THE MULTIPLE PERSONALITY PATIENT AS WITCH by Ralph B. Allison, M.D. Presented March 1, 1990 Association for the Anthropological Study of Consciousness Mabel called me for her first appointment with the complaint she had Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) and had just had a tubal ligation after having two children. Since the surgeon had apparently not known of her psychiatric condition, he had not gotten permission from her various personalities, one of whom now thought she was 8 p months pregnant. When she arrived, she appeared to be an attractive white woman with long straight black hair. She easily went into trance so I could deal with her pseudocyesis problem by delivering an imaginary stillborn child, which I handed over to my imaginary nurse to take out of the office, never to be seen again. Then I settled down for weekly sessions of a more traditional nature. Mabel lived with her husband and their two children. She had a strong interest in parapsychological matters and claimed to have frequent psychic experiences, which is common with MPD patients. One day she called me in a crisis, and I decided to make a house call. At the time, I had in my office another MPD patient, Mrs. J. I decided to take her with me so that she could babysit Mabel's children, which would allow me to get the job done more efficiently. Also, Mrs. J's occupation was as a professional babysitter. When I drove up to Mabel's house, the two women met briefly and then met again as we left. They had no interaction other than these two brief meetings. A few months later, Mrs. J was shot to death under strange circumstances, which police called suicide. None of us who knew her believed that was the cause. Mable reported that she saw and spoke to Mrs. J in her car after Mrs. J's death. Mrs. J's "spirit" told Mabel to tell her friends that she had not killed herself. They talked for some time in her car about her life and death. To my knowledge, Mabel had no factual knowledge about Mrs. J's life or death. One morning I found an unstamped letter in my office mailbox when I came to work. It appeared to be a letter from the deceased Mrs. J who used the hand of an unsuspecting woman. She reassured me that she had not killed herself and expressed her love of all her friends. Only my secretary and I saw this letter, and I didn't dare tell anyone else about it. Three days later, Mabel came in for her usual session and reported that the day before someone had driven up to their mailbox in front of their house and inserted a letter in it. She was sitting by the front window and saw a Volkswagen drive up with a man and a woman in it. She saw one of them put the letter in her mailbox. She had brought it to show me. It, too, was unstamped and appeared to be from Mrs. J. It was longer than mine, but mentioned the same subjects. Mabel's husband, who was at work at the time, was sure she had written the letter herself and considered it Mabel's doing. To counter that, I pulled out my own letter to reassure her that I didn't think she was pulling a stunt on me. Since the scribe was mentioned by name, I did search in the local phone book for someone by that name, but was not successful. I have had no leads regarding how those two letters came to be or who delivered them. Once Mabel called me at noon about a problem I thought would be best handled in the hospital ward. Since she was on Medi-Cal, I knew I had to have some sort of an emergency to justify admission. After discussion with her helper personalities, I instructed them to cause one arm to become limp and useless during the afternoon. As I planned, her husband came home after work and found his wife paralyzed in one arm. He properly took her to the hospital emergency room, where I authorized her admission to the psychiatric ward. When I came to see her that evening, I hypnotized her to reverse the process and got down to working with the problem she had complained of. The biggest problem was the existence of a very nasty alter-personality who wanted to destroy her. In those days, I was using what I called "the bottle routine." I asked the patient or an alter-personality, in hypnosis, to shove into a small bottle in her hand all the negative energy she could, so it would be withdrawn from her mind and body. This was a variant of an exorcism, but I never expected a personality to leave, like a genie in a bottle. I only asked the patient to shove out anger energy, fear energy and whatever other negative energies she chose to expel in this way. It was really a very useful device for letting the patient regain control after such feelings became conscious. This was what I was using to help Mabel deal with what she perceived as a very angry alter-personality one evening during that hospitalization. I struggled and struggled with her for at least an hour, but nothing happened. Finally I gave up, feeling completely exhausted. Then I excused myself to go do the admission write-up of another old patient who had returned. The new write-up should have been easy, since I knew the patient well. My problem was that I could not write larger than half my usual size of letter. I lacked energy to do more than scribble my notes. By 9 pm I decided to go home while I still had the strength to drive my car. I went home to do my usual things. At 11 pm I was getting ready to go to bed and had to go to the commode. Suddenly everything came apart. Without much warning, I gushed bright red blood from both ends of my GI tract. I collapsed to the floor and called for my wife, who was in the bedroom. If she had not been there, I would not be here today. She helped me to the bed and called my doctor. Then she drove me to the same hospital I had just left so I could be admitted to the ICU by midnight. I spent the next week in the hospital being treated for my acute bleeding duodenal ulcer and then took the next five weeks off at home. It is true that before that night, I had been burning my candles at both ends with too many trips and meetings I should have avoided. For several months I had ignored those aching pains in my abdomen that improved temporarily when I ate. I was very vulnerable to stress then, and I had no doubts that the stress that had sent me over the edge was related to Mabel. When I saw her after my recuperation leave, I asked her to tell me what she thought went wrong in that last session. Her report was that I had not been dealing with an alter-personality but with the spirit of a British witch who had died in the 1890's and now lived in Mabel. The witch was upset that I was trying to get rid of her, so she fought back by draining my energy, a process I call sapping. This was the final blow, and my body lacked reserves with which to cope with the assault. I advised Mabel that I could no longer be her therapist. But she kept in touch with me. Her husband threw her out, and she went to live with the family of her best friend, who was also a patient of mine. This friend was also an hysteric with interest in the occult, but soon she told Mabel to leave. She felt that the psychic radiation Mabel put out was harming her children. I told Mable that it appeared she was a psychic typhoid Mary who should live in isolation somewhere. She took me seriously and moved to her mother's mountain cabin, away from all humans. When she returned, she told me a wild story of physical battles with evil demons who knocked her physically around the woods. I have no idea what really happened, but she believed it. She then moved to a boarding house and got a new boyfriend. The boyfriend decided that he was going to cure her by exorcism. He tape recorded his sessions, and I listened to them later. What I heard him identify as the demon I considered to be an alter-personality and a helping one at that. After his involvement with Mabel, his personality and interests changed drastically. He became a religious fanatic who formed his own religion and sought converts to his way of thinking. He approached a Catholic priest as a potential convert, as well as me. He called me on the phone at the office and tried to persuade me to join his church. Mabel told me of one Sunday evening when they went out for a drive and he insisted on stopping at a church where they were having evening vespers. He dragged her into the church against her will and made such a scene in the church that he destroyed their services. The last I heard of this young man was when his brother called me from Florida to ask why he had suffered such a personality change while out in California. The brother reported that the boyfriend had returned to Florida and had continued to approach everyone in sight trying to enlist them in his new religion. In his final attempt, he was so enraged by the rejection by a man he met downtown that he turned on him and killed him on a public sidewalk. He was now in the county jail awaiting trial on a murder charge. The last I heard of Mabel was a phone call from her landlady asking me if she really was a witch. I asked her what had brought up the question. The landlady told me that Mabel had proclaimed herself a witch at the residence, and she was none too happy about her staying there. CONCLUSION These are the bare facts in this case. I cannot give you any theories why they occurred. But occur they did. I was unwilling to do any long-term followup, and I have not heard from anyone else about them since I left that town 11 years ago. I have never before presented this case, as I cannot make something scientific out of it. I do so now at the urging of Dr. Grossbeck, who felt that it needed to be told. He may have some way of explaining it to you, and I will listen with you. For me it was a dark day when I met Mabel, and I hope she never crosses my path again.

  Copyright© 2021 - Ralph B. Allison