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Joe Nickell

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Joe Nickell, Ph.D., is Senior Research Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) and "Investigative Files" Columnist for Skeptical Inquirer. A former stage magician, private investigator, and teacher, he is author of numerous books, including Inquest on the Shroud of Turin (1998), Pen, Ink and Evidence (2003), Unsolved History (2005) and Adventures in Paranormal Investigation (2007). He has appeared in many television documentaries and has been profiled in The New Yorker and on NBC's Today Show. His personal website is at joenickell.com.

The Stigmata of Lilian Bernas

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 28.2, March / April 2004

Investigative Files
The Stigmata of Lilian Bernas

Canadian Lilian Bernas claims to exhibit-"in a supernatural state"-the wounds of Christ.

Riddle of the Glowing Statues

Skeptical Briefs Volume 13.4, December 2003

Investigative Files
Riddle of the Glowing Statues

Two women noticed it first. The eyes of the Virgin Mary statue on the church's bell tower had begun to glow.

The Curse of Bodie: Legacy of Ghost-Town Ghosts?

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 27.6, November / December 2003

Investigative Files
The Curse of Bodie: Legacy of Ghost-Town Ghosts?

Today, the ghost town of Bodie, California, is one of the most authentic abandoned gold- mining towns of the Old West.

The Case of the Alien Hand

Skeptical Briefs Volume 13.3, September 2003

Investigative Files
The Case of the Alien Hand

It was Monday, March 24, 2003, when the voice of CSICOP Executive Director Barry Karr came over my intercom...

Legend of the Lake Champlain Monster

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 27.4, July / August 2003

Investigative Files
Legend of the Lake Champlain Monster

Termed "North America's Loch Ness Monster", "Champ," reportedly haunts the waters of its namesake.

Bone (Box) of Contention: The James Ossuary

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 27.2, March / April 2003

Special Report
Bone (Box) of Contention: The James Ossuary

Supposedly recently discovered, a box that purportedly held the remains of Jesus' brother, is the subject of controversy.

Legend of the White Lady

Skeptical Briefs Volume 13.1, March 2003

Investigative Files
Legend of the White Lady

Every town in Franconia has a legend of Die Weisse Frau - a ghostly figure that walks about at night terrifying people.

Amityville: The Horror of It All

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 27.1, January / February 2003

Investigative Files
Amityville: The Horror of It All

Although the original event proved to be a hoax, that fact does not seem well known to the general public.

Mothman Revisited:
 Investigating on Site

Skeptical Briefs Volume 12.4, December 2002

Investigative Files
Mothman Revisited:
 Investigating on Site

In a previous critical report, I suggested the identity of “Mothman.” Subsequently I was able to make an investigative trip to Point Pleasant.

Psychic Pets and Pet Psychics

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 26.6, November / December 2002

Investigative Files
Psychic Pets and Pet Psychics

Many believe that the bond between man and animals, known from great antiquity, includes extrasensory perception (ESP).

Circular Reasoning: The ‘Mystery’ of Crop Circles and Their ‘Orbs’ of Light

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 26.5, September / October 2002

Special Report
Circular Reasoning: The ‘Mystery’ of Crop Circles and Their ‘Orbs’ of Light

Since they began to capture media attention in the mid 1970s, crop circles have provided mystery and controversy

“Visitations”: After-Death Contacts

Skeptical Briefs Volume 12.3, September 2002

Investigative Files
“Visitations”: After-Death Contacts

Those who suffer the loss of a loved one may experience such anguish and emptiness that they are unable to let go...

‘Miraculous’ Image of Guadalupe

Skeptical Briefs Volume 12.2, June 2002

Investigative Files

Mexico's Image of Guadalupe is a sixteenth-century depiction of the Virgin Mary that, according to pious legend...

Benny Hinn: Healer or Hypnotist?

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 26.3, May / June 2002

Investigative Files
Benny Hinn: Healer or Hypnotist?

Hinn's selection process is-- perhaps not surprisingly--virutally identical to that employed by professional stage hypnotists

Voodoo in New Orleans

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 26.1, January / February 2002

Investigative Files
Voodoo in New Orleans

New Orleans has been declared America's most haunted city, and tour guides-following the imaginative lead of Anne Rice...

Secrets of the Voodoo Tomb

Skeptical Briefs Volume 11.4, December 2001

Investigative Files

Among the sites associated with New Orleans voodoo is the tomb of its greatest figure, Marie Laveau...

John Edward: Hustling the Bereaved

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 25.6, November / December 2001

Investigative Files
John Edward: Hustling the Bereaved

I was asked by television newsmagazine Dateline NBC to study Edward's act: was he really talking to the dead?

Tracking the Swamp Monsters

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 25.4, July / August 2001

Investigative Files
Tracking the Swamp Monsters

Do mysterious and presumably endangered manlike creatures inhabit swamplands of the southern United States?

In Search of Fisher’s Ghost

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 25.3, May / June 2001

Investigative Files
In Search of Fisher’s Ghost

Joe Nickell investigates Australia's most famous ghhost

Mysterious Australia

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 25.2, March / April 2001

Investigative Files

Joe Nickell investigates paranormal claims in Australia

Remotely Viewed? The Charlie Jordan Case

Skeptical Briefs Volume 11.1, March 2001

Investigative Files

Was fugitive drug smuggler Charlie Jordan nabbed after a CIA "remote viewer" helped pinpoint his location in northern Wyoming?

Exorcism! Driving Out the Nonsense

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 25.1, January / February 2001

Investigative Files
Exorcism! Driving Out the Nonsense

Belief in demonic possession is getting a new propaganda boost.

The Flatwoods UFO Monster

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 24.6, November / December 2000

Investigative Files
The Flatwoods UFO Monster

Joe Nickell investigates the Flatwoods UFO Monster of West Virginia

Haunted Inns: Tales of Spectral Guest

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 24.5, September / October 2000

Investigative Files
Haunted Inns: Tales of Spectral Guest

Joe Nickell investigates the resident ghosts of various hotels

Spirit Painting (Part II)

Skeptical Briefs Volume 10.2, June 2000

Investigative Files
Spirit Painting (Part II)

Part II: The Bangs Sisters

Aura Photography: A Candid Shot

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 24.3, May / June 2000

Investigative Files
Aura Photography: A Candid Shot

At psychic fairs and other popular venues, "aura" photographic portraits are all the rage.

The Secrets of Oak Island

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 24.2, March / April 2000

Investigative Files
The Secrets of Oak Island

Joe Nickell on Canada's best-known mystery

Spirit Painting (Part I)

Skeptical Briefs Volume 10.1, March 2000

Investigative Files
Spirit Painting (Part I)

During the heyday of spiritualism, among the "physical phenomena" commonly manifested were so-called spirit paintings.

Sideshow! Carnival Oddities and Illusions Provide Lessons for Skeptics

Skeptical Briefs Volume 9.4, December 1999

Investigative Files
Sideshow! Carnival Oddities and Illusions Provide Lessons for Skeptics

Like Robert Ripley, I have always been attracted to the odd and the curious.

Miracles or Deception? The Pathetic Case of Audrey Santo

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 23.5, September / October 1999

Investigative Files

As we near the millennium, the media have been pointing to "millennial madness" as the source for a wide range of divine claims.

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