Secret Passageway 7/99-12/99

In the dark recesses of the “International Conservatory of Magic”, a brave member has just entered…

OFFICIAL I.C.O.M PAST LESSON ARCHIVE

This Forum Is Rated PG

Introduction to this forum,

Magic has many facets and tastes. This area may not be for everyone, but then again YOU may not be everyone! This area is devoted to magic on the spooky side. It may deal with dark imagery and SUPERNATURAL themes. Due to overwhelming demand, we have included a forum devoted to this branch of the magical arts that has been coined, “Bizarre Magic”. This is theatre, plain and simple, and was a wildly popular form of magic around the beginning of the 20th century. It is STILL popular among many people as a way to bring more drama to magic.

The “Shadows” segments are a collection of previously unreleased original Bizarre publications that will appear quarterly. The artwork for “Shadows” are original and include a poem to set the mood for the coming months written by Ronald J. Dayton. With an added quote from noted writers.


“SHADOWS ” IS A PUBLICATION which will appear, as shadows often do, at different times, and in varying lengths and form. As always, the image cast is dependent upon the amount of light being shed, and its direction. Much like our magic itself, shadows change with movement. Without movement, there is no change. Without light, there is no shadow.

A single candle is a lonely light. Its sphere of influence is limited. Its very life is consumed by degrees. The wax of even the brightest eventually trickles down ….. returning us to darkness, sealing our fate.

A thought is like a candle’s flame. If it is shared… if it is passed along…perhaps others can benefit, and perhaps, the original light may never fully die.

These pages are my candle. I pass them on to you.

Ronald J. Dayton 11-18-93

“Like our shadows, our wishes lengthen as our sun declines.”
Edward Young-NIGHT THOUGHTS


Between this and September’s routine, your Halloween party will be the talk of the town!

October 1999

How to Haunt a Shed
By
Bobby J. Gallo

What do you offer the Secret Passageway during the month of October? That’s the question. Well, upon thinking I was reminded that this is the month of Halloween parties and with them, lots of fun and decorating.

This is an offering to add something a little special for your party this year. A mini-haunted house. Upon reading the title you may be thinking. “What does he mean by a shed?” Well, when I was young, we often had back-yard carnivals where all the neighborhood kids would come and play games for the used toys we wanted to get rid of. This once a year event was highlighted by the once attraction that I was in charge of….The haunted house. However, it wasn’t a house, but rather the aluminum shed in the back of the yard that we temporarily cleaned out so as to make into our house of horrors.

So how did we take what was essentially a 12 X 12 room and make it into a terror filled world of nightmares? Here is a step by step plan of it and how you can do something similar with a single room in your home. Incidentally, we were told by adults that went through it that they were frightened beyond reason…then again, maybe they were just trying to make us feel good! <G>

  • Have a cassette recorder with one of those great halloween cassette sound effect tapes going. Screams, wind howling, the works.
  • Decorate the room with as many halloween decorations as you can find. Only scary stuff though. The room must be totally black with the exception of a black light lit on the other side of the room. Remember, people are afraid of the dark.
  • Use a rather large white bed sheet to partition the room down the center so you create a “U” that they have to walk around. This is better than having them just walking into the room and looking around. That element of mystery of what lies behind that sheet is worth everything.
  • At the entrance place a small card table is covered with a cloth. To enter the haunted room they have to get down on their hands and knees and crawl under the table. This give them a sense of vunerability.
  • As soon as they rise, have threads hanging from the ceiling, they will rise up right into them and feel like they are caught in a spiders web.
  • Have you or a friend in a rocking chair on the other side of the sheet dressed like the grim reaper, vampire, devil, or dead guy. When they walk around the corner, turn on a bright flashlight or strobe-light ( if you can find one) toward them and let out a shriek…so will they <G>.
  • As they are exiting, thank them for coming by shaking their hands with a handful rubber worms. You may be able to find these are the bait and tackle shop. People hate slimy things.

Bet ya just can’t wait huh?


