I first ran across this story via the the preview image I've posted for this piece (which I saw here [link]
at The Celler Image of the Day
It's a hard image not to take an interest in, so I decided to read a bit about it. I looked at this article: 'Witch Bottle' Containing Finger Nails, Hair and Pins Discovered Around 200 witch bottles have been found in the past but this is thought to be the first time one with its contents intact has been discovered.
Scientists have analysed the contents of the former wine jug after it was discovered by builders redeveloping a site in Greenwich, south east London.
They found it contained a number of pins, finger nails and hair as well as a liquid – discovered to be urine.
Burial of vessels holding personal items, typically from someone suffering an illness and believing themselves persecuted by a witch, was a common practice in the 17th century.
The belief was that the act would reflect the spell back at the witch who would then be forced to relinquish it. The pins and nails were thought to act like pins in voodoo dolls.
Analysis of the contents showed the patient was a smoker and probably quite wealthy judging by the length of the finger nails, the researchers told British Archaeology.
(which you can peep here [link]
That frankly was not enough for me though so I read on: London's Magical History Uncorked from 'Witch Bottle' A rare insight into the folk beliefs of 17th-century Britons has been gleaned from the analysis of a sealed "witch bottle" unearthed in Greenwich, London, in 2004.
Witch bottles were commonly buried to ward off spells during the late 16th and 17th centuries, but it is very rare to find one still sealed.
"So many have been dug up and their contents washed away down the sink," says Alan Massey, a retired chemist formerly at the University of Loughborough, UK, who has examined so-called "magical" artifacts and was asked to analyse the contents of the bottle. "This is the first one that has been opened scientifically."
During the 17th century, British people often blamed witches for any ill health or misfortune they suffered, says Massey. "The idea of the witch bottle was to throw the spell back on the witch," he says. "The urine and the bulb of the bottle represented the waterworks of the witch, and the theory was that the nails and the bent pins would aggravate the witch when she passed water and torment her so badly that she would take the spell back off you."
(You can read the rest here: [link]
I think I might have more to say later and some changes perhaps, but I gotta go for now so it'll have to wait - it's time to take a trip
I tweeked a little of this and that last night, after getting back from 8 days in Orlando. Sorry for not getting back to everyone quicker on the comments and everything,
but I'll catch up in the next couple of days now that I'm all unpacked and everything.
Oct 31 - A big
for tossing this one in the pillowcase along with the rest of the candy she shared in her Halloween feature for 2009. What a darling; what a dear.
Many many thanks to
for recommending this piece for a DD.