to it. I have known my Uncle when he finished working on building a house, he had one nail set aside and would bless it with Holy Water and then he would hammer in that nail as the final nail to the house.

So for every negative aspect of an object, or herb, even animals parts, there is also a positive aspect.

Part of this idea developed when it was realized early on that Jesus of Nazareth was nailed to a wooden cross with iron nails, therefor when a coffin nail or iron (aka steel nail) is blessed with Holy Water to do positive workings it is working on the side of good, because the idea is that it has been blessed or sanctified with the blood of Christ.

It is alleged that the use of coffin nails in magical spells and ritual raises the level of power and its focus. Coffin nails are primarily used to offer protection by negating or neutralizing malevolent influences rendering them useless, to break spells and curses, for dark art and Luciferian initiation as well as for closure, purging, revenge and destruction. The exact roles and rituals of coffin nails in ritual use are dependent upon the particular craft practices of the magician.

WARNING: Coffin nails are magical instruments with intrinsic power that must be treated with respect, they are not toys or novelty items. If by some chance you do get genuine coffin nails, you MUST respect the spirit of the deceased who was in the coffin that the nails were used to make.

In ancient times nails and spikes were made of Iron, now a days they are made of steel, the exception of course is rail road spikes, but for subtle ritual workings only a nail will do. However the modern steel nail is made of steel, which is a mixture of iron and carbon which will work just as well.

Iron is a natural metal said to have a very powerful protective and disruptive energy attached to it, ergo their use in protection magic and reversal ‘return to sender’ spells. The use of nails or spikes was known in ancient times all the way back to Egypt when they discovered the way to make iron. One of the oldest spells involving coffin nails comes from the book Naturalis Historia written by Pliny the Elder in the year 79 A.D. where it says: “To take any iron nail out of the coffin or sepulcher wherein a man or woman lieith buried, and to stick the same fast into the lintel or side post of a door…(then) he or she shall be delivered and secured from such fantastical illusions.”

For centuries iron was used in Europe as a natural occurring amulet against fairies, witches and malevolent spirits. Iron fences were placed around cemeteries not just to keep vandals out, but to keep spirits within. Even today really good Modern Cemeteries will have some form of iron to keep the spirits in, at least in the form of Iron Gates. Sad to say a lot of more Modern Cemeteries are no longer doing that, which means that more spirit's could possibly be wandering about.

We nail Iron (well we think it's Iron) Horseshoes over the door of our homes (unless you're living in one of those "home owners Association" places---then I'd suggest you move out) for protection and good luck.

SIDE BAR: The main reason why I will NOT live in a condominium or house that is governed by a Home Owners Association is that things that a magic practitioner needs to do is not permitted by such a governing dictatorship type body. It limits you.

Folk magic practitioners use coffin nails as a way of connecting with the dead in the belief that the dead can aid in spell work. Magically, the spirits of the dead are believed to possess many abilities to influence and control things beyond the earthly realm. Some practitioners use the nails to work with a specific spirit or ancestor they knew or work with frequently.

If petitioned for aid and paid properly ( See my post about gathering graveyard dirt) then aid will be given and the power of the spell work will improve. But coffin nails are not limited to protection or curses; many practitioners of both folk magic and Pagan tradition say they can be used in almost any spell to boost the spiritual energy. Since ancient times many bizarre and unusual practices have been employed pertaining to burial and funeral rites.

The burials that we're most familiar with, or that are most common, are where the deceased is placed in a coffin made out of anything from a plain pine box to elaborately decorated caskets made of various materials. By natural association, nails that have been taken from a coffin and then used in a magical spell, have been alleged to be more powerful than those using a new nail, or pin.

In black magic, the concept is that whatever caused the death of the person from which the coffin nail has been taken, will transfer itself by what is called "contagious magic", and cause harm to the recipient of the spell. Any evil spell is said to gain potency when coffin nails are used in place of the generally prescribed pin.

In Africa, an image is often made of an enemy and held to be used when needed. Whenever one feels threatened by the enemy, a coffin nail is wedged into the image and this protects the practitioner from any evil intended by their enemy. In Voodoo, a spell that causes an enemy to supposedly go mad is performed with a voodoo doll, a coffin nail, and black arts oil.

