File this one under: strange and slightly gross. How do witches and warlocks fight evil spirits? By concocting their own magic talismans in form of enchanted bottles of course! The practice was bigger in the 16th century, but fell out of favor sometime during the Age of Reason. Why? Because it was the Age of Reason. It's rare for a witch bottle to be found intact, but that's exactly what's happened. From Nat Geo:
In the 17th and 18th centuries in Britain, the supposedly cursed often put their toenails and fingernails, urine, and hair into the witch bottles.Can you imagine finding 300-year-old pee and fingernails? “magic” wouldn't exactly be the first word that comes to my mind. An X-ray confirms nothing nasty in this bottle. (Thankfully!) But that didn’t keep it from being charged with powerful magic:
These jugs, usually buried near a house or building, were meant to keep evildoers at bay.
Despite their name, witch bottles were more often intended as all-purpose lucky charms against bad luck, Norton said—"a modern equivalent of hanging a horseshoe on your door."Ah, so it imbues one with the power to see plot points in M. Night Shyamalan films? Now that IS magical!
The superstitious also stuck children's shoes inside walls or buried horse skulls by doors—animals were believed to be able to see spirits, he said.