September 1999

Most of you are already aware that the number one movie sweeping the country right now is the “Blair Witch Project”. If you ask me, this months featured routine by Ron Dayton is far more frightening. Seriously! If I were to present this, I would actually feel compelled to tell the audience that it is just entertainment beforehand. I think the following work is brilliant, maybe too brilliant….BJG

THE DEVILISH SCROLLS
By
Ronald J. Dayton

1. Your reputation has preceded you by now, and those brave souls who dare to accept an invitation to your home are aware that there is no limit to the degree of vulnerability they may witness. They know of your diverse and arcane interests. Perhaps that is part of the alure that keeps them coming back. Perhaps they simply live with reckless abandon…and tempt the fates with each visit.

2. It comes then as no surprise to them as they enter your dimly lit but opulently appointed living room to see items considered ‘unusual’ to most, atop the highly polished coffee table in front of the couch.

3. Apparently, during leisure moments before their arrival, you had been reading from several antiquated ancient tomes. Your hunger for knowledge is insatiable, and your collection of books is quite impressive. The titles there before them deal with the reading of Rune Stones, passages from the Egyptian Books of the Dead to a study of contamination of wheat during the times of the Salem trials.

4. Also on the table is a long, narrow chest such as might well hold a Mariner’s eyeglass, or possibly a scroll. The wood is obviously old and rough hewn…the leather hinges visibly cracked by age and the elements, but still in tact. There is a burning candle in an ornate holder, A silver bell with a long, rich wood handle…several sheets of onion paper stationary, a pen and a deck of Tarot Cards. And if you wish, at one or more tables in the room, small pots of sandalwood incense add a bit of flavor to the proceedings as well. A low, straight back chair is positioned at your side of the table, facing the guests seated on the couch. A second, similar chair sits at the end of the coffeetable immediately to your right.

5. After your guests have been assembled, and have made themselves comfortable on the couch…you approach one of the young ladies and ask if she would mind assisting you with something a bit frightening…and slightly bizarre. You promise to do your best to prevent any harm from befalling her.

6. Taking her by the hands to help her from the couch, you lead her to the chair at the end of the table and help her to take her seat. It is now that you begin weaving your story about a recent acquisition you have made.

7. ” You are all well aware that my interests are greatly varied…and some would even say, border on the extreme. That being the case…there is little hope for change. I have done many things, and taken my share of chances in this search for the ultimate truth. Some I am not pleased or proud of. But we all have our frailties, imperfections and hidden sins. I’ve never tried to be a martyr. Nothing more really than the man you see. And I know, perhaps even with a bit of reluctance, you have accepted me for who I am. But tonight, I warn you, I may betray that trust. There are forces afoot this very night that compell me to see how much you are truly willing to gamble.

8. With that ominous opening statement, you proceed to open the long chest and remove what appears to be an ancient rolled scroll. It has a musty smell to it like heavy moss. The paper looks so brittle that the mere act of removing its from its case could easily destroy it. You hold it aloft as you explain further.

9. ” None of the objects you see upon this table are here by chance. I’m certain you had already reached that conclusion on your own, astute individuals that you are. The books, as always, are an important part of my research. They tell me of man’s timeless concerns for his mortal soul…and the battles waged against the forces of evil. In every instance, the interpretations point to but one entity, one singular lord of the underworld. And although he was know by many names …he was still but one. And his name was “The Fallen One.”

10. ” I have fought this dark prince on many occasions as you well know. More than once, he almost bested me. He is cunning beyond measure…and will use his promises and clever ways to decieve you.”

11. ” This scroll, you see, is my final proof to those among you who are still not quite sure. Those among you who think they are too smart to become one of Lucifer’s pawns. I tell you now that I have been assured…this article is the genuine thing. It’s pungent smell and decaying condition reflect the personage that penned it in unholy sacrificial blood.. I will read from it, and you shall see for yourself. “

12. ” I would tempt a brave and clever mortal. A game of chance and little more. Wilst thou play a harmless game? There is you see, so much to gain.

