All over Australia, they are finding shoes and garments hidden in old buildings. The speculation is, this was done to ward off evil spirits.
That sounds about right to me. We cannot fathom the fear that people had of the unknown in centuries past. Think about being shipped around the world to Australia as a convict, as a forcibly transported criminal, and being told to forget ever seeing home again. That would drive people to desperation, no doubt.
These sorts of things are found in other places as well, wherever the custom took hold. A veritable treasure trove of items is being found when old buildings are rehabbed or torn down.