Tolly Burkan

Last updated
Tolly Burkan
Burkan in 2005
BornMay 17, 1948
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation(s) Firewalker

Tolly Burkan, also known as Bruce Burkan, (born May 17, 1948 in New York City) is a firewalker and former magician. [1] [2] He is part of the Human Potential Movement. [1] He is also the founder of the Firewalking Institute of Research and Education. [3]



During the 1970s, Burkan created a firewalking class and began teaching firewalking to the general public. [4] In the 1980s, he started working with large corporations and began training instructors. [5]

Burkan's disappearance from Asbury Park, New Jersey and his subsequent reappearance two months later, after a memorial service, was the subject of national news in 1967. [6] [7] Although he would explain in his book Dying to Live and in news stories years later [8] that he had run away from home for two months, the incident would continue to be cited in pseudoscience books as "still unexplained" and evidence of alien abduction [9] or teleportation [10]


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  1. 1 2 "Firewalking hot trend in Southern California - UPI Archives". UPI.
  2. Vilenskaya, Steffy, Larissa, Joan (December 1991). Firewalking: A New Look at an Old Enigma (First ed.). Bramble Co. pp.  253. ISBN   0962618438.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. "Rare feat". Tampa Bay Times.
  4. HEALING STATES by Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D. and Stanley Krippner, Ph.D. Simon & Schuster 1987
  5. "ANCIENT ART IS A HOT EXPERIENCE - WALKING ON FIRE", Miami Herald , February 14, 1997.
  6. "Missing 2 Months, 'Dead' Jersey Boy Returns to Family", New York Times, October 25, 1967
  7. "19-Year-Old Bruce Burkan 'Returns From The Dead'", AP report in Jackson (TN) Sun, October 26, 1967, p2
  8. "From Misery To Near-Death To A Glimpse of Happiness", by Joan Barbato, Morristown (NJ) Daily Record, March 13, 1975, p17
  9. Our Haunted Planet, by John A. Keel (Galde Press, 1999) p181
  10. "Teleportation... The Ultimate Trip", by George Cunningham-Tee, in Pittsburgh Press Sunday Magazine, November 20, 1983
  11. "In the Easy Chair with Mike Merner". Westerly Sun. July 29, 2018.

Further reading