A paranormal phenomenon whereby a body
or object is raised up into the air in defiance of gravity.
Levitation has been reported in cases of bewitchment,
hauntings (see ghosts, hauntings and witchcraft) and
possession; it also is attributed to saints and holy persons.
In 1550 in Wertet, Brabant, a group of nuns reportedly
levitated into the air, climbed trees like cats and were
pinched by invisible fingers. A towns-woman was tortured
into confessing she had bewitched them. In other
cases, beds are said to levitate off the floor. In hauntings,
witches, poltergeists and fairies have been blamed for
levitating people, animals and objects.
Levitation also has been accomplished by Western
psychics and mediums and was a common occurrence—
often done fraudulently—at séances in the heydey of Spiritualism.
The best-known levitating medium was Daniel
Dunglas Home (1833–86), a Scotsman who was expelled
from the Catholic Church on charges of sorcery. Home
was reported to levitate many times over a 40-year-period
and to control his flights, which were done in trance. On
one occasion, witnesses said he flew out of one third-story
window in a home and returned through another window.
Home was suspected of trickery, but he was never
convicted of any fraud.
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Categories: Paganism and Witchcraft
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