Witch bottle

Witch bottle was a common method of magical protection used in English and colonial American folk magic. A witch bottle is a glass bottle filled with nails, sharp pieces of glass, and other sharp objects while filling the rest of the air space with his or her urine, and buried it in his or her yard. According to some traditions witch bottles were hung in chimneys to prevent witches from flying down them and entering the house.

In the modern method of using a witch bottle, the bottle can be used to absorb negative magical energies sent toward the maker as well. The older method is used as a defense against hostile spells that have been cast, claiming the caster would be unable to urinate as long as the bottle remains sealed.

A more drastic form of defense against negative magical energy, involves bottling up the urine of a victim or enchantment, sealing it tightly, and placing it into a roaring fire. Tradition has it that when the witch bottle explodes the hostile magician suddenly dies.

Archeologists have found many witch bottles in digs throughout Britain. They were popular during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. A.G.H.


Greer, John Michael. “cunning men/women.” The New Encyclopedia of the Occult. St. Paul, MN, Llewellyn Worldwide. pp. 517-518
Guiley, Rosemary Ellen. The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft. New York: Facts On File, 1989. p. 367