Carl Wickland

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Carl August Wickland (February 14, 1861 – November 13, 1945) was a psychiatrist, a paranormal researcher and a non-fiction author.

Wickland was born in 1861 at Liden, Norland Province, Sweden. His father taught him cabinet making in his youth. Later he studied watchmaking.

In 1881 he arrived in St. Paul, Minn. after having emigrated from Sweden the year before. He married Anna W. Anderson in 1896 and they moved to Chicago so that he could attend Durham Medical College from which he graduated in 1900. He became a general practitioner of medicine and specialized in researching mental illnesses.

In 1909, Wickland became chief psychiatrist at the National Psychopathic Institute of Chicago. He continued in that position until 1918 when he and his wife moved to Los Angeles, California. Wickland founded the National Psychological Institute, a non-profit corporation for the research of psychology. The Institute operated a sanitarium, where at any one time six to ten patients would be treated until they were brought back to sanity and good health.

Wickland, in collaboration with his assistants, Nelle Watts, and Celia and Orlando Goerz, wrote and published in 1924, Thirty Years Among the Dead a book that detailed their experiences in abnormal psychology. Wickland believed that the doctrine of reincarnation was incorrect:

  • The theory of reincarnation can undoubtedly be traced to early stages of mankind when departed spirits took possession of the bodies of sensitive individuals and lived and acted through them, thus seemingly indicating reincarnation. But in reality this was only spirit obsession or possession.[1]

Wickland's book attributes the following to Madame Blavatsky:

  • Memories of “past lives” are caused by spirits that bring such thoughts and represent the lives they lived. A spirit impresses you with the experiences of its life and these are implanted in your mind as your own. You then think you remember your past.[2]

Wickland also relates his research in the cases of people becoming insane after dabbling with the occult, specifically people who were involved in automatic writing and those who used the Ouija Board.

Wickland wrote another book The Gateway of Understanding which was published in 1934. After Wickland's death on November 13, 1945, a man named Wing Anderson, a pioneer in his own right in sleep suggestion therapy for the correction of psychosomatic ills, purchased the copyrights of both books.


  1. ^ Reincarnation and Theosophy at
  2. ^ 30 Years Among the Dead, page 317