Description: A forked branch or 'dowsing wand' will dip and point when it passes over underground water
Origin: Germany, 15th Century
Dowsing, sometimes called doodle-bugging, divining or water-witching, is the practice of detecting hidden water using a forked branch held between the hands. This may be an ancient belief, but the modern form is said to have come from Germany to England in the 16th Century, when it was thought dowsing could detect buried minerals like metal or coal.
In the late 1960s during the Vietnam War, US Marines were said to have used dowsing in an attempt to find hidden tunnels and weapons. In recent years some now-discredited 'electronic' dowsing devices have been sold to police and security agencies, on the pretext that they can detect explosives.
Dowsing in Cotswolds England
I got fed up dowsing for
water so tuned my dowsing rods to 'Chinese Girls'. Within 10 minutes my
rods began to twitch madly and there at my feet was this beautiful
Chinese girl. Well, finders keepers - so I took her home - she sure
brightens the place up !!!
Note: These superstitions
were researched and written by Stuart Macfarlane (Website:
and Tom Metcalfe (Website:
The text is covered by
copyright law - please do not use without first requesting permission.