Remodeling and repairing old buildings often toss-up forgotten treasures that have been left by former residents, and the childhood home of an alleged witch of the eighteenth century is no exception. According to archaeology professionals, there are still many homes contained bottles with arcane substances that were meant to ward off witchcraft. England and the United States were two places where fear of witches was rampant during the time, so there is little wonder that digging into the walls and floors of any building might present a unique look into history.
Glass has been around for more than a thousand years, and its manufacture was becoming more common during the eighteenth century. Small vessels made of this substance were often filled with items rumored to keep witches and their evil spells at bay, and protection was provided to a property and its residents by hiding the bottle somewhere it would not be found.
Modern repairs to older buildings and archaeological digs often find them today, but the hiding places can go undiscovered for centuries. While the latest one was found in a wall abutting an old chimney, they have been found in floorboards, attic walls and even in riverbanks located near a house or public building. Hiding places were meant never to be discovered so the contents could continue their protection unmolested.
There is a great variety of the items contained within the bottles, and they include bone or metal fish hooks, human teeth and even urine. Some substances have degraded over time and have not yet been identified. There are few recipes for creating these tokens of safety, so scientists must go through each one to name the specific items used to create them.
The childhood home of the alleged witch has long been a public house and inn, and the owner prefers to remain anonymous. Stating that the item will be hidden again as repairs progress, the history of the woman is still an interesting story. The house has been standing since before the sixteenth century, but she did not remain there for her entire life.
Born in a small village, she left the country at the age of fifteen to emigrate to America. While she was said to be odd and thought to be a witch in her home country, her habits apparently did not change once she arrived in the New World. Remaining single, she was said to be a fortune teller for many decades before her death at more than a hundred years of age. Her only companions were a large collection of cats.
The Victorian Age was one where people had many fears, and protection from evil spells was an important component of feeling safe. While there is little or no evidence the child born in the public house ever actually cast spells, the locals named her a witch and continued the legend. Had they known how long she lived, they might have created yet more vessels for protecting them against her craft.