Should you win…and the odds be good, wealth and power shall be yours, your wildess dream and highest goal fulfilled without question.

I seldom win…and often lose. Weigh your options, then, pass or choose. For what I seek is a pound of flesh. Your soul be mine upon your death.

All eyes are on the lady. Answer quickly, what do you say? Will you try my little game of chance…or will you walk away?

13. With a bit of prodding and kidding from her friends, and not wanting to ruin the party… the lady will consent all be it, hesitantly. You then continue reading from the scroll, rolling it down by careful degrees. Treating it like the rare artifact it is proported to be.

14. ” SO MOTE BE IT ! The rules of the game are these. The person who has called you here this night shall be my unworthy agent. Trust him, I never have…but this day, he will suffice. (Pause ) The Tarot Deck will be the tool. It’s pastboards mixed, and a selection made of three. It is chance, and the cards which hold your fate, not I. The odds embrace you, and should bring your comfort. It has always been thus. (Pause) Do your best then worthless host to rob me of my prize. I have writ in blood what I percieve at the bottom of this scroll. Play now the game, and later see who it was to reach their goal.”

15. The scroll is set next to its box as you pick up the Tarot Deck and mix them well. Holding the deck face down in your left hand, the right hand first finger and thumb begin pulling small blocks of cards off the face of the deck, and lying them face down in a stack. The removal and stacking goes on until the female guest tells you to stop as she had been instructed when you began the mix. The cards in the left hand are turned over, revealing the card, THE FOOL as the first selection arrived at. It is peeled off, and laid face up on the table as the left hand stock is turned face down and placed on top of the stack of face down disgards. Essentially, the deck has been reassembled and squared. Just as in the Mike Fordice card effect, in I.C.O.M’s Feb. 1999 Advanced Lab…the cards are now handled in exactly the same way. At the conclusion, the face down deck is spread to reveal the location of the single face up card, THE FOOL. It and the card at either side of it are removed from the deck and tabled…just as in the Fordice method. The two face down cards are now turned over to reveal the second and third selections…DEATH, and THE DEVIL.

16. If you have tried Mike’s handling, you know how great it looks. Everything is above board, and very direct. No tricky moves to draw suspicion…and yet, all three cards will end up being those of YOUR choosing, and no one elses. In this case, I have simply modified it a bit at the start, using a Glide to pull back the Fool card which is at the front of the deck, followed by the Death Card. The Devil card is on top of the deck. With the Fool being pulled back out of the way, it is easy to pull out small blocks and table them. The Death card is at the front of the first block…so it goes down on the table. All other blocks go on top of the first as they are removed. Since the cards remaining in the left hand are put directly on top of the stack of dis- gards, and the deck squared up…that leaves the Death Card on the front, and the Devil still on the top. The Fool card is inserted part way into the deck at any point as Mike explained, and from that point on, the handling is exactly the same.

17. You now take the pen and a slip of paper and print the names of the three selected cards in a circle in the center of the sheet. Make it at least two inches in diameter. You then pick up the bell, and ring it several times. Then you say…” The choices have been made, and the fates are cast in stone according to the terms of the agreement. If indeed, Satan is in our presence at this moment, let there be a sign.” You raise the bell as you say it, opeing toward the people on the couch in a casual gesture. Setting the bell down a moment, you pick up the slip of paper with the circle of words and hold it several inches above the flame of the candle. Soon, the heat and soot create a black dot in the center. You shout…” The sign is given! He is here”

18. Looking around rather frantically, a bit of panic showing on your face. you lift the bell and try to ring it. It sings a silent song, and will not ring. You point to the black dot on the paper and say to the girl who tempted the fate…” He has claimed his prize. You have been marked!…. Show me your hands.! ” She does so, and screams in disbelief. There on the palm of one hand, is a large black circle of ash. You then slowly unroll the scroll in its entirety…and there at the bottom, printed in deep blood red lettering are the names….THE FOOL…DEATH, and THE DEVIL.

