1. Witch bottles, demonic spiders, and other evils you can supress in the walls of your house

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    She had often heard before how skillful men had trapped spirits in a hole in rock or in wood that they had nailed shut, and as long as no one drew out the nail, the spirit remained trapped in the hole.

    —Jeremias Gotthelf, The Black Spider, translated by Susan Bernofsky

    Did you know that this particular type of household magic has a name? It’s apotropaic magic, and it’s everywhere, including the walls of your house. From the Wikipedia entry on concealed shoes (muffled squeal at the thought of an entire article on concealed witch shoes).

    —Mallory Ortberg, The Toast

    Above: Frontispiece by Christine Gräfin von Kalckreuth for a 1942 edition of The Black Spider

Notes

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