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vol. 1, p. 13
from Adyar archives of the International Theosophical Society
vol. 1 (1874-1876)


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Human Levitation

There is a long, interesting, and very well written article in last Friday's number of the Quarterly Journal of Science, on “Human Levitation” from which we quote the following information: –

Till the last two centuries all persons known in Christendom to be subjects of levitation were probably either burnt or canonized, according to the ruling clerical view of their orthodoxy or the reverse. The following is an attempt to collect some of the chief examples not condemned with the volume and page of the Bolandists’ “Acta,” where particulars may be found[2]: –

Name, Country, and Condition Date of Life Acta Sanct. Vol. Pages
Andrew Salus, Scythian Slave 880-946 May VI 16*
Luke of Soteriam, Greek Monk 890-946 Feb. II 85
Stephen I, King of Hungary 978-1038 Sept. I 541
Ladislaus I., Ditto (his grandson) 1041-1096 June V 318
Christina, Flemish Nun 1150-1220 July V 656
St. Dominic, Italian Preacher 1170-1221 Aug. I 405, 573
Lutgard, Belgian Nun 1182-1246 June III 238
Agnes of Bohemia, Princess 1205-1281 March I 522
Humiliana of Florence, Widow 1219-1246 May IV 396
Jutta, Prussian Widow Hermit 1215-1264 May VII 606
St. Bonaventure, Italian Cardinal 1221-1274 July III 827
St. Thomas Aquinas, Italian Friar 1227-1274 March I 670-1
Ambrose Sansedonius, Itln. Priest 1220-1287 March III 192
Peter Armengol, Spanish Priest 1238-1304 Sept. I 334
St. Albert, Sicilian Priest 1240-1306 Aug. II 236
Princess Margaret of Hungary 1242-1270 Jan. II 904
Robert of Solentum, Italian Abbot 1273-1341 July IV 503
Agnes of Mt. Politian, Itln. Abbess 1274-1317 April II 794
Bartholus of Vado, Italian Hermit 1300 June II 1007
Princess Elizabeth of Hungary 1297-1338 May II 904
Catharine Columbina, Sp. Abbess 1387 July VII 352
St. Vincent Ferrer, Sp. Missionary 1359-1419 April I 497
Coleta of Ghent, Flemish Abbess 1381-1447 March I 559, 576
Jeremy of Panormo, Sicilian Friar 1381-1452 March I 297
St. Antonine, Archbp. of Florence 1389-1459 May I 335
St. Francis of Paola, Missionary 1440-1507 April I 117
Osanna of Mantua, Italian Nun 1450-1505 June III 703,705
Bartholomew of Anghiera, Friar 1510 March II 665
Columba of Rieti, Italian Nun 1468-1501 May V 332*-4*, 360*
Thomas, Archbishop of Valencia 1487-1555 Sept. V 832, 969
St. Ignatius Loyola, Sp. Soldier 1491-1556 July VII 432
Peter of Alcantara, Spanish Friar 1499-1562 Oct. VIII 672, 673, 687
St. Philip Neri, Italian Friar 1515-1595 May VI 590
Salvator de Horta, Spanish Friar 1520-1567 March II 379-80
St. Luis Bertrand, Sp. Missionary 1526-1581 Oct. V 407-483
St. Theresa, Spanish Abbess 1515-1582 Oct. VII 399
John a Croce, Spanish Priest 1542-1591 Oct. VII 239
J. B. Piscator, Roman Professor 1586 June IV 976
Joseph of Cuportino, Italian Friar 1603-1663 Sept. V 1020-2
Bonaventure of Potenza, Itln. Friar 1651-1711 Oct. XII 154-157-9

The Mediumship of the Eddy Brothers

Colonel H. S. Olcott's Description of the Manifestations

The New York Daily Graphic has printed long descriptions of the appearance of materialised spirits, witnessed through the mediumship of the Eddy Brothers, at Chittenden, Vermont. The accounts were written by its special correspondent, Colonel H. S. Olcott, a well-known literary man in New York. In his fifteenth letter to that paper, Colonel Olcott says: –


Rutland, Vt., November.

I can imagine, at least to some extent, how Charlotte Cushman felt the other night when, with moistened eyes and faltering accents, she bade farewell to the kind public that had encouraged and sustained her so long; for I, too, am about to part with my public – the hundred thousand readers of the Daily Graphic who have so indulgently followed me through this narrative during the past ten weeks. I have received so many letters of encouragement from all parts of the country, from total strangers, and so many kind things have been said in so many journals of all classes, that I feel a greater regret to announce my closing chapters and take leave of my audience, than I had imagined it possible for me to experience. These numerous tokens of regard have not only stimulated me in the serious work in hand, but also afforded a marked proof of the deep interest that prevails in the subject we have been discussing. I wish, from the bottom of my heart, that I could give to the bereaved ones who have appealed to me that consolation which they so eagerly crave, that I could allay their doubts and encourage their hopes; but my whole usefulness as an investigator would be destroyed by my assuming the part of a propagandist. My duty is simply to report what I see as fairly, accurately, and intelligibly as lies in my power, and leave each reader to form his or her own conclusions therefrom.

The spirits whose appearances have been thus far described were either Indians or whites of American or European lineage. Up to the 2nd of October I had never seen one of any other nationality, but on that evening there appeared an Arab who was an old friend of a lady well known in magazine literature as "Aunt Sue." He was of short stature, slight and wiry build, and his very salaam to the lady when recognised, was in marked contrast with the constrained bows of the Indians and the more or less ungraceful salutations of the whites. His name is Yusef. He was dressed in a white tunic, gathered at the waist by a sash, and the skirt ornamented with three equi-distant bands of red of the same width. On his head was the national fez, and in his sash was thrust a weapon of some kind, which I could not see distinctly. A number of questions propounded to him were answered by respectful bows, and his parting obeisance was of that deferential, but at the same time self-respecting, character that is peculiar to the peoples of the Orient. Five Indians – “Black Swan's Mother,” “Bright Star,” “Daybreak,” “White Feather” (who wore so long and plume in his hair that it was bent by the door-casing as he bowed his head to pass through), and “Santum” – had preceded him, following Mrs. Eddy, whose address I referred to in the letter preceding this; and one, “Swift Cloud,” came after, so that a most favourable opportunity was afforded to note the contrast between his manners and deportment and those of our aborigines. The seance was closed, as usual, by old Mr. Brown, who had some talk with his son about a new house he was creating, and then departed. But, returning after a moment, he addressed a woman present who, it appeared, had come under a false name, and whose spirit-daughter had appeared to her the evening before, and asked, “Was that child, ------, your daughter?” The mother said it was. “What is her other name?” asked the inquisitive spirit. The woman hesitated a moment, and then faltered out, “Smith.” “Well,” said he, “I hope she may never feel as if she had to deny her name,” and was gone. This thing happened several times during my visit; so it will be as well for persons who are ashamed to give their right names to stay away from Chittenden.


In the dark circle of this same evening I had another volunteer exhibition of spirit power that ought to puzzle sceptics less self-complacent than our muscular-contractionists. My weighing-scales were standing on <... >

Editor's notes

  1. Human Levitation by unknown author, London Spiritualist, No. 124, January 8, 1875, p. 23
  2. The following table is also quoted in the article Yoga Vidya (The Theosophist, vol. 1, No. 4, January, 1880) with more comments.
  3. The Mediumship of the Eddy Brothers by Olcott, H. S., London Spiritualist, No. 124, January 8, 1875, pp. 15-8