Truzzi, Marcello (1935-)

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Truzzi, Marcello (1935-)

Contemporary sociologist and scholar of parapsychology and the occult. Truzzi was born on September 6, 1935, in Copenhagen, Denmark. He attended Florida State University(B.A., 1957), the University of Florida (M.A., 1962), and Cornell University (Ph.D., 1970). He taught at several universities before settling permanently in the sociology department at Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti. He chaired the department for 12 years (1974-86).

Born into a prominent circus family, Truzzi has interests encompassing folklore, stage magic, the history of science, popular culture, and parapsychology. He has been most identified with anomalous phenomena and coined the term amnomolistics to designate the field of study.

In 1972 Truzzi began to issue a small newsletter, Explorations, renamed The Zetetic two years later. In 1976 The Zetetic was offered to the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, cofounded by Truzzi, as its official publication. Within a short time, Truzzi, who viewed himself as a true skeptic, found himself in conflict with the majority of the committee members. As a skeptic, he expressed his doubts about unproven claims and withheld judgement pending definitive evidence. The majority of the committee proved themselves to be debunkers who opposed all discussion of the paranormal. Truzzi broke with the committee when it was discovered that members had falsified data that tended to support Michel Gauquelin 's views on astrology.

After separating from the committee, Truzzi founded the Center for Scientific Anomalies Research and began a new periodical, the Zetetic Scholar. He edited the Zetetic Scholar for a decade (1978-87). Besides his more conventional books on sociology, Truzzi has ventured into the sociology of witchcraft and the occult and cowritten (with Arthur Lyons) the definitive text on the use of occult powers in solving crimes, The Blue Sense: Psychic Detectives and Crime (1991).


Clark, Jerome. Encyclopedia of Strange and Unexplained Phenomena. Detroit: Gale Research, 1993.

Clark, Jerome, and J. Gordon Melton. "The Crusade Against the Paranormal." Fate pt. 1, 32, 9 (September 1979): 70-76; pt. 2, 32, 10 (October 1979): 87-94.

Lyons, Arthur, and Marcello Truzzi. The Blue Sense: Psychic Detectives and Crime. New York: Mysterious Press/Warner Books, 1991.

Truzzi, Marcello. Cauldron Cookery: An Authentic Guide for Coven Connoisseurs. New York: Meredith, 1969.

. "The Occult Revival as Popular Culture: Some Random Observations on the Old and Nouveau Witch." Sociological Quarterly 13 (Winter 1972): 16-34.

. Where Witchcraft Lives. London: Aquarian Press,1962.