Today, I spent a couple hours today at the pioneer cemetary in my parents town at a grave dowsing demonstration.

Grave dowsing is similar to water, oil, and mineral dowsing, except it is used to find graves. The idea is pretty much the same, the person walks along with the dowsing rods (in this case, two thin brass rods held in two copper pipes. The copper pipes were meant to prevent user influence). When there is a grave underneath where the dowser is walking, the rods go from being straight in front of him || to spreading out ___ ___.

I know it is all pretty much psuedoscience. Though, I hear a lot of anecdotal evidence of water dowsing working. I also assuming confirmation bias and people repeating the stories of Grandpa finding water when the professionals couldn’t, but they don’t repeat the stories of all of Grandpa’s failures. But, I have to admit it can be kind of convincing when he was walking along the line of known graves and the rods were going out at every point where there were graves. Of course, the scientist in me really wanted to do a series of test, like having him walk along an area of known graves blindfolded and see if the rods went out. And, his claims they go out for men’s graves, but usually cross in for women’s graves...but they went out for every grave he found and only when in when he went across a grave that was marked and known to belong to a woman.


Real, witchcraft (I learned Baptists call it “angeling” to avoid the witchcraft connotation), or psuedoscience, it was still pretty fun to go out and watch. And It will be interesting to see if they find graves where the guy marked, especially since most of the area has been already gone over by electronic methods and cadaver dogs.