From Gioia Diliberto's article:
Speaking through a Ouija board operated by Pearl Lenore Curran, a St. Louis housewife of limited education, Patience Worth was nothing short of a national phenomenon in the early years of the 20th century. . . . Almost overnight, Patience transformed Pearl Curran from a restless homemaker plagued by nervous ailments into a busy celebrity who traveled the country giving performances starring Patience. Night after night
You can read the full text here: Patience Worth: Author From the Great Beyond
The case of Patience/Pearl brings up some questions about the writing process and authorship. Did Pearl really think that Patience was channeling stories through her? Or was Patience a persona that Pearl created to inspire her writing? The paranormal aspect certainly led to Pearl's fame and success as a writer--fiction under her own name was not as well-received. Pearl might not have been able to obtain success and literary stardom on her own, due to attitudes toward women and literature during her time. Attributing her stories to a ghost, strangely enough, gave her the credibility she needed to get published. Maybe that was Pearl's intent all along? But how does that explain her vast knowledge of the 17th century, despite her lack of formal education?
Even authors who don't attribute their work to ghosts and spirits have likened the creative process to a spiritual event--Stephen King calls writing "an act of telepathy" in On Writing, "a meeting of the minds" between the reader and the author. Whatever her motivation, Pearl Curran took the telepathy in her writing literally--and made her story as an author (whether it's truth or fiction) all the more interesting.