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Does a ghost need a ghostwriter?

May 6, 2019

In the strange case of Patience Worth, it appears to be so. 

 

But who is, or was, Patience Worth? 

 

Or perhaps a better question for our purposes at this time, what is Patience Worth? 

 

Allow me now, at last, to reward yours… 

 

Pearl Curran was a St. Louis housewife in the early nineteenth century, who, on a muggy July evening in 1913, claimed to have been visited by a ghostly spirit calling herself Patience Worth, who had traveled all the way from the 17th century to communicate with her host. 

 

Or as it might have been revealed in later times during a night with the popular game Clue, it was Patience in the Parlor with a Ouija board. 

 

For the next twenty-four years until her death, Pearl Curran published poems, books, and plays that Patience “dictated” over Pearl’s Ouija board, riding the wave of spiritualism and a fascination with the occult that swept across the United States and the world, earning accolades as an authentic and talented voice of early American literature. 

 

Patience, who was born in southern England around 1649 and immigrated to the United States around the age of thirty, was eventually killed by Native Americans just before the turn of the century, at least according to Pearl. 

 

Her second coming to America was considerably more welcoming, as her poems were included in journals right alongside such luminaries as Edna St. Vincent Millay and Edgar Lee Masters, and Patience was even named one of the outstanding authors of 1918 by The Joint Committee of Literary Arts of New York, quite an accomplishment considering she might have either been dead for over two hundred years or never existed at all. 

 

Edgar Lee Masters, of course, wrote Spoon River Anthology, a series of poems and stories narrated by dead people talking about how they lived and died. 

 

It is now believed that Pearl Curran was not the conduit for a ghostly author at all, but simply a very talented writer with an imaginary friend for a muse. 

 

A ghostwriter for a ghost, who may have only existed in her mind. 

 

But who’s to say? 

 

Perhaps Patience was real and Pearl was the ghost. After all, if Pearl truly believed Patience existed, who can argue otherwise?  

 

In Friendship, Patience/Pearl wrote:  I found thee, and finding thee, found full expression of the self 

That none but mine own self had known 

 

Although for the more cynical among us, Pearl/Patience also wrote in The Deceiver

I know you, you shamster 

You are the me the world knows 

 

Was Pearl a shamster or just ahead of her time? Maybe she understood that inspiration comes in many forms, and reality is in the mind of the beholder. 

 

If you have an inspiration you’d like to make a reality, call The Best Ghostwriters at 323-539-7635 or send us an email. 

 

No Ouija board required.