Coffin nails are still used today in rituals both in Wicca, Witchcraft, Voodoo or Voudou, Obeah, Santeria, and other offshoot religions. Obviously for a number of reasons it is hard to come upon real coffin nails nowadays, because to deliberately go to an old graveyard and dig up an old coffin to get the nails and or wood, is desecration and can bring down the spirit of the deceased upon you, besides the police.

However there are times when an old coffin is dug up, the body respectfully and with proper burial rites put into a new coffin and the old coffin is discarded, but that is rare, however it does help if you have good connections with those in the funeral business or the city or county morgue. In some cases a disaster such as a flood will dissenter coffins, or as in some places like Mexico, where the land is only leased and if the lease is not renewed the body is disinterred and the land made available for the next "resident".

And now a days, here in the United States, coffins are more often than not made of metal to discourage decay of the body, although there are folks that are going for either cremation or a more natural form of burial.

And you also have a problem with some of the more unscrupulous occult supply dealers because with them most folks just sell either any old rusty nail, or else nails that have been buried in grave dirt or a graveyard irregardless of the type of person that lays in that grave. So you have a problem, you want to use a coffin nail or nails in your ritual, but are you getting the genuine article? Especially if you are in Louisiana. There is only just a finite number of such nails and to be able to get them like a packet 5 to 9 nails for $3 to $5 dollars is a bargain, which would make me wonder is it genuine? The best thing is to create your own.

HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN COFFIN NAILS: The ladies in my Granny's group including my Granny would often or not back in the 30's to 1950's have a connection about a re-burial, Mrs. Washington's husband would often be called in as a carpenter to remove the dismantled old coffin and from that he would carefully pull out the nails and even save the wood for the Ladies.

But when he retired in the mid-1960's (he developed a heart condition), that was no longer the case, so even before it was posted on the internet, the ladies came up with several ways to create their own coffin nails, and this was because they didn't feel right buying the nails from the few occult stores that were in their area. So the best thing was to make their own. Now to have true all iron nails was just about impossible, but when they found out that steel nails are made from both Iron and carbon, that was a good alternative.

But they didn't like the small round top finishing nails, oh they were fine for inscribing something on a candle or such like items, but not for what they wanted. It got to the point where it was like the old saying "See a penny pick it up all the day you'll have good luck." Well back in the really old days the original word in that saying was "pin". Because to housewives a pin was considered very important.

Even Abigale Adams, the wife of the 2nd president of the U.S. said in a letter to her husband that the women folk needed pins! So he went out and bought pins. Well for the ladies it also became, "see a nail pick it up" and they would carry in their purses, a blank envelop for such "found items". So nails from neutral areas, as oppose to specific area's like a church, a jail, a hospital etc. could be used. The next thing is the type of grave, whom did you select for graveyard dirt to put the nail in? Would it be fore Love, Protection, hex breaking, binding, cursing? So that would be called into play.

And the graveyard dirt had to be collected in the prescribed manner. So what they would do is as a group, figure out the types of graves they needed, have small wooden boxes to hold each type of dirt, (always best to label them) properly collect the dirt, and then decide which nails would go into which box.

The found nails would then be smudged to remove any previous energies, later they did it with new nails as well, then the nails would be put into the boxes, sometimes wrapped in a shroud of wax paper with some dirt, salty water and the nails---later on they used cling wrap, now a days a zip lock baggy would work, but it had to be put into the wooden box that held the rest of the dirt.

