Hollywood Hayride


The Hollywood Haunted Hayride
blew into town and I kept very busy doing my side-show act and giving tarot and palm readings on the shadowy midway. A great venue full of people totally dedicated to scaring the Hell out of whoever dares to buy a ticket.

Hollywood Hayride Hollywood Hayride Hollywood Hayride Hollywood Hayride


As iconic sci-fi writer Ray Bradbury’s 90th birthday approached, Susan Gerbic- Forsyth and I decided to pay a birthday visit and spread a little Fall cheer to man who has influenced my interest in magic and all things weird for as far back as I can remember.

Ray has always been a good friend who is ever ready to talk real magic whenever I have needed a little sage advice. After being welcomed into his museum-like home, Ray regaled us with tales of his latest writings. We took some photos, ran a scandalously popular music video about him and treated him to a performance of “The Ball and Vase.” This was the first magic trick Ray ever learned and inspiration that set him on his way to being a magic fan, create the short story “The Black Ferris,” which was included in his first book of short stories, “Dark Carnival,” which then led to a full fledged novel, which evolved into the film "Something Wicked this Way Comes.” The magician he met at the side-show when he was eight years old touched his head with a illuminated light bulb and told him he would live forever. To be in Ray’s presence, you can believe it just might happen. It was a wonderful afternoon.

Mark Edward Mark Edward Mark Edward Mark Edward Mark Edward



ABC’s “Good Morning America” taped a substantial interview with me on 900 telephone psychics and how they work (or more importantly how they don’t work.) I was pleasantly surprised that the tone and tempo held a healthy measure of humor and that no outward bias was shown toward believers. I was given more time than I expected to set the record straight. The segment can be viewed here in the Videos and Podcasts section.

Telephone psychic


Jim Underdown of CFI (Center for Inquiry) and I taped a segment of The Discovery Channel’s “Weird or What?” about alleged “secret government experiments” in ESP and mind control. It was a thought provoking afternoon that featured telekinesis and lots of spoon bending. The producers initially wanted someone to kill a goat by staring at it for the taping (as in the film “Men Who Stare at Goats”) but the individual who was allegedly responsible for the real life incident backed out of the taping at the last minute. Not a big surprise considering the story is likely apocryphal and unsubstantiated by any real facts or scientific evidence.



Welcome to my up-dated website. Many new features have been added. Please view my gallery of artwork I have wanted to put on display for some time.  Now I can share with everyone another of the interests that keep me busy. The Attic will be filling with more rare books, props and bizarreness as the year progresses, so please stop by there to see what’s new (or old.)  There are also now easier ways to get in touch with me and a calendar. (soon) I will be working hard to update with performances, investigations or other paranormal events as they become public. If you have any comments on how to make anything even better, please don’t hesitate to contact me. There may be glitches here and there for a few weeks, but the New Year looks to be an exciting one with lots of surprises. Stay tuned and don’t forget to read my weekly blog at www.skepticblog.org


The Amazing Adventure 5 is now history and I’m sure all those who are reading this and were aboard for the Skeptics of the Caribbean Cruise will agree that it was a total blast and the best voyage ever. The Amazing Randi was back in the finest form I have seen him in many years, putting to rest any rumors that he’s fading from the scene. He even did several rope ties and escapes for us. The guy is just, …well, …amazing. An unbelievable ten days of investigating the truth behind pirate ghosts and haunted sites on St. Thomas, San Juan and Grand Turk Island topped a superb group of mini-lectures by some of the greatest minds in critical thinking. Thousands of photos were taken as well as dozens of videos and a podcast with Rational Alchemy that cemented a new era of skepticism, promisings to transform the skeptical movement into a much more proactive and grass roots organization as the JREF, CFI and other rational thinkers merge into a more cohesive movement. Check the Podcast and Video section here for more info and check out www.facebook.com for more photos.

Here are some quick snap shots. Click on the thumbnails for full images.


6/9/08: New Television Pilot: It's a Wrap!

We all would like to believe that aliens have visited us, that there was a second gunman on the grassy knoll, that certain gifted people can move objects with their mind. But belief is not enough. Like any accepted science, these ideas must stand up to experimentation. Belief alone is not proof. That is where we come in.


