There is no scientific evidence that telepathy is a real phenomenon. Many studies seeking to detect, understand, and utilize telepathy have been carried out, but no replicable results from well-controlled experiments exist.
Telepathy is a common theme in modern fiction and science fiction, with many extraterrestrials, superheroes and supervillains having telepathic ability.
In the late 19th century the magician Washington Irving Bishop would perform "thought reading" demonstrations. Bishop claimed no supernatural powers and ascribed his powers to muscular sensitivity (reading thoughts from unconscious bodily cues). Bishop was investigated by a group of scientists including the editor of the British Medical Journal and the psychologist Francis Galton. Bishop performed several feats successfully such as correctly identifying a selected spot on a table and locating a hidden object. During the experiment Bishop required physical contact with a subject who knew the correct answer. He would hold the hand or wrist of the helper. The scientists concluded that Bishop was not a genuine telepath but using a highly trained skill to detect ideomotor movements.
Another famous thought reader was the magician Stuart Cumberland. He was famous for performing blindfolded feats such as identifying a hidden object in a room that a person had picked out or asking someone to imagine a murder scene and then attempt to read the subject's thoughts and identify the victim and reenact the crime. Cumberland claimed to possess no genuine psychic ability and his thought reading performances could only be demonstrated by holding the hand of his subject to read their muscular movements. He came into dispute with psychical researchers associated with the Society for Psychical Research who were searching for genuine cases of telepathy. Cumberland argued that both telepathy and communication with the dead were impossible and that the mind of man can not be read through telepathy, only by muscle reading.