A Mysterious ‘Witch Bottle’ Was Found in This English Chimney

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By: Mia Williams | Published: Jan 21, 2023

The Watford, England, workers expected a typical day of dismantling a chimney at a former pub. Little did they know that their mundane task would lead to a strange and mysterious discovery. Instead, they stumbled across an old bottle filled with bizarre and eerie items as they worked.

Source: Reddit

The workers were taken aback by the unexpected find. They had yet to learn what the bottle contained or why it was there. Finally, curiosity got the best of them, and they decided to look closer. What they found inside the bottle was something they could never have imagined.

The Watford Building's Legacy

The Watford building, a place of great significance, was the birthplace of Angeline Tubbs in 1761. Little did anyone know that this young girl would become known as The Witch of Saratoga. As a teenager, Tubbs moved to Saratoga Springs in New York, where she began to read people’s fortunes and gain a reputation as a witch. 

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Source: Reddit

Her mysterious powers and uncanny ability to predict the future made her a figure of fascination and fear. The Witch of Saratoga was born in the Watford building, and her legacy remains.

Tubbs' Witch Bottles and Magic

According to Smithsonian magazine, when Tubbs arrived in the United States, witches were seen as strange and mysterious rather than criminals. Tubbs had traveled to New York with a British officer during the Revolutionary War but was left behind when the war ended. 

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Source: Reddit

She then moved to a hut in the nearby mountain range, where she made a living by begging and telling fortunes. It is possible that Tubbs simply preferred to be alone, or perhaps the witch bottles she kept with her prevented her from ever settling in town.

Uses and Locations of Witch Bottles

‘Witch bottles,’ a name given to 17th-century glass and stoneware vessels, were believed to be used as objects for ritual protection or as containers of a ‘prepared cure’ against witchcraft. These bottles were filled with pins, nails, urine, nail clippings, and thorns and were found in various places. 

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Source: Reddit

They were hidden in hearths, beneath the floors of historic buildings, in churchyards, ditches, and even riverbanks. It is believed that these bottles were used to ward off evil spirits and protect people from the dangers of witchcraft.

Significance of the Mysterious Bottle

When the workers at Tubbs’ place of birth stumbled upon a mysterious bottle, they were perplexed by its contents. Inside, they found a strange assortment of items, including teeth, fishhooks, and an unknown liquid. It was almost as if the bottle was connected to Tubbs somehow. 

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Source: Reddit

The discovery left them with more questions than answers, and they were left to ponder the significance of this strange find. Could it be a sign from the past or a clue to Tubbs’ future? Whatever the case, it was clear that this bottle was linked to Tubbs somehow.

The Occult and Protection

Even though the bottle was made in the 1830s, it was initially believed that Tubbs had something to do with it. Nonetheless, it was later discovered that this was different. Whoever filled and placed the bottle in the chimney was likely attempting to protect themselves from supernatural forces. 

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Source: Malcolm Lidbury / wikicommons

They were aware of the power of the occult and were seeking to ward off any potential danger. This mysterious bottle has been a source of intrigue for many years, and its true purpose remains a mystery.

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The Craftsmanship of the 1600s

According to archeologists, over 100 bottles have been discovered throughout Britain, with some estimated to date back to the 1600s. This particular bottle is just one of the many that have been unearthed and are a great reminder of the past. 

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Source: Blondinrikard Fröberg / wikicommons

It is a testament to the craftsmanship of the time and a reminder of the history that has been preserved in Britain. It is a reminder of the people who lived in the 1600s and the lives they lived.

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Bottle Filling with Pins & More

During the 17th century, Europeans were filled with fear and anxiety about the presence of witchcraft. As a result, they resorted to desperate measures to protect themselves, such as filling bottles with peculiar items like pins and even human urine.

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Source: John W. Schulze / wikicommons

It was a time of superstition and paranoia, and people were willing to try anything to ward off the evil forces they believed were lurking in the shadows. The bottles were thought to contain magical powers that could protect them from the dangers of witchcraft. 

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Bottle's Use as a Trap

The villagers believed that the liquid waste could attract the witches. They thought that if they put the liquid waste inside a bottle, the witches would be drawn to it and get caught up by the pins placed inside.

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Source: Malcolm Lidbury / wikicommons

It was a superstitious belief that had been passed down for generations. Villagers were convinced this would be the only way to rid their village of the witches causing so much trouble. Little did they know that this would be the beginning of a long and arduous journey.

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Urine Acts as Lure

Practitioners of the dark arts filled bottles with most urine and bent pins. It was believed that the urine would act as a lure, drawing witches traveling through the supernatural “otherworld” into the bottle, where they would be trapped on the sharp points of the pins.

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Source: The Portable Antiquities Scheme / wikicommons

Those who feared the power of witchcraft would often embed these protective bottles under hearths or near chimneys to ward off any potential danger. It was a desperate attempt to protect themselves from the dark forces of the supernatural world.

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Witch Bottles Concealed and Revealed

Witch bottles, such as the ones discovered in Watford, have become a fascinating topic of academic research. The Museum of London Archaeology recently launched a “Witch Bottles Concealed and Revealed” project to gain a deeper understanding of these mysterious artifacts. 

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Source: The Portable Antiquities Scheme / wikicommons

Such a project is an exciting opportunity to explore the history and purpose of these mysterious objects, which have been found in various locations across the United Kingdom. Through this project, researchers hope to uncover the secrets of these witch bottles and gain a better understanding of their significance in the past.

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Exploring Bottle Magic's History

The project is ambitious, involving extensive research to uncover the full historical context of ‘bottle magic.’ It will explore the practice’s origins, how it spread and was adapted over the centuries, the locations it is found in, and its relationship to early modern medicine and popular magic.

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Source: Malcolm Lidbury / wikicommons

The resulting publications, catalog, and datasets will not only benefit historians and archaeologists but also engage and inform museum and folklore curators and those outside of academia who are interested in the subject of witchcraft.

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Mysterious Bottle Secrets to Remain Hidden

The mysterious Watford bottle has been found, but its secrets will remain hidden. The property owner where it was discovered has made it clear that they will conceal it once more, ensuring its secrets remain a mystery. The mysterious bottle has been the subject of much speculation, with many believing it holds a great secret. 

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Source: Jllm06 / wikicommons

Unfortunately, the truth will remain hidden, as the property owner has clarified that they will not reveal the bottle’s secrets. Despite this, the Watford bottle continues to fascinate and intrigue. 

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The Unsuspecting Discoverer

Many years from now, it is likely that an unsuspecting individual will discover this secret. This individual will be completely unaware of the mystery before them and be taken aback by the revelation. 

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Source: Northamptonshire County Council / wikicommons

This person may be the one to uncover the truth about the bottle and will be the one to bring the secret to light finally. The individual will be the one to make the discovery that will be talked about for years to come and will be remembered for generations to come.

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What to Do If You Find a 'Witch Bottle'

The mysterious ‘Witch Bottles’ have been a source of intrigue for centuries. If you find one, reach out to your county museum and await their advice. It is essential to treat it as an archaeological find and not move it. 

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Source: Benh LIEU SONG / wikicommons

Take photographs and resist cleaning it. If it is corked or stoppered, don’t remove this. Even if the bottle has already been moved or un-stoppered in the past, the Scheme would still be interested in hearing about it. Witch Bottles are a fascinating part of our history, and it is important to preserve them for future generations.

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