Witch-bottles first appear in the archaeological record in the third quarter of the 17th Century. Most have been recovered from locations in buildings where they were originally concealed. The evidence within these bottles and their context within a building provides us with many clues about how they were used and thought to work. There are also 17th-Century documents which describe a method of boiling or heating bottles with urine and pins.

This illustrated Zoom talk will explore both types of evidence to unpick what might have really been going on with these practices.

Brian Hoggard has been studying history, archaeology and folk beliefs since his teens; his Twitter account enigmatically states that he has been a ‘Researcher of strange things found in walls and under floors since 1999…’ Brian’s undergraduate dissertation focused on folk beliefs and witchcraft, when he noticed there was a huge amount of further work that could be done to explore the archaeology of witchcraft. At that point his research escalated into a major project which has culminated in the publication of Magical House Protection: The Archaeology of Counter-Witchcraft (Berghahn 2019).

For more information see: www.apotropaios.co.uk

Your host for this event will be the writer Edward Parnell, author of Ghostland: In Search of a Haunted Country. Edward Parnell lives in Norfolk and has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. He is the recipient of an Escalator Award from the National Centre for Writing and a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship. Ghostland (William Collins, 2019), a work of narrative non-fiction, is a moving exploration of what has haunted our writers and artists – as well as the author’s own haunted past; it was shortlisted for the PEN Ackerley 2020 prize, an award given to a literary autobiography of excellence. Edward’s first novel The Listeners (2014), won the Rethink New Novels Prize.

For further info see: https://edwardparnell.com