Wisconsin, Well witching

Speaker is from Portage, Wisconsin in 1968; he is a 74-year-old white man with a college education.

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INFORMANT: So, we decided we had to put in a new well, and somebody asked me why I didn’t get it witched, and I didn’t know what he was talking about, so he said there’s an old fellow out here that witches wells. And he’ll get you water every time. So, I said, “OK, uh, how much does he want?” “He wants ten bucks.” I said, “Bring him on.” So, we brought this fellow out, and he went through his maneuvers with his peach stick, or, I don’t remember now it was a peach stick or a willow.

FIELDWORKER: Mm-hmm. You use both though.

INFORMANT: Yeah, either one, one works as good as the other. And, uh, he, he, uh, s-strikes a point where, uh, uh, where he has a, where he hits water. Then he puts a stone down, then he goes down, uh, in that same line, and where he hits water again, put another stone down. Then he goes at right angles with this, and gets a stone over here and a stone over here, and where these two lines cross, that’s the point.

FIELDWORKER: It’d kinda be, uh, the, kind of a—

INFORMANT: The veins the, the, he said these water veins always run on an angle, never due north and south or east and west, or northwest, southeast.