Shane Mears has a rather unique passion – he loves digging up antique relics from the ground.
The 52-year-old, who works as a bartender in New Orleans, spends his free time exploring the areas where demolished homes once stood, in the hopes of finding something interesting.
And recently, he found just that.
In a post on Facebook last month, Mears claimed he’d dug up a ‘witch bottle’ from the mud at Algiers Point, on the Mississippi River’s West Bank.
The bizarre item contained a tooth, strands of human hair, a pincher beetle and possibly some urine.
He explained: “Located in an area where a home existed in the mid-1800’s (and the bottle dating from that time period, as well), such an object may have been used as a protection spell for the property.
“It also may have been used in voodoo to cast a different spell. Anyway, it is a rare, creepy-cool find!”
He was excited about his discovery – but due to the potentially dark history of the item, people on social media urged him to put it back where he took it from.
His post quickly went viral, with more than 1,300 people sharing and commenting.
One person wrote: “Needs to be returned to exact area. I wouldn’t have taken it. Maybe a picture.”
Another said: “All sorts of s**t will come your way if you intervene with it’s purpose, best to leave it to continue to do it’s work and stay out of the way.”
A third replied: “Dude put it back. I cannot stress to you enough to put it the f**k back.”
Someone else proclaimed: “This year has been bad enough- put it back dude! Put it back!!”
However not everyone was too worried about the bottle.
A different user joked: “This looks like the bottle Olive Garden Italian dressing comes in.”
Others thought people were being too “superstitious” about the whole thing.
“I have a degree in Theology,” posted a sixth person. “I can tell you for certain that you need to do whatever the hell you want to with that bottle. What it contains has the same power as a jockstrap. Probably smells the same too. Superstition is the driving force of the ignorant.”
Another unconcerned user added: “Imma say this one time! Witches and Warlocks and demons and ghosts and poltergeists and vampires and werewolves and fairies and shapeshifters and ALL OTHER RIDICULOUS Hollywood Disney stories are all make believe!”
Mears isn’t currently sure what he’s going to do with the bottle, but is considering donating it to a museum, reports nola.com
Both the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum and the Historic New Orleans Collection museum have shown interest in the discovery, but experts from both claimed they had never heard of witch bottles before.