Karagulla, Shafica (1914-ca. 1986)

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Karagulla, Shafica (1914-ca. 1986)

Medical doctor and psychiatrist who took a special interest in psychic perception. Karagulla was born on June 28, 1914, in Turkey to a Christian family. She was educated at the American School for Girls in Beirut, Lebanon; the American Junior College for Women, Beirut; and the American University of Beirut (M.D. and surgery degree, 1940). She went on to specialize in psychiatry in Scotland, where she took her residency at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital for Mental and Nervous Disorders. She was awarded the Walter Smith Kay Research Fellowship in Psychiatry and the Lawrence McLaren Bequest by the University of Edinburgh. During this period she reported unfavorably on the effect of the then-fashionable electric shock therapy. In 1948 she was awarded the D.P.M. by the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, one of the highest medical qualifications in Britain.

In 1952 she visited the neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield at McGill University, Montreal, to discuss the investigation of hallucinations by electrode probes. Later she was associated as consultant psychiatrist with the work of Penfield on temporal lobe epilepsy and the study of hallucinations by electrical stimulation of the brain. In 1956 she moved to the United States as a practicing physician and joined the faculty of the State University of New York as an assistant professor in psychiatry. She also became an American citizen.

After reading the book Edgar Cayce: Mystery Man of Miracles (1961), by Joseph Millard, she became interested in psychic research and sought subjects with abilities similar to Edgar Cayce 's for study. She spent several years researching what she called "higher sense perception" and published her findings in the book Breakthrough to Creativity (1967). Her book was warmly received in university circles. She moved to Beverly Hills, California, and founded the Higher Sense Perception Research Foundation. With her associate Viola P. Neal she taught courses in higher sense perception at the University College of Los Angeles. Karagulla developed an affinity for theosophical teachings and a special interest in the psychic ability of theosophical leader Dora Van Gelder. Karagulla died March 12, 1986.


Bolen, J. G. "Interview: Shafica Karagulla." Psychic 4, no. 6 (1973).

Karagulla, Shafica. Breakthrough to Creativity: Your Higher Sense Perception. Santa Monica, Calif.: DeVorss, 1967.