(HorizonPost.com) – Researchers in Corpus Christi, Texas revealed last week that they recovered what is known as a witch bottle along the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, KXAN reported.
Witch bottles have been around for centuries. Typically, the bottles contained hair, a plant, or another object and were used as a way to ward off a witch’s spell.
In a Facebook post last week, Texas A&M – Corpus Christi’s Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies revealed that they find a witch bottle “every once in a while” on the shores of the Gulf.
According to University of Cambridge researcher Dr. Annie Thwaite, witch bottles were considered a form of healing or medical treatment rather than a malevolent object.
Thwaite wrote in the academic journal “Magic, Ritual and Witchcraft” that the witch bottle remedy has a complex history dating back to the 17th Century. The bottles would contain the hair or even urine of someone believed to have been cursed. Other items, including pins or nails, were added to the bottle before it was boiled and then buried underneath the home of the person to protect against the curse.
According to anthropologist Christopher Fennel, the witch bottles were often placed inside the chimney since it was believed that this was how witches entered a home.
It was believed that a witch bottle would cause so much pain to the witch who cast the spell that she would either undo the curse or die, which would break the spell.
In 2020, researchers from the William & Mary Center for Archeological Research found a witch bottle dating back to the Civil War era during an archeological dig in York County, Virginia.
Jace Tunnell, the Director of Community Engagement for the Harte Research Institute told McClatchy News that he has found at least eight witch bottles while scouring the beaches of the Gulf, several of which he has kept unopened in his backyard.
According to Tunnell, witch bottles have been found all over the United States, and while researchers aren’t certain where the bottles found along the Gulf Coast originated, they are likely from South America or the Caribbean.
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