Press release

Photo: Pierre Guzzo


Sunday, August 27, 2017, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The dowser, also known as a water witch, holds the two ends of his wand firmly, arms outstretched. Palms up, he walks slowly; suddenly his wand starts to vibrate and then point to the ground. It is as if some supernatural force draws the wand toward the ground at a specific location. The dowser says: “That’s where you have to dig for water.”

Some people think that dowsers have a gift, others that they are harnessing the magnetic fields and still others believe that it is all a matter of chance or a deception. What is the truth? In the past, the dowser was an important individual in a village. His gift was never questioned. He was in great demand as a result of his keen sense of observation, his knowledge of the land and his ability to detect sources of water. Today, dowsers have been forgotten and are no longer of any interest to drilling companies, the media and scientists.

On Sunday, August 27, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., the museum plans to recreate the effervescence that accompanied the water witch’s work, with its event Dowsers, not witches. A dozen dowsers have been invited to the site of Maison Saint-Gabriel. They will give demonstrations and answer the visitors’ questions. Visitors will even have an opportunity to try a wand. Who knows? They might even feel the magnetic pull of water.

Visitors may also make the most of the beautiful gardens and visit the 2017 temporary exhibit, 375 years at the heart of the action.