Pamela K. Kinney
Whenever I need inspiration for the next short story or even a novel, or need to research for a nonfiction ghost book, I surf the Net or read books from true supernatural tales to myths and legends books. But I wasn’t looking for this particular piece of information at the time when I ran across this article online. Bottle trees. Fascinating, I never knew about this. It inspired me to write the horror short story, “Bottled Spirits.”
Like witch's bottles traced as far back to the 1600s, bottles began to be used in spellwork. Bottles of all colors, shapes and sizes were filled with herbs and other items of significance for the purpose of protection, repelling evil, or attracting luck. Eventually, the bottle spell became a fundamental element of Hoodoo magic.
Today, all sorts of people have these bottle trees in their yard. Usually in the United States, they could be seen in the country or along the bayous of Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Alabama, though nowadays they are all over, not just these four states. And not just blue bottles, either!
Getting spirits into bottles and even jars actually exist in many places of the world. There are jars and bottles for housing the spirits of dead babies in Thailand and called Guman Thong. There’s the lamp holding the genie in Aladdin. The Djinn have also been captured in rings and bottles, too. There’s even “The Spirit in the Bottle,” a German fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm.
If you like to make your own bottle tree as I plan to this spring, here are some directions I’ve found:
Find a strong tree or stump with branches, like crepe myrtles and cedars trees that are traditionally used, but pretty much any kind of tree will work. Trim all of the foliage off and cut the branches down until you have as many bare branches as you have bottles. Then slid your bottles onto the branches.
A variation is to take a fallen branch and prune it the same fashion, making a portable tree. Plant it outside of your home, near the entrance, in the garden, or where you want it in your yard and slip the bottles onto the branches. A third way is find a large branch or stump, tying two bottles at a time with shoelaces over the branches so they hang from the tree.
And here's a tip: If you put a little oil on the bottle necks, the spirits will slip easily into the bottles and become trapped that much quicker. Give it a day, then return to your tree when there’s a wind blowing and if you listen closely, you might hear the moans of the trapped spirits in the bottles when the wind blows. Just pray they’re not calling out your name though. . .
I am offering a $10 gift certificate from Amazon to one lucky winner of all those who leave a comment. This can get you my fiction book, or even be used toward one of my nonfiction ghost books. Just be sure to leave an email so I can email the winner their prize.
Pamela K. Kinney
About the Author:
Under the pseudonym, Sapphire Phelan, she has published erotic and sweet paranormal/fantasy/science fiction romance along with a couple of erotic horror stories. Her erotic urban fantasy, Being Familiar With a Witch is a Prism 2010 Awards winner and a Epic Awards 2010 finalist. The sequel to Being Familiar With a Witch, A Familiar Tangle With Hell was released June 2011 from Phaze Books and both eBooks will be combined into one print book, The Witch and the Familiar is to be release April 24, 2012.
She also has done acting on stage and in films. And is a Master Costumer, costuming since 1972. She has even done paranormal investigating.
She admits she can always be found at her desk and on her computer, writing. And yes, the house, husband, and even the cats, sometimes suffer for it!
Find the author online at:
Just tell yourself that they're only stories.