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Archaeology & History

Victorian 'witch bottle' was used to ward off evil

By T.K. Randall
November 1, 2019 · Comment icon 8 comments



Witch bottles came in many shapes and sizes. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Malcolm Lidbury
An anti-witchcraft potion dating back 150 years has been discovered in a pub in Northamptonshire, England.
The historic remedy, which was found after a chimney was demolished during roof repairs at the former Star and Garter Inn in Watford village, is thought to date back to the 19th Century.

According to researchers at the Museum of London Archaeology, witch bottles were traditionally used to help ward off evil spells and to protect the occupants of a house from witchcraft.

They have often been found in the walls or beneath the floors of historic buildings as well as in churchyards and along riverbanks. Over 100 of them have been found to date.
This particular example contained a concoction of human teeth, glass and fish hooks.

"I will probably hide it away again for someone to find in another 100 years or so," said the owner.

The building it was found in is the birthplace of Angeline Tubbs - the famed Witch of Saratoga - who still remains the subject of ghost tours at Saratoga Springs in New York where she moved aged 15.

Given that she was born in 1761 however, it's unlikely that the witch bottle was intended for her.

Source: BBC News | Comments (8)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by OverSword 3 years ago
Comment icon #2 Posted by bookwormwen 3 years ago
So people tried to ward off witchcraft...by using witchcraft. All right then.
Comment icon #3 Posted by BadChadB33 3 years ago
Wonder if that would work on my wife??
Comment icon #4 Posted by hetrodoxly 3 years ago
The Hamilton is a bit late for a witches bottle but i suppose in the countryside suspicions were still strong, 15th,16th, century Bellarmine jugs and 17th,18th, century onion bottles were used often found buried under a doorway.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Bed of chaos 3 years ago
Supposedly (wiki) she lived in hut with group of cats and died at age 104.
Comment icon #6 Posted by MissJatti 3 years ago
Does this potion work?
Comment icon #7 Posted by Manwon Lender 3 years ago
 That an interesting find, I wonder why they didn't test the liquid to see what it is. I suppose it could just be condensation from siting all those years. anyway it's interesting.
Comment icon #8 Posted by hetrodoxly 3 years ago
The liquids usually urine. 


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