Pearl Curren (1883-1937)
In the earlier part of the 20th century, a St. Louis housewife encountered a spirit named Patience Worth. Mrs Pearl Curren was persuaded by her friend Emily Hutchinson to use an Ouija board. Although not particularly interested, Mrs Curren agreed and worked the board a number of times with her friend. On the evening of July 8th 1913, the planchette started spelling out a message that read. “Many moons ago I lived. Again I come, Patience Worth my name.”
The spirit identified herself as a 17th century English woman who had lived in the county of Dorset. She said that she was a spinster and had emigrated to America where she was murdered by Indians. Curren and Hutchinson started speaking with Patience Worth on a regular basis. Then they found that Mrs Curren could contact her by herself, whereas Mrs Hutchinson had no luck alone.
From the Ouija Board, Pearl Curren went on to Automatic Writing, through that, produced 2,500 poems, short stories, plays, allegories, and six full length novels, all authored by Patience Worth, She produced a total of more than four million words within a period of five years. One of the stories she produced – “The Sorry Tale” (350.000 words) is considered by Dr Usher, Professor of history at Washington University, to be the greatest story penned of the life and times of Jesus since the biblical gospels were written.
What is especially interesting about the Patience Worth case is that Pearl Curren had dropped out of school at the age of 14 and had virtually no knowledge of life in the mid sixteen hundreds, either in England or the American Colonies. Yet experts have examined the writings produced and have not found a single anachronism. The writings reveal an amazing insight into the life and times of that period. The vocabulary of the writings was 90 percent Old English. This is probably one of the best recorded examples ever of spirit contact. The writings continued through from 1913 to the late 1920’s.
The most notable books on the case are: Dr Walter Franklin Prince: The Case of Patience Worth and Casper S. Yost: Patience Worth; A Psychic Mystery. Dr Prince’s conclusion is: either our concept of what we call the subconscious mind must be radically altered so as to include potencies of which we hitherto have no knowledge. Or else some cause operating through, but not originating in, the subconscious of Mrs Curren must be acknowledged.
Professor Allison, of Manitoba University, says of the case in a personal study, “it must be regarded as the outstanding phenomenon of the age.”
With regards to the spirit “Patience Worth” A number of the articles that were received through Pearl Curren via automatic writing were published. In all there were some 2500 poems, along with short stories, plays, allegories and six full length novels. Some of those books are listed here.
(1) The Sorry Tale. (2) Hope True-Blood. (3) Light from Beyond.
(4) The Pot upon the Wheel and Telka, a poem of 60 - 70000 words unique in its Anglo-Saxon purity. The most notable books on the case are;
On occasions Patience Worth, through her medium, demonstrated before professors, and for ten months from March 1918, A monthly called Patience Worth’s Magazine was published, an outlet for her prolific literary activity.
Pearl Curren died in 1937.
Note: Nandor Fodor, refers to Patience Worth as a “him” and not as a“her” as with Raymond Buckland, at the point of writing this article it has been left as “her”.
Sources: The Spirit Book - P93 – By Raymond Buckland
The Book of Spirit Communication – P91/92 –By Raymond Buckland
Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science - P276 – Nandor Fodor