Deborah Hyde

21 Articles
Deborah Hyde is a folklorist, cultural anthropologist, fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. She writes about superstition, religion and belief and is the former editor-in-chief of The Skeptic.

male routine infant circumcision (RIC) or genital mutilation (MGM)

Marianne Baker Ph.D A friend recently handed me a leaflet she'd picked up over in Tower Hamlets, which is a relatively intensely studied area of...

The First Cut

  A series of articles in The Skeptic examined the relatively common practice of infant male circumcision. Is surgical removal of a child's foreskin a...

Behaving Like Animals

  Tessa Kendall looks at primatologist Frans de Waal’s work to muse upon the origin of our better natures Is human nature a beast that needs...


A Bohemian Vampire meets its end From Les Tribunaux Secrets (1864) By R. de Montaine Guest Contributor: Deborah Hyde The original vampire folklore came from central & eastern...


Kelpie & Lover Warwick Goble The Book of Fairy Poetry (1920) Guest Contributor: Deborah Hyde ‘Water Horses’ of all varieties were usually reckoned to be male. Freshwater kelpies,...

The Tedworth Drummer

Frontispiece to the third edition of Saducismus Triumphatus (1700) Joseph Glanvill Courtesy of the Mary Evans Picture Library The tale of the 'Tedworth Drummer' is a classic poltergeist...


Guest Editor: Deborah Hyde Many cultures and religions contain some concept of demonic possession, but the details vary considerably. Although the collection known as 'The...

The Death & Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

On the 29th January, 1951, a woman named Henrietta Lacks called into John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, complaining that she felt a ‘knot’ in...

Latest news

Conspiracy theorists, anti-vaxxers and alt-med quackery put our pets in harm’s way

Vet Danny Chambers highlights how the aggressive promotion of alternative therapies to prevent and treat animal diseases has become widespread.

‘Mask Mouth’: A real dental phenomenon, or merely a confection?

Dentist Shaun Sellars looks at recent reports of facemasks causing a new dental phenomenon known as 'mask mouth'.

The Ockham Awards 2020: recognising the best in skepticism, and the worst in pseudoscience

Nominations for the 2020 Ockham Awards are now open, with our annual award for Skeptical Activism and our Rusty Razor award for pseudoscience.

Don’t believe what you think!

What follows is a slightly modified and abbreviated version of the introduction to Professor Edzard Ernst's recently published book, Don't Believe What...

Ethics for Skeptics: why compassion and reason go hand in hand

Philosophy lecturer Aaron Rabinowitz outlines the ethical core of skepticism, and explains why a compassionate understanding of morality must underpin the skeptical worldview.
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