When people think of Witch Bottles these days they often think of those New Age glitter and jewel encrusted spell bottles, you find at your local chintsy "Witch Shop" or "Metaphysical Store" but in reality a real witch bottle is much different and the real funny thing is that there not even made by Witches.
The original or should I say authentic witch bottle would be something which was made to ward against Witches and Witchcraft (baneful magick) and unlike the sparkly modern spell bottles, which some people try to pass as the same thing are actually made of, and contain some rather unsavory things.
The first mention of a witch bottle appears in the 17th century and one of the earliest descriptions of a witch bottle in Suffolk, England, appears in 1681 in Joseph Glanvill’s Saducismus Triumphatus (Evidence concerning Witches and Apparitions).
Some of the earliest documented witch bottles consist of salt glazed stoneware jugs known as Bartmann jugs, Bellarmines, or "Greybeards." Bellarmines were named after a particularly fearsome Catholic Inquisitor, Robert Bellarmine, who persecuted Protestants and was instrumental in the burning of Giordano Bruno. Greybeards and Bellarmines were made of brown or gray stoneware glazed with salt and embossed with a bearded face.
What's Inside a Witch Bottle?
Historically, the witch's bottle contained a persons (the person who the bottles is ment to protects) urine, hair or nail clippings, or red thread from sprite traps. Later witch bottles were filled with rosemary, needles and pins, and red wine.
Historically and currently, the bottle is then buried at the farthest corner of the property, beneath the house hearth, or placed in an inconspicuous spot in the house.
The Witch Bottle in the picture above contains urine, rosemary, rusty old nails and small virgin (new) nails. It has been sealed with the bees wa, and as you can see a candle has been stuck in the top of the bottle to strengthen the wax seal by dripping wax over the cork.
The witch bottle in the picture is a modern one we use as an example for our witch bottle making class, however you can see other examples below.