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The skeptical investigator character played by Hilary Swank in the 2007 horror film The Reaping is loosely based on Nickell, at least in the first half of the movie. In the second half, supernatural forces have their way with Swank and she ends up pregnant and bearing the spawn of Satan.
- Inquest on the Shroud of Turin (1983, 1998)
- Secrets of the Supernatural (with John F. Fischer, 1988, 1991)
- The Magic Detectives (1989)
- Pen, Ink, and Evidence (1990, 2000, 2003)
- Wonder-Workers! (1991)
- Ambrose Bierce Is Missing (1992)
- Missing Pieces (with Robert A. Baker, 1992)
- Mysterious Realms (1992)
- Looking for a Miracle (1993, 1998)
- Psychic Sleuths (1994)
- Camera Clues (1994)
- Entities (1995)
- Detecting Forgery (1996)
- The Outer Edge (1996)
- The UFO Invasion (1997)
- Crime Science (1999)
- Real-Life X-Files: Investigating the Paranormal (2001)
- The Kentucky Mint Julep (2003)
- The Mystery Chronicles (2004)
- Secrets of the Sideshows (2005)
- Lake Monster Mysteries (with Benjamin Radford, 2006)
- Relics of the Christ (2007)
- Adventures in Paranormal Investigation (2007)
- Real or Fake (2009)
- Tracking the Man-Beasts (2011)