The witch bottle is a very old spell device. Its purpose is to draw in and trap harmful intentions directed at its owner. Folk magic contends that the witch bottle protects against evil spirits and magical attack, and counteracts spells cast by witches. Mother Bombie's Book of Witchcraft contains the following recipe for constructing a witch's bottle:
To Make the Witch’s BottleWhich shall cure of all sorceriesdone against yeYou must have a bottle which sealeth with a cork or wooden plug, in which you shall place the following:A quart of your own water shall be taken and boiled with a paring from each toenail, and with some of your hair, for fire will burn away all evils, and as the water reduces so shall your trouble. Put thereto sulfur, XII nails made from iron, and VIII pins of brass. Add also a heart that has been shaped and cut from from leather or cloth, which you shall pierce with one more nail or pin, for that is the heart of the evil doer who must now be undone and have his ill work returned unto him.All this to the bottle goes, where it is stopped up, and shall be buried outside your home, or if you are in the city, you may tuck it within your chimney, and for as long as this remains unmolested you shall be well.