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Observations placeholder

Rochas, Albert De - Levitation of the human body – 11 Miss Thévenet, from Corbeil and eight people from the parish of Langres



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Albert De Rochas D'Aiglun - Levitation of the human body

The famous collection of well-known cases contains, in its Volume VI, printed in 1738, two documents cited about the trial of Louis Gaufridy, - a priest from Marseille who had been burned as a wizard in 1711, by decree of the Parliament of Provence, - and relating to contemporary facts of the narrator.

One refers to a young lady Thévenet, from Corbeil, who was supposed to be possessed and about whom the Archbishop of Paris had made a report. Here are the main facts that are said to have been found:

"1° This young lady rose to seven or eight feet in a garden and up to the floor in her room;

"2° She kidnapped her brother and his guard up to three feet without any support;

"3° Her skirts folded over her head, even though she stood up in the air;

"4° She climbed into the bed with her blanket, up to three and four feet, the same way she had laid down, that is, with her body stretched horizontally."

The other document is a medical report on eight people from the parish of Langres, diocese of Bayeux, who are also claimed to be possessed. Here is the report:

"We, the undersigned, Nicolas Andry, adviser, reader and royal professor, doctor, regent and former dean of the Faculty of Medicine of Paris, royal censor of Books, etc., have examined with all possible care the memorandum that has been presented to us; consequently, we certify that we have found in said memorandum four singular cases which seemed to us to pass the forces of nature and cannot be attributed to any physical force, namely:

"1° That the persons mentioned therein...

"2° That they often weigh, in the time of their syncope, at least twice as much as they weigh in their natural state, so that two men sometimes had difficulty carrying a ten-year-old child. Much more, than four men could never, several times and at different times, remove another from the ground where she was lying, whatever effort they made for a considerable time; and as soon as a priest arrived there and ordered the demon to give her knowledge and freedom to rise again, she recovered both of them. Moreover, as two men carrying her another day, in the same condition, two other men having joined them to help them carry her, her body suddenly became so heavy that they had all the trouble reaching her house, albeit close, saying that they would have had less trouble carrying a bag of wheat each.

"3° …………………………………………………………

"4° That there was one who, one day wanting to throw herself out the window of a second floor staircase, remained suspended standing in the air, without any support under her feet, and without holding anything, during all the time it took to go up to that floor and remove her. That she once again put a heel on the outer edge of the window lintel of one bedroom, her other foot in the air, and her whole body bent over without holding on to anything. That she sat on the inside edge of a well, her whole body inside, without any support under her feet, and during all this always in a state of syncope.

"Which of the things set out in these four articles, let us certify as above to pass the forces of nature and cannot be attributed to any physical force; all this without claiming anything to the other articles that may be the responsibility of physics and medicine.

Paris, March 4, 1134

Andry and Winslow

"After reading and examining the above submission, and after learning more about the uselessness of the remedies used by physicians, we believe that physics cannot explain some of the facts stated, such as, for example, being suspended in the air without holding anything, etc., and that nature alone, in health or in disease, cannot produce them.

"In witness whereof, adhering to the four articles extracted by our colleagues, Mr. Andry and Mr. Winslow, without deciding on the other articles, we signed in Paris on March 7, 1735.

"Chomel, counselor, king's doctor,

veteran associate of the Royal Academy of Sciences

 and regent doctor of the Faculty of Medicine of Paris.

"Chomel son, regent doctor of the Faculty of Medicine of Paris."



The source of the experience

Rochas, Colonel Albert de

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items


Activities and commonsteps