We're not willing to just accept stories of the paranormal or supernatural. We want proof. Each week, we'll take on a handful of wild claims -- from the Bermuda Triangle to Bigfoot sightings to haunted houses -- and apply accepted scientific practices and experiments to see if these ideas really hold up. Whether in the field or in the lab, we'll literally put these subjects to the test in the hopes that one day we may find something that can't be explained. Each episode will investigate one or more popular paranormal, supernatural, or other type of phenomena, in favor of evidence-based science.


Get ready for a cross between Charlie's Angels and The X Files only this time it's for real. Check the website at www.skeptologists.com and take a look at the cast, crew and trailer. Our team of seven investigators is ready. Are you?



6/7/08: The J.P. Morgan/Chase Bank Houdini Séance
In October, I flew to Boston to coordinate and perform the legendary Houdini Séance for the executives of J.P. Morgan/Chase Bank. The Séance Room itself was custom built for the event in a special section of the historic Copley Plaza Hotel. The clientele was prestigious, the séances were high class, high end and very successful. Boston proved to be my kind of place, full of history and a perfect blend of the very old with the new. I look forward to a return engagement this year where I will bring back the spirit of J.P. Morgan.


Michael Shermer featured me in the Skeptic Society's e-Skeptic newsletter:

Séance for Skeptics
How to Talk to the Dead

Since the earliest days of the Skeptics Society my friend and colleague Mark Edward has been consulting us on how to explain psychics and mediums to the media and public. Mark should know; although he is not a psychic, he plays one on TV, and at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, and even at Caltech for the Skeptics Society. It was Mark who first explained to me the methods of cold reading employed by psychics and mediums, and he was our resident psychic for the Fox Family Channel television series, Exploring the Unknown, on which he appeared several times, including conducting a séance (which he also once did at Caltech, on the occasion of the anniversary of Houdini’s death, in which the great magician appeared to make an appearance at that august institute of science). Now Mark is making available to non-magicians his book Sense and Séance, which I highly recommend. The information on the book follows… —Michael Shermer


“A masterpiece … a collector’s item.”

Sense and Séance

What are the carefully hidden secrets of today’s psychics and mediums? If you have ever wanted to conduct a séance for fun or profit, now you can tap into little known methods from the past as well as access three fully-scripted portable séance productions from a book designed to teach anyone how to speak to the dead—or at least pretend to.

Sense and Séance is a signed and numbered hardbound limited edition of 500 copies that has received rave reviews from working magicians and mentalists around the world.


For full details on ordering this and other books and CDs on magic and mentalism, visit: www.themarkedward.com
ORDER the book >


Watch for an upcoming (late June, 2006) episode of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” where I will be conducting a séance for nine comedians chosen out of 400, taped in the legendary haunted swimming pool at The Queen Mary. I can vouch for several incredible things that happened there that night, both planned and un-planned. If the studio execs and editors fulfill half of my expectations, this will be one of my best adventures into the world of true Hollywood weirdness. Look for several effects from my books; “Restless Plots” and Sense and Séance,” including: “Ashes and Wood,” Sensual Séance,” an apport using “The Buddha Papers,” plus bizarre moments employing the one ahead principle, our trusty friend the nail writer and an astounding  movement of objects in the possessed pool.

Penn & Teller’s Showtime hit, “Bullshit!” is now out in two seasons of boxed set DVDs. The pilot episode #1: “Talking with the Dead,” where I took on the role of a genuine Spirit Medium, is my finest moment of psychic investigation. In that segment, all my years of magical training finally came together and allowed the audience to see for themselves how easily we can all be taken in by those who work the dark side of the psychic street.
If you are new to my work and would like to connect and commune with kindred souls who share the same interests and pursuits, follow the Yahoogroups subscription prompts for PSI-LIGHT@yahoogroups.com. This is a member only group that will serve as my real time Message Board for incoming discussions and questions relating to mentalism, bizarre magic, séance and paranormal phenomena and for any other outgoing current material not available at this site address. After answering a few brief questions on a specially prepared questionnaire to the moderator’s satisfaction, you will be approved. Please excuse these somewhat tedious preliminaries. This screening weeds-out any lurkers seeking only the latest magic secrets or slackers who may not want to participate in the sharing process that is an integral part of this hand-picked group. You may also click here for more information.

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