——————————————–

19. That my friends is the basic premise of The Devilish Scrolls. A bit of showmanship, and a lot of hype. All of the elements should be fairly easy to acquire. It may take a bit of work to create the chest and scroll…but your efforts will be well rewarded. The chest might even well be a reworked carrying case for a musical instrument. Give it some thought.

20. The scroll is exactly as it appears…one you have constructed and aged to the best of your ability. The text upon it may be of your own selection. What I have offered is simply an example. Make it look authentic, it will help to sell the total package.

21. The seemingly random and fair selection of three cards has already been explained. We have Mike Fordice to thank for bringing this wonderful method and his variation to light.

22. The ash was placed on the ladies palm when you first assisted her from the couch to join you in this experiment. Fingers below, and thumb on top, you grasp her hands as any gentleman would do. A smudge of cigarette or fireplace ash on the tip of your right middle finger is transfered to the palm of her left hand withou her knowing. By the time we reach the conclusion
of the effect…the incident will be long forgotten.

23. The silent bell is accomplished by simply placing a small but strong piece of earth magnet on the side of the bell nearest you. When you ring the bell, the clapper is swung side to side. When you lift it in your casual gesture…the clapper falls back and is attracted by the magnet.

24. This presentation is a prime example of how simple, basic effects can be blended together to create something really wonderful. What have you executed? Two minor ploys, and a wonderful three card force. But the elements have been chosen to fit a specific theme, and to fit together well. They have transported people to another place, and allowed their imaginations to run free. It became an experience for them rather than just another series of random tricks.

Co-Directors Notes: This is an awesome Halloween party routine and it also has a positive lesson as well. Never make a deal with the Devil!…..BJG


August 1999

This month, our most valued instructor, Ron gave us a fantastic presentation for last months “Box of Prophesy”, so here it is!…BJG

Patter suggestion:
” Prophecy Box “
By
Ronald J. Dayton

Bring the Prophecy Box into view from its resting place in your left hand jacket pocket you say something along the lines of, ” You know, it’s funny, I carry this darn thing with me everywhere, and I have absolutely no idea why.”

I was browsing around a dusty old re-sale shop, kind of a poor man’s Pawn Shop several years ago. I asked the clerk if they had anything in the line of magic he might be able to show me. this pecular chest is what he handed me.”

The first thing I tried to do was to open it, and discover what was inside, but the hasp was stuck, and I couldn’t get the lid to budge Hey, I said to the old man behind the counter, this thing isn’t magical…it’s just busted.

” I never said it was magical”, he responded, ” but it is sort of mysterious if you ask me. Others have tried to open it before too, but only a hand full seem to have any success. It’s almost as if the box has a will of its own, and only opens to reveal its contents to those it deems worthy.Sounds crazy, I know….but that’s just the way it seems to me.

” I struggled with this box for a good fifteen minutes. It was then that he asked me if I wanted what went with it…and he reached under the counter and handed me this little stick. I was a bit perplexed, and more than a little dismayed because this broken box and a plain stick had just cost me fourteen dollars and fifty cents. Buyer be ‘ware I guess. So all that was left to do was to take my ‘treasure’ home, and show my wife.

When I got it home, she was curious too as to what the box held. Before I had time to warn her about the broken hasp, she o[ened it with ease, and lifted the lid. I won’t tell you what was inside, but I will tell you that it changed our lives forever. Seeing is believing. Here, take the box, and see if it will open for you.”

You hand the closed box to a spectator. They open it, and immediately see the rolled scrolls inside. You then explain that they are to dip the end of the stick into the rows of carefully rolled fortunes, and extract one and only one at random. It will be their personal fortune.

” Read it, but do not reveal it, ‘lest we break the spell it has. This box really is mysterious,, I can attest to that. It allowed you to open it, so…it must want you to have this fortune. Please enjoy your evening…and, I sincerely wish for you that only the very best of tomorrow’s will come to you.”

