Superstitions exist all over the world, and while we’d like to think that we’re not that superstitious, some everyday actions would prove us wrong. So when workers found a bottle hidden in this house during its renovation, no one had the courage to open it up until experts came along.
Superstitions Based on Thousands Of Years
Knocking on wood three times, refusing to pass under a ladder or believing that bad luck comes in threes, are all small signs that each and every one of us is probably at least a tiny bit superstitious.
But there is no need to sweat too much about this because no one is alone on their superstitious journey. In many countries around the world, people and communities perform small rituals with the intent of pushing away the evil and the bad, with theories that are based on thousands of years back.
It Was Renovation Time
In a historic neighborhood full of English homes, the municipality and some private individuals decided it was time to start renovating these emblematic homes. Even though they were absolutely beautiful and its architecture was unique, they were basically falling apart and most certainly needed a push.
That day, it was renovation time for the former Star and Garter Inn located in Watford, Northamptonshire. The building was still made of brick that was centuries old, and it was interesting to think about how the building would look with a more modern structure. After some time doing great work around the house, during the chimney’s renovation, workers came across something strange.
Finding A Strange Object
A small soot-covered bottle was suddenly found, and workers could see that the bottle had clearly been hidden at some point in time. The bottle had a really unusual torpedo shape, was stoppered carefully with wax, and it had been clearly worked on by someone who cared about the way it looked.
Because of the strange place where it was located, it was clear for everyone that the best decision would be to keep it sealed and shut until a specialist took a look at it. While no one admitted that they were afraid of its meaning due to some tiny superstitious values, everyone agreed in silence that opening it would be a terrible idea.
Putting The Facts Together
One of the workers took the bottle to the house owners, who had been living in the space after transforming it into a residential property. When they looked at the bottle, the puzzled look on their faces showed clearly that they also had no idea what they were dealing with.
As they attempted to put the facts together, the only conclusion everyone kept getting at was that the bottle was some sort of witch’s bottle. Due to the old age of the building in the English setting, and the very obscure choice of placement of the bottle seemed to all get to the same result.
That They Exist, They Exist
But almost everyone in the room knew that believing in witches was almost crazy. Yet, the famous saying by Spanish Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was very applicable here: “’ Yo no creo en brujas, pero que las hay, las hay.” Which basically means: “I don’t believe in witches, but that they exist, they exist.”
And in this case, while no one really dared to believe in them, everyone was secretly convinced that they were dealing with a witch’s spell bottle. Finding objects like that one wasn’t uncommon in houses like that area. In fact, they had heard of various objects that had been recovered across Great Britain that were constantly labeled as paranormal.
Not Such A Negative Thing
Either way, if that ended up really being a witch’s bottle, the truth is that it wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Witch’s bottles were actually used for protection back in the days, so if anything, that bottle would only protect everyone in that house.
Even though some workers weren’t so convinced, and were deeply afraid of having their hands turning green, the concoctors hoped that the opposite was the case and that something positive would come out of the whole thing.
It All Came Together For A Purpose
As they analyzed the bottle, they realized that each object that had been placed inside was probably there for a specific purpose. Each and every piece resembled witchcraft and served for something different each time.
The bottle had a couple of things that were somewhat recognizable; it included bits of glass, human teeth, and a mix of fish hooks. The objects were all swimming together in a strange liquid. At first glance, it all seemed concurrent with similar objects that had been found around the country.
The Liquid Was Probably Body Fluid
All signs pointed towards the witch’s bottle. According to quick research, the liquid found in these bottles is usually urine. Whoever was scared of the wrath of witchcraft would use their own urine and pour it into the bottle in order to protect themselves from possible darkness.
With these details explained, everyone who had touched the bottle decided to wash their hands, and probably wear gloves the next time they would touch the bottle or any other witch’s object.
Trapping The Witch
They continued reading that once the witch would be drawn by the person’s body fluids, she would be trapped inside the bottle with the sharp objects that were inside.
Every bottle had different sharp objects, as it was usually in line with whatever the person had at home. It could be toenail clippings, thorns, pins, pieces of glass, and the list goes on. As long as it was something sharp enough, they should be fine.
A Large Number Of Bottles
They later found out that the bottle that had been discovered was amongst another hundred that had previously been discovered in Great Britain. None of them were the same but symbolically resembled each other, from the ingredients found inside, to the place where people choose to hide them.
In fact, the phenomenon has become so common that the Museum of London Archaeology even launched a research study specifically analyzing witch bottles. This had been a result of the high number of bottles they had found.
The Era Of Witch Paranoia
In the study, researchers attempted to analyze these three issues, how the bottles fit into the areas of actual and present medicine, and to what degree magic was really involved in it.
