In Watford, England, construction workers doing demolition at a former pub and inn found a weird bottle inside the chimney. Containing human teeth, fish hooks, glass shards, and liquid, the container was apparently a 19th century "witch bottle" meant to protect against evil spells. Above, examples of such bottles. From Smithsonian:
The newly discovered bottle is one of more than 100 recovered from old buildings, churchyards and riverbanks across Great Britain to date. Most specimens trace their origins to the 1600s, when continental Europe was in the grips of a major witch panic. Common contents found in witch bottles include pins, nails, thorns, urine, fingernail clippings and hair.
According to BBC News, the Watford property—now a private residence but formerly known as the Star and Garter inn—is best known as the birthplace of Angeline Tubbs, a woman later nicknamed the Witch of Saratoga...
The home’s current owner does not plan on displaying the bottle. Instead, the anonymous individual says they “will probably hide it away again for someone to find in another 100 years or so.”
So, how exactly did witch bottles work? Per JSTOR Daily’s Allison C. Meier, practitioners filled the vessels with an assortment of items, but most commonly urine and bent pins. The urine was believed to lure witches traveling through a supernatural “otherworld” into the bottle, where they would then be trapped on the pins’ sharp points. Would-be witchcraft victims often embedded the protective bottles under hearths or near chimneys; as anthropologist Christopher C. Fennell explained in a 2000 study, people at the time thought witches “gained access to homes through deviant paths such as the chimney stack.”
image: Malcolm Lidbury (CC BY-SA 3.0)
In some weird alternate fantasy universe, this song would to taught to school children so that they could memorize their Hermetic fundamentals. Image: YouTube
If your idea of a good time is watching a Gucci glammed up Kenneth Anger lounging around all over the Chateau Marmont hotel, check out this five minute mini-doc done by the fabulous Floria Sigismondi (one of my faves). Sigismondi was commissioned by System magazine to do the shot as part of Fashion Film Festival […]
I loved last year’s All Tree from former Black Metalist Kvohst (aka Mat McNerney) and his folkier project, Hexvessel. The band has been described as “dark folk,” “psychedelic forest folk,” and “occult folk.” Think of them as a somewhat more melodic and accessible Current 93. On “Demian,” the first single and video from their forthcoming […]
This is truly a golden age for fans of a big ginormous TV screen. Not too long ago, to buy a television over 40 inches usually meant wheeling one of those massive Mitsubishi or Toshiba projection monoliths into your home, consuming a vast portion of any room at a cost of potentially $7,000 to $8,000. […]
Nearly 30 years after it started its run as the most dominant productivity software ever created, the Microsoft Office suite of programs are now virtually synonymous with personal computing. From its days bundled with Windows to its current life as Office 365 cloud-based apps, there’s no reason to think perennial hits like Word, Excel and […]
Photography isn’t just about lighting and composition anymore, especially when you’re shooting with your smartphone. While a wealth of expertise can absolutely help you grab better images, sometimes it’s just about having a great light or an amazing smoothing gimbal to instantly elevate your Instagram pics and other social videos from meh to standout. To […]