Spectator is allowed to keep the rolled fortune scroll they chose. You close and take back the Box of Prophecy and the wand, and return it to your left jacket pocket as you depart after saying the few brief, and positive lines in the paragraph above.


July 1999

Box of Prophecy
By
Bobby J. Gallo

I’ll never for get the day. It was 30 years ago. My family was taking our bi-annual drive to the “Sunshine State” when we stopped for gas at a small filling station on the outskirts of Savanna Georgia. There sat a crusty old man selling hand crafted novelties. I examined his wears and saw that he had many oddities that fascinated me. “What are ya lookin for Sonny?” he said is a raspy voice in-between chews of the the brown plug he had in his mouth.

I asked him if he had any magic tricks? He said he had just the thing. He brought out an old box. When he opened it I saw that it had over 200 miniature scrolls inside. He said this box could tell my future! Fascinated I asked how. He said, “All ya have ta do it thrust this here stick in the box. Whatever little scroll ya git, that’s yer fortune!” I did what he said and lo and behold my fortune was told.

No it wasn’t a magic trick but I had to buy it.

30 Years later I dusted it off and looked at it. After the quaint memory of the situation had subsided, I thought about it and realized that this actually has some real value as something the strolling magician might use. You have all seen my mini fortune telling system for entertainment in the Library, well this could be another great adjuct to the table hopper. After all, when asked to work any job over two hours, it becomes a real challenge to fill time.

To make one of these boxes all you need is a small jewelry box and about 200 strips of paper that bear fortunes! I know what you are thinking and you are right. These are the same fortunes found in every Chinese restaurant in the country in the form of fortune cookies!

You can make the fortunes on the computer, or start collecting them as you go to the Chinese restaurant, but a better idea would be to contact the manufacturer of the fortune cookies and see if you can purchase just the fortunes in bulk form.

Then rent a good video as you undertake the task of rolling them up around a pencil into small scrolls and packing them into the small jewelery box.

Get a small stick or better yet a mini magic wand and you are all set.

Performance:
I really don’t think a big deal needs to be made of this. I do think however that it is a good idea to have this be the last thing you do at a given table. Because if you follow it with another trick, they will be too busy reading their fortunes to be bothered by another magical marvel.

Tell a fanciful story, have them take a few deep breaths or whatever, and have them thrust the wand into the box. Take out the chosen fortune and leave it with them. Make sure all the fortunes are nice positive ones. Remember, no negatives…..ever!

I can hardly think of anything else that would be more harmless fun for an audience and adds just a bit of different entertainment into your close-up magic.


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Secret Passageway 4/99-6/99

OFFICIAL I.C.O.M PAST LESSON ARCHIVE

This Forum Is Rated PG

Introduction to this forum,

Magic has many facets and tastes. This area may not be for everyone, but then again YOU may not be everyone! This area is devoted to magic on the spooky side. It may deal with dark imagery and SUPERNATURAL themes. Due to overwhelming demand, we have included a forum devoted to this branch of the magical arts that has been coined, “Bizarre Magic”. This is theatre, plain and simple, and was a wildly popular form of magic around the beginning of the 20th century. It is STILL popular among many people as a way to bring more drama to magic.

The “Shadows” segments are a collection of previously unreleased original Bizarre publications that will appear quarterly. The artwork for “Shadows” are original and include a poem to set the mood for the coming months written by Ronald J. Dayton. With an added quote from noted writers.



2nd. quarter 1999

“Shadows” is a publication that will appear, as shadows often do, at different times, and in varying lengths and form. As always, the image cast is dependent upon the amount of light being shed, and its direction. Much like our magic itself, shadows change with movement, Without movement, there is no change.. without light, there is no shadow.

When we were children….shadows and dark places often struck terror in our hearts. fear of the unseen, the unknown, was more than we could comprehend. Why then, as adults, so we still cling to friends, using them as human nightlights against our fears, when they are as afraid to open their eyes as we?

