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and artist Jane Loudon, showing she was certainly moving in some very influential and intellectual circles. Quite an achievement for a sheltered girl born into a village life. Despite all of her achievements, it was an extraordinary claim about her, made by Charles Dickens in 1854, whilst she was living in Edinburgh, which really captured the public attention. Dickens had found Crowe an interesting individual and had followed her work for some time, although he seemed not to like her very much judging by comments noted in some of his letters “she is a medium, and an ass” being one such comment! In a letter to the Revd. James White, dated 7 March 1854, he gave what has become the standard account of the incident which signalled the beginning of the end for Crowes career:

“Mrs. Crowe has gone stark mad – and stark naked – on the spiritrapping imposition. She was found t’other day in the street, clothed only in her chastity, a pockethandkerchief and a visiting card. She had been informed, it appeared, by the spirits, that if she went out in that trim she would be invisible. She is now in a mad-house and, I fear, hopelessly insane. One of the curious manifestations of her disorder is that she can bear nothing black. There is a terrific business to be done, even when they are obliged to put coals on her fire”. Dickens seemed to take great pleasure in spreading this rumour through various letters and no doubt conversation. So was it true? Did Catherine Crowe suddenly go mad, and believe that the spirits told her to go outside naked with a playing card and a handkerchief in order to become invisible? Well despite Dickens circulating the rumour, nothing appeared in any edition of the Scottish

Described in VICE’s Broadly Magazine as “Britain’s Foremost Female Paranormal Investigator”, Jayne is Co-Founder of HD Paranormal Research, an organisation which specialises in investigating potentially haunted objects and Chairwoman of the Midlands Society for Paranormal Research (MSPR).  Jaynes fascination with the paranormal began at an early age with both of her great


Newspapers. Surely it would have been a wonderful headline? Crowe herself always strongly denied that the incident ever took place and even wrote a letter to the Daily News in April 1854 contesting the claims most strongly. Whatever the truth, whether a mad, naked Spiritualist, or an intelligent and determined woman making waves in Victorian high society, one thing is clear. This woman not only raised the profile of the Spiritualist movement as we know it today, but more importantly I see her as the spark which ignited the Psychical Research fire. Over 40 years before the creation of the Society for Psychical Research Catherine Crowe was out there investigating suspected hauntings in a methodical and scientific way. She was recording events and analysing data while most others with an interest in the spirit world were sitting around tables holding hands.

Crowe’s The Night Side of Nature was one of the publishing sensations of 1848, and appeared before the worldwide explosion of interest in communication with the dead, encouraged by the Fox Sisters across the Atlantic. The book introduced a large number of well-to-do Victorians to the world of the occult, and has been described as “marked the turning point in society’s relationship with the paranormal.” So going back to past lives, I’d be infinitely proud if I could know with a degree of certainty, that one of my past incarnations was as this incredible woman, but of course that’s highly unlikely. And so I suppose for now I’ll forge onwards in her honour as a woman cutting her own path through the Paranormal forest of beliefs, theories and challenges. If she could do it then… ladies, we can do it now.

grandmothers being spirit mediums, and she has spent the last 18 years studying and experiencing the various phenomena first hand. As a qualified Psychologist and member of the Parapsychological Association, Jayne tries to approach each new case with a view to finding a rational explanation.  Jayne is also a published author and a regular on Paranormal TV


and Radio worldwide with her most recent appearance being on the Travel Channels “Deadly Possessions” with Zak Bagans. HD Paranormal are the caretakers of Peggy the Doll, considered the UK’s most haunted object and one of the top 5 most haunted objects in the world. 

Haunted Magazine #16 - Women in Paranormal Special  

Women, women, women, you can't live with them but you can get them to write the features for Haunted Magazine Issue 16, and like a female ve...

Haunted Magazine #16 - Women in Paranormal Special  

Women, women, women, you can't live with them but you can get them to write the features for Haunted Magazine Issue 16, and like a female ve...