Each lady had an area in their garden that was marked off by 4 rail road spikes, and with a wooden, or garden cement cross, that was designated as their graveyard, of course it helped if you owned your own home, if you live in an apartment you have to get creative or if you're lucky and have a patio or balcony that would work. In the grave yard the boxes would be buried and marked with a sign a name and a symbol to represent the type of working. To make sure it was considered a graveyard, for the ladies to make the graveyard by sectioning it off as described above, blessing it with holy water from a church, and simply filling the sectioned and blessed area with collected grave yard dirt collected from different types of graves, some times a beloved pet would also be buried in that area, hamsters and guinea pigs even pet parakeets or canaries were good, cat's and dogs would be buried further away and their areas so marked. Don't want to dig up Fido or Kitty Boy by accident. But the individual wooden boxes or "coffins" had to hold the specific person's graveyard dirt. However if you have a patio or balcony that may not be possible so placing them on top of an above ground planter with marigolds helps. If you don't have that, then designate an area in your apartment as your graveyard and have potted marigolds surrounding them. Allow some months to pass for the especially new or newer nails to rust, with the older rusted ones, just do it from Full Moon to Full Moon or Dark Moon to Dark Moon depending upon purpose. As I said allow the new or newer nails more time but again from Moon to Moon.

Once they are prepared, open the wooden boxes, and remove the nails keeping them in separate containers, (boxes are best) for their own individual purpose. As long as the wooden boxes have not rotted out they can keep the dirt in them and be used over an over again as long as you need coffin nails or really nails dedicated to the Dead. Square top nails are really the best you can find them either at hardware stores or at salvage places. But finding old funky looking nails are great. Personally I never stop being on the look out for nails.

CAUTION: Be careful, if you should get a puncture wound from a rusty nail, you can get tetanus, wash it clean with warm water and soap and make sure from your doctor that your tetanus shots are up to date, as a matter of fact, it is a wise policy to get tetanus shots because anything that punctures your skin can be very dangerous. Watch for any signs of infection and if infection develops go to your doctor immediately.

THE DIFFERENCE IN THE USE OF SQUARE CUT NAILS AND COFFIN NAILS---- Some people say there is a difference in the use of plain square cut nails and coffin nails, and the break down is this:

SQUARE CUT NAILS are used in tricks to "nail things down.” SQUARE CUT NAILS are protective. To Keep Your Home: Many renters have found it important to nail down the four corners of their apartment, house, or lot to prevent being moved out by an unfriendly landlord.

In Romance ----To Keep a Husband and a Kid Man Too: Brew 3 Nails in Coffee. Drink the 1st cup yourself, give the 2nd to your husband, and the 3rd to your man. Set the Nails in the form of a downward-pointing triangle, naming the top one for you, the one at right for your husband, and the one at left for your lover. Keep them hidden that way, and the men will stay friends, even if your husband catches you with your lover. I've never tried doing this as I love my husband very much.

Whereas the use of rusty Coffin Nails, are employed in spells of malice, frankly I have found that dedicated made coffin nails work very well in both positive and negative ritual and have found that it works equally powerful. But if you are living in an apartment and you do not want to move and using Railroad spikes is out of the question then small square cut nails works very well, but you need to dress it in the same manner as railroad spikes, but only a few drops of liquid.

A FEW USES OR RITUALS WITH COFFIN NAILS: PROTECTION Tapped into the steps and just before the main entrance to the house, they are said to keep malentended people from carrying their bad magic into your house to drop off and leave behind when they go. This is similar to Pliny the Elder's spell. Take a coffin nail and set it in a place where the rising sun will shine on it, then scrape off any rust and dirt till the nail is shiny, and this makes it a protective talisman when carried in a small flannel bag.

A variation on the above ritual to protect yourself from all dangers, carry a coffin nail in your pocket in a case or pouch of some kind, or wrapped in brown silk. As long as this is in your pocket, no one can successfully perform any vengeful spell against you. Another protective use for coffin nails is to have one always soaking in a bath of oil or salts which you use.

Or you can tie the nail in a dark colored handkerchief or a small cloth. Then place that in the tub when you run the hot water. After the bath is full, take the nail out and keep it for re-use each time you bathe. It is believed that many evil forces can be washed away by this method.

If you cannot use railroad spikes to nail down your house the nails are good to use especially if they have been buried in the graveyard dirt of a solider, police officer or banker, just be sure to nail down all 4 corners of your property. Then on the Full Moon feed them with a mixture of whiskey, Fiery Wall of Protection Oil, your own urine, Peace water and Money House Blessing Oil, you don't need to use a lot a few drops will do, then say each time you feed them "This is MY home, and I will Not be moved, I will Not be harmed, my Family, pets and property is protected in the name of the Most Holy Trinity, the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Amen".

