Victorian Witch Bottle Found at Birthplace of Witch Nov 21, 2019 0:49:48 GMT -5
Post by JoannaB on Nov 21, 2019 0:49:48 GMT -5
Victorian Witch Bottle Discovered at Birthplace of the Witch of Saratoga
A Victorian bottle believed to have been used to ward off evil spells was found at the birthplace of a “witch.” Angeline Tubbs, known as the Witch of Saratoga, was born around 1761 at the former Star and Garter Inn, in the village of Watford, Northamptonshire, England. Tubbs is still featured on ghost tours at Saratoga Springs, New York, where she told fortunes after immigrating to America at the age of 15.
The 19th-century bottle, discovered during roof repairs when a chimney was demolished, contains fish hooks, human teeth and glass in a liquid. “I will probably hide it away again for someone to find in another hundred years or so,” the owner, who wished to remain anonymous, said.
Researchers at the Museum of London Archaeology said the glass or stone vessels, dubbed “witch bottles,” are believed to have been used as objects for protection or as the containers of a cure against diseases and bad luck resulting from witchcraft. They have been found beneath the floors of historic buildings, on archaeological sites, in churchyards and riverbanks and usually contain pins, nails and human urine. In excess of 100 such bottles, primarily from the 17th century, have been unearthed.
As many as 300 individuals were executed for witchcraft in eastern England, where Northamptonshire is located, between 1644 and 1646. The laws against witchcraft weren’t repealed until almost a century later in 1736.
Glass torpedo bottles, such as the subject example, were manufactured beginning around 1830 for carbonated drinks. “It’s certainly later than most witch bottles, so sadly not contemporary with Angeline Tubbs, but still a fascinating find,” observed Dr. Ceri Houlbrook, lecturer in folklore and history at the University of Hertfordshire.
Source: BBC News, October 31, 2019.