Bio Notes

Massimo Polidoro (photo credit: Cristina Visentin, 2010)
Massimo Polidoro (photo credit: Cristina Visentin, 2010)

Massimo Polidoro, writer and journalist, is one of the foremost investigators of anomalous phenomena, claimed psychic powers, and mysterious happenings. Probably, the only full-time professional “Mystery detective” in Europe.

The only full-time student of celebrated psychic investigator James “The Amazing” Randi, Massimo later graduated with a degree in psychology from the University of Padua (Italy) and is co-founder and current Executive Director of CICAP (the Italian Committee for the Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal).

During the past 20 years, Massimo has investigated a few hundreds cases of alleged paranormal events and historical enigmas. He has also conducted many on-site investigations at haunted castles and cemeteries, walked on hot-coals, examined poltergeist manifestations and recreated crop circles. He has also tested various self- proclaimed psychics, including clairvoyants, mediums, human magnets, girls with X-ray eyes, table-tippers, prophets, healers, and many others.

Although the results have so far never provided proof of real paranormal activities taking place, they nevertheless tell a fascinating story about the human will to believe and its capacity for self deception.

The results of Massimo’s work have been published in various journals, including The Skeptical Inquirer (for which Massimo writes a bimonthly column, “Notes on a Strange World”) and the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research. He has also published over 30 books, including Final Séance: The Strange Friendship between Houdini and Conan Doyle. Many have been translated in English, Spanish, Brazilian, Estonian, Polish, and Hungarian. Final Séance and Secrets of the Psychics were both published in the United States by Prometheus Books.

He is also the Editor of Magia, a biannual book-magazine devoted to the culture, history, psychology and science of magic and deception.

He was the first Professor of Anomalistic Psychology in Italy at the University of Milano, a Research Fellow for CSI (the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry), a TV personality (his latest TV series, “Legend Detectives,” was broadcasted internationally by the Discovery Channel), and an international lecturer.

“Albert Einstein once said that the most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious, the source of all true art and all science,” says Massimo. “And I am lucky enough to have been able to make a profession out of my passion for the mysterious.”

Profiles and Interviews:

– “Introducing Italy’s Version of Harry Houdini”, by Matt Nisbet, The Skeptical Inquirer (Aug 31, 2000).

– “Massimo Polidoro: Mystery Detective”, Bernd Harder, Skeptiker (Jan, 2009).

– “Massimo Polidoro: The Italian Paragon”, QED January 2012.