Dr. J. Gaither Pratt, 69, a parasychologist reseacher with the University of Virginia's Medical School, died Saturday at his home near Charlottesville after suffering an apparent heart attack.

He had joined the medical school in 1964. He also was a part-time professor of psychiatry in the parapsychology division.

Dr. Pratt was born in Winston-salem, N.C. He earned bachelor's, master's and doctor's degrees from Duke University, where he studied with Dr. J.B. Rhine, a pioneer in the field of parasychology.

He was on the research staff of the parapsychology laboratory at Duke from 1937 through 1963.

Dr9 Pratt was the author of more than 100 published articles in his field and of eight books, including "Parapsychology: An Insider's View of Esp." a and "The Psychic Realm: What Can You Believe?" written with Noami Hintze.

Dr. Pratt was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Institute of Parapsychology. He was past president of the Parapsychological Association.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth, of the home; three sons, John, of Dyke Va., Vernon, of Durham N.C. and Joseph, of Berkeley, Calif.; a daughter, Ellen, of Key Largo, Fla., a brother, five sisters and six grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Gaither Pratt Fund at Thomas Jefferson Memorial Unitarian Church in Charlottesville.