Thursday, February 22, 2007

How To Kill A Witch

Just kidding.

How To Kill A Witch is actually an interesting article from Current Archeology about a witch bottle.

What do you do if you find yourself bewitched? If you find you are constantly out of sorts, and you just know someone has put the evil eye on you? The answer is obvious: you must set about killing the witch who has bewitched you. But how do you set about killing a witch?

Well, the first thing you do is to get a witch bottle. Any old bottle will do - often they are made of pottery - the type known as bellarmines - but sometimes, as in this case, it is a wine bottle made of glass. In fact this was rather an old bottle, for it was made about 1685, but it was not buried till some time after 1720, so it was already some 40 years old when it was finally buried.

This witch bottle was dug up at Reigate, just south of London, where it was found buried in a ruined house. The bottle was however complete, the stopper was still in position, so it provided an unusual opportunity to examine the contents. Alan Massey, who has been studying witch bottles, was able to study the contents, and even to determine - with some difficulty - that the liquid was in fact urine. Whether the witch bottle was "successful" we cannot know: however witch bottles were often meant to explode when the witch finally expired, and as this witch bottle survived, perhaps it was a failure, and the witch survived too.

Read the full article at the link above.

No comments: