Harold Dearden (13 December 1882 – 6 July 1962) was a British
psychiatrist A psychiatrist is a physician A physician (American English), medical practitioner (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English), medical doctor, or simply doctor, is a professional who practices medicine, which is concern ...
screenwriter A screenplay writer (also called screenwriter for short), scriptwriter or scenarist, is a writer who practices the craft of screenwriting, writing screenplays on which mass media, such as films, television programs and video games, are based. ...


Dearden was born in
Bolton Bolton (, locally ) is a large town in Greater Manchester in North West England, Historic counties of England, historically and traditionally a part of Lancashire. A former mill town, Bolton has been a production centre for textiles since Flemi ...
Lancashire Lancashire ( ; abbreviated Lancs.) is a ceremonial county and geographical area in North West England. The ceremonial county's administrative centre is Preston, while Lancaster is still the county town. The borders of the ceremonial county ...
. He was educated at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge and London Hospital. He qualified as a physician in 1911.Anonymous. (1962). ''Harold Dearden, M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P''. ''
The British Medical Journal ''The BMJ'' is a weekly peer-reviewed medical trade journal, published by the trade union the British Medical Association The British Medical Association (BMA) is a registered trade union for physician, doctors in the United Kingdom. The ...
'' 2 (5298): 197–198.
World War I World War I or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously known as the Great War or "The war to end war, the war ...
, he joined the
Royal Army Medical Corps The Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) is a specialist corps in the British Army which provides medical services to all Army personnel and their families, in war and in peace. The RAMC, the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, the Royal Army Dental Corps an ...
. He was a medical officer for the 3rd Battalion of the Grenadier Guards. In 1916, he became honorary Captain. At the Second Battle of the Somme (1918), Battle of the Somme he was wounded, suffering from a lost eye and shell shock. He was later invalided out of the war."Dr. Harold Dearden - Psychiatrist at Camp 020"
Giselle K. Jakobs, 2014.
Rupert Allason, West, Nigel. (2009). ''The A to Z of British Intelligence''. The Scarecrow Press. p. 139. During World War II, Dearden worked as a psychiatrist and was principal interrogator at Camp 020. He wrote the play ''Interference (film), Interference'' (with Roland Pertwee). He also wrote the ''Two White Arms'' which became a successful film. In 1943, he married Ann Verity Gibson Watt, they had four children. He died at his home in Hay-on-Wye from cerebral thrombosis.


Dearden was skeptical of claims of Parapsychology, psychical phenomena and spiritualism. In his book ''Devilish But True: The Doctor Looks at Spiritualism'' (1936), he compared cases of witchcraft to spiritualist mediums. He noted the similarity of Hysteria, hysterical behaviour and hallucinations. In 1927, he wrote an article ''How Spiritualists are Deluded''. Dearden attended séances and was a judge for a group formed by the ''Sunday Chronicle'' to investigate the Materialization (paranormal), materialization medium Harold Evans. During a séance Evans was exposed as a fraud. He was caught masquerading as a spirit, in a white nightshirt.


*''Insanity: Prevention or Cure?'' (1922) *''The Moral Imbecile'' (1922) *''The Technique of Living'' (1924) *''The Doctor Looks at Life'' (1924) *''The Science of Happiness'' (1925) *''Exercise and the Will: With a Chapter on Obesity'' (1927) *''How Spiritualists are Deluded'' (1927) *''Medicine and Duty: The First World War Diary of Dr Harold Dearden'' (1928, 2014) *''Two White Arms: A Comedy-Farce in Three Acts'' (1928) *''The Mind of the Murderer'' (1930) *''Such Women are Dangerous'' (1933) *''The Fire Raisers: The Story of Leopold Harris and His Gang'' (1934) *''A Confessor of Women'' (1934) *''Queer People'' (1935) *''Devilish But True: The Doctor Looks at Spiritualism'' (1936) *''The Wind of Circumstance'' (1938) *''Time and Chance'' (1940)"Time and Chance"
The Spectator.
*''Creation's Heir'' (1947) *''Some Cases of Sir Bernard Spilsbury and Others: Death Under the Microscope'' (1948)


{{authority control 1882 births 1962 deaths Alumni of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge Critics of parapsychology English psychiatrists History of mental health in the United Kingdom English sceptics English screenwriters English male screenwriters People from Bolton 20th-century British screenwriters 20th-century English male writers