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Mystical Witch Balls

Witch Ball

Witch balls have been around for over 600 years. They were incredibly popular during the Victorian era, where higher quality glass was hand blown to produce a refined glass orb. If you were lucky enough to discover one in an antique shop you would expect the glass to have been hand blown and as such small imperfections and an uneven surface would demonstrate its age, it would feel heavy and would have an aged metal mount and loop used for hanging. Many replicas were later made, so these are some of the things that would let you be sure the item had some age to it.

It is thought that many of the early witch balls were crafted in the Nailsea Glassworks in Somerset, which was considered to be one of the finest glassworks in the UK and as such were a major influencer on the art glass movement in the UK and abroad.

But just why would people purchase witch balls in the first place?

Well, quite simply they are used to protect against evil, this could be in the form of black witches, ill health, bad fortune as well as harmful spells…The balls would be hollow globes, often of coloured glass and the pieces were placed inside the home, often in an east window to ward off and absorb negative energy and to trap malevolent spirits.

There are a number of legends about the mystical orbs depending on the era:

  • Some thought that the swirling colours of the ball attracted and mesmerised evil spirits, causing them to touch the glass, once they did their spirit energy was trapped into the webbed strands of the blown glass, thereby stopping their evil doing harm in the surroundings.
  • Another thought is that witches themselves were trapped in the sphere for the rest of eternity, and therefore could no longer do harm to anyone.
  • Others feel the balls act like a magnet, the ball itself represents good energy, and when it finds its negative counterpart (evil energy), it draws it in like poles of a magnet.

Witch balls are still made today, although they may be marketing with different names. They make very good housewarming gifts. Often they are used at an entry point of the house, such as at the front door to keep the occupants safe.

Something to remember: it is considered bad luck to sell a witch ball on, and equally the breaking of a ball could release trapped negative spirit energy that had been kept inside! So treat them with care…