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This Is What It Means If You See Glass Bottles Hanging From Someone’s Tree

This Is What It Means If You See Glass Bottles Hanging From Someone’s Tree

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The world is full of weird things, and the American South won the contest for me a few years ago. I was on a casual Sunday walk and the one thing that caught my eye was a tree adorned with numerous glass bottles. 

Maybe that served as some sort of protection for the tree branches,…I thought to myself.  

Well, don’t blame me, I’m a gardener and maybe I wanted to learn a new method, but I was wrong… Glass bottles on crepe myrtle or cedar trees actually have a cultural and historical significance.

Nowadays, you might see different materials used instead of a tree, such as metal rods. However, they’re still called bottle trees, no matter which core material they are made of. 

They celebrate Southern culture and many see them as a way of paying homage to their ancestors. 

The History Behind This Unique Tradition

A bottle tree is truly significant for Southern culture and its history dates back to the Kingdom of Congo. 

In the beginning, bottle trees were only a part of funeral rituals and people used them to mark graveyards

The 17th century was marked by the slave trade, and during this period, people continued using this tradition no matter where they settled. Material selection wasn’t limited at this point so there were a lot of different concepts and designs

The colored glass trapped evil with the help of sunlight and its reflection. This made it impossible for these spirits to enter any household nearby. Well, at least this was what they believed at the time.

There was also a belief that these bottles were trapping sinister apparitions during the night and releasing them in the morning for the sunlight to destroy them. Spooky, right?

Bottle Trees In Yards All Around The World

Even though many customs and traditions from the past aren’t used nowadays, that isn’t the case with bottle trees. They still have significant cultural, spiritual, and historical value.

I’ve mostly seen those mesmerizing cobalt blue glass bottles on trees and there’s a legitimate reason why people use this color. It stands for both water and sky, which can attract and confuse sinister apparitions. 

These trees were typically placed near houses but some can be found near important meeting spots. There’s even a way to check if the bottle has successfully trapped the spirits

If there’s a moaning sound coming from the bottle when the wind blows over its entrance, the evil is caught.

Many other folk tales shared the same notion, but instead of glass bottles, different materials were used. You may have already seen hollow glass globes as a part of British folklore.

People were putting these glass balls at their doors or in windows because it was believed they could catch wicked witches.

And my favorite, and definitely the weirdest, story is that some believed that once the witch saw her reflection in the glass, she would curse herself. Can you believe that?

Otherwise known as witch balls, these witch repellents were a thing back in 17th and 18th century England. They were introduced to New England, which basically means the bottle trees are just a variety of this old tradition.

Honoring The Past With Bottle Trees

Getting and checking info has never been easier, and we have a scientific response to almost everything. But should we completely forget these traditions like they never existed?

If you don’t believe that these bottles will trap and destroy evil spirits, you can still install them. Think of it as a way to honor the past and everything our ancestors did for us. 

Your garden will look breathtaking with sun reflection in glass bottles, and they’ll perfectly complement your colorful annuals and perennials!