This is just a few of the positive rituals you can do, there are many, many more out there so I will let you have the fun of finding them, Love rituals done with pins can also be done with coffin nails but again chose the correct graveyard dirt of someone who loved you, not from someone who was cruel to you.

NEGATIVE WORKINGS~~~ I'm usually loath to give out ritual workings that are negative in nature, but sometimes one has to take steps against those who seek to do you harm. Almost any working using a doll or wax effigy and instead of pins using coffin nails soaked in Black Arts Oil will be highly effective.

One that I came across was very similar to one that one of the ladies in Granny's group did to get rid of the man who had raped her daughter, this was back in the late 1950's the man had connections and would not be brought to justice. But you just don't get a Mama Tiger mad. And Della was mad and so was her sister, and so were the rest of the ladies. I post it here only because a variation of it is on the internet, so I know if one goes looking for it they will find it----BUT and I cannot stress this enough---if you do it, never-ever Tell anyone, because then it can back fire on you.

Purchase bees wax candles that would be used in a church, you can purchase such candles on line from church supply company's , mold the wax making what is called an 'effigy'. Now if you can, get some of your enemy's hair and/or clothing or clippings of their finger/toe-nails. Put them at the appropriate place on the effigy. Name the effigy, take a plain nail and write their name or who they were, on the front of the effigy. In Della's case her daughter had her ripped panties stained with his semen, which the detectives did not even take as evidence. So the part with the semen was cut out and put on the effigy in the genital area. When she had made it, she then set put it on the altar in the meeting space at Granny's house.

The link between the rapist and the daughter was sealed with some blood pricked from the daughter's finger, you can use some blood that you can get from the butcher's, some cuts of beef will have blood gathered in the plastic trays.

The effigy was smeared on the head and genital area with the blood. This was done in candle-light and no matter what it needs to be done in candle-light and candle light only. To activate the spell, (and this was hard for everyone) the Lord's prayer was recited backwards. And in the middle of reciting it the coffin nail was hit home with a hammer deep into the heart area of the effigy.

Then as they chanted the words "Die, Die" over and over again it was important to imagine the person being penetrated with a huge sword, the effigy was put into a box and left on the Altar for 3 days, and every day the ladies came and prayed and focused on the death of that man.

After 3 days the effigy with the coffin nail, and the piece of panties with the semen pined to it was removed from the box and wrapped in a clean white cloth and tied up tight with several large heavy stones, at midnight they drove to a bridge that was over the nearest body of deep water and threw the effigy into the water. Within a month he died in a house fire that he was trapped in, the amazing thing is everyone else got out safely, but they saw him trapped in the upstairs window, flames all around him as he burned to death. No one could understand why he didn't get out, he had plenty of time to escape. If you do this spell NEVER-EVER Tell anyone you did it, results may not happen right away but they will happen. Never take any public credit for the death, tell NO ONE. If you do, they'll lock you up or consider you a suspect of what may appear to authorities to be a murder. Once the ladies had done the spell and completed it they never spoke if it again except to remark about his death when they read of his death in the newspaper. But Never-Ever about the Ritual.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Remember this spell is extremely powerful and is used in place of physical violence. Once the spell is done forget about the person, they no longer exist, because their soul will be in everlasting torment because this persons soul will never go to heaven, unless someone finds the effigy remove the nail using a reverse magical ritual. I've seen this done with scissors, but the ladies considered using good scissors as an expensive waste, but a coffin nail that was buried in the graveyard dirt of an executed murderer was considered perfect. If one is to use scissors see if you can buy used scissors at a yard sale or 2nd hand junk store, even a rusty scissors will do.

JUST REMEMBER NEVER EVER TELL ANYONE AND NEVER EVER DO IT OUT OF SPITE, it has to be serious injury. And what happened to Della's daughter? She recovered, especially when she read about her rapists death, it was important for her to take part in the ritual, which seemed to give her satisfaction. She eventually met a really nice young man, but she was honest with him she told him about what happened to her when he was getting serious, but it didn't stop him, he asked her to marry him and they were very happy, had several children a number of grandchildren and passed away within a year of each other several years ago.

18 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page