©Charles Géniaux

Naïa the Witch

of Rochefort-en-Terre

Naïa is the name given to a woman considered a witch, who is said to have lived in the ruins of the Rieux castle in Rochefort-en-Terre at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century. Emblematic and mysterious character, witness of a Brittany marked bylegends and beliefs.


A witch

in Rochefort-en-Terre

In his book “La vieille France qui s’en va” (1903), writer and photographer Charles Géniaux describes his encounter in the early 20th century with Naïa, the village witch. According to Charles Géniaux, she was known locally for having the gift of ubiquity, for reading the future, for not feeling pain… According to one of his informants, she was born in the neighboring commune of Malansac, to a rebouter father.
We also know that she was educated: knowing how to read, how to write, and knowing about plants. She had inherited gifts of ventriloquism and several tricks of saltimbanques.

Thus the legend of Naïa, the witch of Rochefort-en-Terre, an ageless and homeless woman, was built and perpetuated. However, you may be lucky enough to run into her on Facebook!

Naïa the witch of Rochefort-en-Terre

in the spotlight on Arte TV

Check out the report that aired Sept. 11, 2020 on Invitation to Travel.

The Naïa Museum

in Rochefort-en-Terre

Museum of Fantasy Arts

The character of Naïa the witch inspires and fascinates. So it was only natural that two artists, Patrice “Pit” Hubert and Manu Vanhouteghem, adopted the name of the witch of Rochefort-en-Terre when they opened the Naïa Museum installed in one of the oldest parts of the castle in April 2015. Halfway between a museum and a gallery, its vocation is to arouse curiosity and emotions in its visitors, presenting a selection of works of great aesthetic and artistic quality. A conic journey to the heart of time and space in the Imaginarium of Rochefort-en-Terre!

Books on Naïa the Witch

of Rochefort-en-Terre

Many books exist on Naïa the witch of Rochefort-en-Terre, relating her history or as a character in a novel. They are available in the Tourist Office shop, so don’t hesitate to ask.

Stéphane Batigne, a publisher in Questembert, published in 2015 “Naïa the Witch of Rochefort-en-Terre“. It is a presentation and translation of the 1st book written in 1899 by Charles GéniauxNaia, the witch of Rochefort ” in the British magazine specializing in exotic adventure stories Wide World Magazine.

He also published in 2016 “Babou has disappeared” by Marilyse Leroux, a children’s novel based on the story of Naïa the witch of Rochefort-en-Terre. Then in 2018, “the witch hunt” and in 2019 “Naïa and the magic voice .

Finally, four postcards of Naïa the Witch have been republished from photos taken by Charles Géniaux around 1900. On sale in the store area of the Tourist Office in Rochefort-en-Terre.