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.
During the heyday of spiritualism, among the "physical phenomena" commonly manifested were so-called spirit paintings.
Like Robert Ripley, I have always been attracted to the odd and the curious.
As we near the millennium, the media have been pointing to "millennial madness" as the source for a wide range of divine claims.
On March 16, 1992, I appeared on The Jerry Springer Show with what were billed as "today's outrageous psychics."
Good Friday, 1999, a claim of a miracle becomes the subject of an investigation by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans
Although billing himself "Canada's world renowned super psychic," Maha Yogi A. S. Narayana failed to foresee his own murder.
"Just in time for Halloween," was the wry comment of Leon Harris, news anchor for CNN's "Early Edition," October 22, 1998.
June 8, 1999
On-air séances are nothing new. Thirty years ago I arranged one in a dimly lit radio studio in Toronto...
Guiding the United States through its greatest crisis has caused the shadow of the sixteenth president to loom still larger.
Everyone knows what fortunetelling is supposed to be, but sometimes it is best defined as "the art of absconding with fortunes."
On July 13, 1855, in Wyoming County, New York, two boys and five men were fishing from a boat on Silver Lake.
Questions about the origins of the term provide the basis for an interesting investigation.
The Staircase Stands but the Myth Falls
Thanks to modern mass media, old-fashioned spiritualism is undergoing something of a revival.
Review of James Van Praagh's Talking to Heaven
On January 24, 1998, CSICOP received an e-mail letter and scanned photograph from Dave Esch...
Spontaneous human combustion cases continue to spark controversy, largely due to the efforts of nonscientist journalists.
Sidebar to this month's article on spontaneous human combustion
Perhaps not since an American housewife supposedly discovered she was the reincarnation of an Irishwoman...
Fifty years ago this summer, the modern UFO craze began...
Follow up to the earlier article in Skeptical Inquirer
Like Count Dracula, the mythical specter of "spontaneous human combustion" (SHC) refuses to die.
A reader's response
A rash of new “ghost” photographs is plaguing the Western world.
The question of bias is important since Levengood's attitudes and assumptions reveal him as a partisan crop-circle "believer."
Since Robert A. Baker's article appeared in the Skeptical Inquirer, a controversy has raged over his suggestion...
In 1934, a photo of "Nessie," the fabled Loch Ness Monster, was allegedly snapped by a London gynecologist named Robert Wilson.
October 27, 1995, the television program "Unsolved Mysteries" aired a segment that included investigative work by CSICOP.
The scene is modern-day Zanzibar where a terrible monster is swooping into bedrooms at night and raping men.
A cleverly conceived and strikingly effective psychic expose was conducted in May 1995 by Philadelphia WCAU-TV's Herb Denenberg.