Witchcraft, flight and the early modern English stage
Early Modern Literary Studies 13.1 (May, 2007)
This is a discussion of something that never happened, in relation to a form of theatre that was only minimally capable of representing that factually non-existent event. That witches physically flew was insistently argued by some demonologists, and as this was a seductive fantasy, the theatres (those places where time and distance can be made to obey the dictates of imagination) often suggested, and sometimes tried to represent, manifestations of the witches’ aerial power. The proper term for the flight of witches is transvection. The readers for the OED overlooked this word’s first appearance in English, which is in Thomas Heywood.