Those of you who have spent any time in the South may have seen one of these. These are bottle trees, or “haint trees” and are believe to trap spirits.

“Haint Blue” is such an important color to low country root work, and is seen in everything from window trims, the root doctor’s glasses, to the haint tree. Haint blue is basically a cobalt or dark blue that is basically a “fetish” color, in that it is believe to have certain qualities. Painted on house trim and posts, it’s believe to keep the haints out; but just in case the haints could find a way in, folks put up a bottle/haint tree to trap them.

Basically all you need are a bunch of bottles, though cobalt blue seem to be preferred, and a bush, tree, or fence post to attach them to. Simple, ainty?

The idea being that the spirits will either (A) – be attracted to the tree and get trapped in the bottles, until the sun burns them up or (B) – the haint blue will dissuade them anyways.

I like to go a little bit further with my bottle tree and put some protective herbs inside the bottles, just a few pinches, and I usually grease the bottles with camphor, and a few shots of whiskey onto the post or tree that houses my bottles.

If any of you make a bottle tree, I’d love to see photos.

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