THE BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF PARAPSYCHOLOGY
LYDIA W.(INTERHALTER) ALLISON
(Mrs. Edward Wood Allsion) Editor; chairman of the committee on publications (1943-59), American Society for Psychical Research. B. September 14, 1880, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; d. March 25, 1959, New York, N.Y. M. 1905, Edward Wood Allison, M.D. (d. 1920). Editor, Social Calendar, 1919024; publicity director, Marie Harriman Gallery, 1929-34. Founding member, with Dr. Walter Franklin Prince (q.v.) and othes, of the Boston Society for Psychic Research, 1925; council member, 1929; trustee, ASPR, 1941-59; member; Society for Psychical Research, London; International Committee for the Study of Parapsychological Methods.
Mrs. Allison's interest in psychical research began in 1920, on the death of her husband, who had been interested in investigations of the survival question. In an effort to communicate with him after his death, Mrs. Allison sat with the mediums Mrs. Osborne Leonard (q.v.) and Mrs. Minnie M. Soule. She reported on these sittings, which she considered successful, in the book Leonard and Soule Experiments in Psychical Research (1929). Meanwhile her personal interest had widened to embrace the study and investigation of the whole field of mediumship, and as a representative of the ASPR she observed in the United States and Britain the work of such sensitives as "Margery," Rudi Schneider, and Mrs. Eileen J. Garrett (qq.v.).
Mrs. Allsion's long service to the ASPR and her painstaking devotion to objectivity brought her many tributes. Typical of these was a statement at the time of her death by Dr. Gardner Murphy (q.v.): "Her combination of unfailing enthusiasm for the highest quality of research and solid skepticism regarding unsound methods made her a precious collaborater." Mrs. Allison attended the First International Conference of Parapsychological Studies in Utrecht, the Netherlands, in 1953, and in 1955, presented the paper “Some Poltergeist Cases in America” before the Conference on Spontaneous Phenomena at Cambridge. Her other published papers and articles include “Proxy Sittings with Mrs. Leonard” (SPR Proceedings, Vol. 42, 1934); and, in the ASPR Journal: “Further Proxy Sittings with Mrs. Leonard” (Vol. 35, 1941); “Telepathy or Association?” (Vol. 35, 1941); “A Repetition of Carington's Experiments with Free Drawings” (with Dr. Gertrude Schmeidler, q.v., Vol. 42, 1948); “The American Society for Psychical Research” (a brief history; Vol. 52, No. 1, 1958). See also Parapsychology Foundation Newsletter, Mar. - Apr. 1958; ASPR Journal, Vol. 52, No. 3, 1959.
Taken from Helene Pleasants (1964) Biographical Dictionary of Parapsychology with Directory and Glossary 1946-1996 NY: Garrett Publications