Back in the 17th century, there was a peak in the fear and paranoia towards witches. So witch bottles became incredibly common, with people dropping them in obvious places around the house such as the fireplace and the farthest corner found in the property.
Some People Were Executed For It
Only later people started hiding the bottles in the chimney, which researchers are defining it as a deviant path, as people believed that the heat of the flames coming from the chimney would help out with the witch’s entrapment.
All in all, people had different ways of expressing their fear towards witches and went to great heights to make sure they wouldn’t bring evil to their properties. Back in the days, people were actually executed for witchcraft in Eastern England.
It Traced Back To The 1980s
Reports show that at least 300 people were accused of practicing witchcraft, later being executed for it. People started becoming really paranoid in and around Eastern England between the years of 1644 and 1646.
So when the property owners took the bottle to researchers, they were really interested in the fact that the bottle only traced back to the 1830s, not before. This meant that the bottle was much newer than the actual time that witchcraft was a real thing.
Not Just Another Bottle
They found out that the previous residents of the Watford house had decided that it was necessary to hide this bottle in the house in order to protect themselves.
Apparently, a famous sorceress had lived in that same house, and they wanted to push away her spirit. Her name was Angeline Tubbs, also known as the famous Witch of Saratoga, living in the house around 1761. She had traveled all the way to America when she was only a teenager.
She Was Lucky
When she got there, she decided to establish herself in Upstate New York, where she worked as a fortune teller and as a sorceress. Whoever needed some witchery advice or help, she invited them to her home in Upstate New York, in Saratoga Springs.
To her luck, people were simply curious about who she was, but let her live her life in peace. Just a couple of 100 years before then, she would no longer be alive.
Subterranea Britannica Society
After learning about that part of the property’s history, the house owner decided not to push his luck. That’s when he decided to keep the bottle hidden in the house so that nothing would happen to them.
That’s when his story crossed with the Subterranea Britannica society. The group described themselves as a society of like-minded individuals with a couple of common interests: man-made caves, abandoned mines, and some out of commission tube stations or something similar.
Creswell Crags Caves
They were out on a group outing one day when the UK bases society included Hayley Clark and Ed Waters. The two underground buffs were very knowledgeable in ancient history and brought their remarkable expertise to the group outing.
The group was headed towards a limestone gorge named the Creswell Crags that included a series of archaic caves. The last time these caves have had anyone living in had been about 10 thousand years back.
An Amazing Discovery
Just while they were entering the cave, both Haley and Ed stopped all of a sudden. They proceeded to walk towards the rocky walls, and each ran their hands over the surface.
They realized then that they had made an amazing discovery. Within the walls, they could see scratches that had been done thousands of years before. They could be seen so obviously, that no one paid attention to them beforehand. But because of the pair’s expertise, they knew what they were dealing with.
Virgin Of Virgins
For years, many people had entered the cave and seen the carvings, but no one had paid any attention to them. They always thought that they were merely some graffiti work that dated all the way back to the Victorian era.
On the contrary, Haley and Ed had noticed the two letters VV in addition to the individual characters that made up the carvings. Right away, the two enthusiasts knew that V V carried a huge weight, meaning “Virgin of Virgins.”
IAgainst Dark Forces
This was a prayer made for Mary of Nazareth, which protected people against dark forces. These annotations stating V V were repeated all over the surface, for at least a dozen times.
Once they were sure of what they were looking at, Haly and Ed decided to share their findings with everyone else. The group’s guide called John Charlesworth couldn’t believe what he was looking at. He was so baffled with the whole thing that the first thing he did was contact The Creswell Heritage Trust.
Used To Trap Evil Spirits
At the trust, a group of experts would group up in order to investigate the matter further. They headed towards the caves and investigated every single inch.
They even went through the really hard parts to reach for what they knew; they had to know everything. They saw me patterns, boxes, and crosses, all in addition to repeated letters V V. These inscriptions were done very ceremoniously, and as they found out later, they were usually used to trap evil spirits while simultaneously tricking them.
Asking For Help
The discovery was scary for everyone. Each and every carving actually had an incredibly dramatic feeling to it, as they understood that whoever had carved all of those letters and symbols was afraid of something.
They all wondered? What evil could be so big and scary that it led a group of people to carve such strong symbols desperately? What they also thought about was that the people who had done it were probably asking for help somehow.
Another Witchcraft Situation
In order to start answering that question, the team of researchers began looking for the people who had done the carvings in the first place. They later found out that that type of apotropaic markings was often associated with places where people usually worshiped something.
Additionally, one of the root causes of the panic that drove people to do such carvings was usually related to witchcraft and the fear of witches. After teaming up with another group of researchers and historians, they realized that the carvings dated back to the 14th and 18th centuries.