Daily Prompt 13: Witch in a Bottle

At the Priory of St. Peter in Dunstable, on a cold winter’s morning, a local woman called Sally was condemned of witchcraft by the Priory monks. She was slowly burned at the stake. Her cat and broomstick suffered the same fate.

But Sally did not choose to go quietly as some did. She died loudly, screaming and cursing to her last breath. She threatened a terrible revenge on the monks who had condemned her.

The monks quickly found out that Sally was far more trouble dead than when she had been alive! Mysterious things began to happen. Invisible hands boxed the monk’s ears; the church altar candles flickered and spat with an evil green glow.

Where Sally’s ghostly fingers touched the prayer books, the covers were burnt. The monks could not pray in peace or sleep at night. It was driving them mad!

A palmer was finally called to exorcise Sally’s ghost, in a special church service but the troublesome witch would still not go quietly.

When the palmer began the service, he was struck round the head with a mighty force that threw him to the ground. As the dazed palmer struggled to his feet, the congregation froze in fear as the witch’s menacing laughter rang from the rafters above.

But the palmer himself was cunning and he finally outwitted the witch by putting a witch’s lure in a bottle. The lure was a secret mixture, known only to a few people, of herbs and potions. It was very like a witch’s spell itself!

The lure was so strong, it soon attracted the attention of the witch and when Sally’s curious ghost went to investigate, the palmer rammed the cork into the bottle tight! He gave a warning that the bottle must never be broken or the witch would escape and take terrible revenge on everyone.

The bottle was buried in a secret place in the priory grounds, just to make sure any friends of the witch could not retrieve it. However, as nobody knew where it was buried, it was said there were no more burials in the priory churchyard, just in case the buried bottle was accidentally broken, releasing the ghost of the wicked witch of Dunstable.

As far as we know, no strange bottles have ever been dug up near the site of the old priory but, if you should find yourself in the area, just remember to tread very, very carefully.

I came across this when I was scouring the web for ideas and thought some of the details could make a great back story for one of my more, err, supernatural characters. What would you do if you were stuck in a bottle for 200+ years? Can’t imagine that all your brainy parts would be intact after that long, not to mention the craving for a cheeseburger and some fries…. just sayin’.

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