When I was around five years old, I first saw the witches well in Bowring Park. The well is located near the playground, and has been there since the park opened in 1914. Now, there are different stories about the well. One version goes something like this:
"Deep within the woods of Bowring Park, rests a well in the midst of a broken path. Consumed by darkness, this well contains an ominous presence that proved dangerous to humankind. When the clock strikes midnight, child-like screams escape from within the well. However, do not let these screams fool you. As you approach the well, smoke rises from the ground and will engage your body, leading you to the witches well. Whatever you do, don't look in. If you fail to follow this warning, you will be swept into the depths of hell by an evil force." - Brandon Skanes, July 1, 2021.
I must confess, this story isn't even close to being true. However, it doesn't dismiss the belief in the supernatural. When Bowring Park first opened in 1914, members of the Bowring family lived at a residence on the land. Moreover, the popular "witches well" was a means of accessing water for those in the area. According to actor Mark Critch, the "witches well" was part of the property belonging to former Newfoundland Prime Minister Sir Richard Squires, many years ago.
So, why is this actually called the "witches well"? According to Sarah Ingram, those who possess the ability to locate the best water source, locate objects in water, and make sure the water is of best quality are known as "water witches".
©The Divining Rod
The Modernist Son, 2020-2021.
Sarah Ingram. "Folklore of Wells in Newfoundland". Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador.