If you have been to the south there is no doubt that you have encountered a bottle tree. According to the legend, spirits are attracted to the blue bottles; as they go into the bottle to investigate they cannot find their way out and are trapped. At night when you hear the moaning of these bottles, it notifies you that you have trapped spirits in these bottles. As the sun comes up in the morning the spirits are burned up by the sun’s rays. If a bottle breaks the spirit is set free to roam or enter your home.
As early as the ninth century, Central African people started putting out bottles to capture roaming spirits. In the morning they would either cork the bottle and throw it in the river or let the sun burn up the usually evil spirit. As Africans were captured and brought to the south so did their superstitions and traditions. You can find these bottle trees anywhere nowadays, but they were once only found near the slave quarters of Southern Plantations.
You may see bottles of all different colors; but “Haint Blue” is the color of choice for these bottles as spirits are more attracted to the blue color. Many southerners paint their porches and trim around their windows and doorways haint blue. The word haint has morphed over the years and once was haunt blue, which makes more sense. No matter the color of these bottles tread lightly when you see them hanging from trees or perched on branches as you would hate to break one of these bottles and let out the spirit.