On March 8th each year, the World recognises International Women's Day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women while drawing attention to gender equality and important women's issues. Many within the paranormal field also use it as a chance to recognise their female colleagues.
With the world really finally starting to take notice of the females in the paranormal field, we also need to give recognition to those from our past. When you ask people about influential paranormal figures from our past, most commonly the names Holzer and Price are mentioned. It may surprise you to know that there were some very important female figures from the same era that don’t get nearly enough recognition. When you google females within the paranormal field, you normally get a list of the top 10 reality television female paranormal researchers. Don't get me wrong, some of these ladies have done some great work over the years, but what about the women from our past? The Ladies of Paranormal Past series was created to highlight trail-blazing women, who are equally important to the history of paranormal research, long before a television set was ever created. Here are just some of the countless women who have largely contributed to shaping the paranormal field as we know it today.
Click on their names to read more detailed articles about their work and contribution to the paranormal field.
Some of the most profound ghost stories are the real ones that have happened to real people. While people talk more openly about it these days, in the 1800s it was a different story. One lady paved the way with her groundbreaking book of ghostly tales forever cementing her place in paranormal history. Her name was Catherine Crowe
Eleanor Sidgwick is what would be considered one of the founding 'mothers' of paranormal research being a pivotal member in the era of psychical research.
Rose Mackenberg worked for Harry Houdini as an undercover plant to help Houdini in his quest to expose fake psychics. In two years, she investigated 300 psychics and did a lot of significant work for Houdini as his right hand woman in his fight against the spiritualists.
While many attribute the name Rhine to J.B Rhine the famous psychical researcher who invented Zener Cards for testing of ESP, there was another Rhine making waves in the world of parapsychology. Louisa E Rhine was a pivotal member of J.B Rhine's research while also being known for her papers and books on spontaneous cases.
Sarah Estep was one of the more modern-day pioneers of EVP research and revolutionised the EVP Class system into what we know today.
Another female who contributed largely to the field of parapsychology is Gertrude Schmeidler, known for her contributions to the field of parapsychology and work with the sheep-goat effect.
Mary Rose Barrington is one of the more modern-day examples of a trail-blazing lady in paranormal research. Most investigators may know Barrington or at least her popular theory on JOTT - Just One Of Those Things.
Now of course there are SO many more ladies who have made contributions to many areas of the paranormal field. I am slowly adding more and more and I feel like it is work that will never be complete because there is just so much work from females that has gone under highlighted over the years. When I say under highlighted, those within their sectors admired and raised them up, it is more that they are unknown to the wider mainstream paranormal field which is what I have been aiming to change.
When we talk about the modern paranormal field, I could sit all day here and tag and write about females who are making amazing contributions to the field. Some are well-known, while others keep to themselves and focus on their work. I am not going to list them purely because I just don't want to leave anyone out. There are some people doing some amazing things and a whole heap more that I am yet to discover. What is important is that these ladies are here and they are claiming their space in the paranormal field and sharing their thoughts, and their research using their talents and moving the field forward with discussion and ideas. I am proud to be a female member of the paranormal community and maybe one day, I hope to make someone's list of Ladies of Paranormal Past.
Here is some more female-centered content discussed on the LLIFS Blog:
One of the things I have been researching over the last couple of years more specifically is that of psychical abilities. How is it that some people have these abilities and others don't? How does it work? How is it that we are able to see or feel things? What is it within us? I have researched in the past claims about things RH negative blood type, the pineal gland, and even female hormones possibly playing a part. You can read these articles below.
In a general sense, people have the perception that females are generally more sensitive to the paranormal and that there are more females with psychical abilities compared to males. I don't have solid evidence to back this up, but this is the general consensus with many believing women are more intuitive due to our motherly instinct. This is where the hormones part would come into play.
I collected responses from women to look into this area more where I published the results here:
If you have made it to the end of this article, there is one more I encourage you to read. It talks about what it is like being a female in the paranormal field because it is bloody hard! There is something empowering about putting yourself out there as a female in the darkness of night. While there are many historical figures to look up to, it is the everyday women that I admire because I know how hard it is sometimes to just exist.
Thankyou to those who have always supported and encouraged me and to my brothers and sisters who have lifted me up, celebrated the wins and comforted the losses. I have met so many wonderful people within the paranormal that I am honoured to call my friends. There is a lot to be celebrated.
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