Where has the sun-drenched childhood wonder gone? Why has the thirst for knowledge been quenched by complacency?

You need only look into a child’s eyes to see the inner glow of wonderment. It is a light by innocence, and an insatiable hunger to learn. What a pity then, that as we mature….those eyes have been clouded with cataracts of content.

Dayton 2-15-93

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson – CIRCLES


June 1999

” AN EXPERIMENT…BEYOND TAROT “
Dean Montalbano
and
Ronald J. Dayton

I believe you will find this to be a perfect little interlude during your very next party. Good times…good friends…a little refreshment, and the occult. Who could ask for anything more !?

Seriously however…this is a very nice piece of bizarre magic which will provide an unusual and interesting break from the norm at your next gathering. This works best for a smaller group of friends…say six to ten. It begins with a clever display of fate and fortunes with a Tarot Deck…and leads to additional, more unconventional paths of travel.

I wish I could take credit for everything you are about to read…but I cannot. The fact of the matter is, I have contributed very little. Beyond Tarot was created by a dear friend of mine…Dean A. Montalbano. His interests are extremely diversified…and I would most certainly consult with him for any background I might need concerning knowledge of the occult.

—————————–

During the course of the evening, the subject of Tarot Decks if casually worked to the forefront of the conversations. There will be a degree of interest shown by those present, all-be-it reluctantly displayed by some. People are curious about the unknown…and even though they know better, they are often prone to drift toward knowledge best left undisturbed. And so it is this evening as they are seated around your dining room table.

You announce that what you would like to attempt is an experiment….a test if you will of the powers of the Tarot. Two identical Tarot Decks are produced…one from each side jacket pocket. One is pushed toward the individual seated opposite you with the request that he fans the cards toward himself, and remove all of the Major Arcana. If he is at all familiar with Tarot Decks, he will know what to do. If not…simply explains that these are the twenty-two cards with no suit of value….the picture cards of the deck if you should choose to view them in that way. They are to be removed one at a time from left to right…tabled face down…with each successive card going on top of the previous tabled card. When all twenty-two cards have been removed…the remaining suit cards are set to one side as they will not be needed in the
experiment.

Your tabled Major Arcana will consist of: The Moon, The Star, The Tower, The Devil, Temperance, Death, The Sun, The Hierophant, The Lovers, The Chariot, Strength, The Hermit, Wheel of Fortune, The Hanged Man, Justice, The High Priestess, The Magician, The Empress, The World, Judgement, The Fool, and The Emperor. The particular order will vary of course.

To quell suspicions of the skeptics within your ranks, both partial decks of twenty-two cards were placed face-up, side by side and the top card of each partial deck flipped face down one to its respective side…showing the randomness of order in a very fair and above-board manner.

One of the decks is returned to the guest as you use the other to demonstrate how the guest’s cards must be dealt with during the experiment…face down, one atop the other. You on the other hand will simultaneously be dealing from a face-up deck so no one can later accuse you of changing any of the cards. Your ( the host’s ) cards are removed from your face up deck and placed into a face-down pile upon the table. At any point during this disregarding process…the guest may say the word ” OUT “. When this is spoken, the next top card on each individual’s deck is tabled to one side. The guest’s cards are tabled face down…the hosts are face up.

After all twenty-two cards have been passed, they are again placed side by side, face-up upon the table. Once again, by simultaneously turning over and tabling each top card of the decks…they are shown to be in entirely different orders.

Now we have reached the conclusion of the experiment. Let us say, for sake of argument, that the guest called the word ” OUT ” five times. His five cards lay face down to one side… your cards are clearly visible in a face-up row. We shall also assume that the five face-up cards are The Wheel of Fortune, The Tower, The Magician, The Hanged Man, and the Fool. It is fair to say, I believe…that even the most skeptical individual person at the gathering would be surprised if there were three out of five random matches between the guest and yourself. That would even be a passing test in any ESP experiment as conducted originally at Duke University using twenty-five symbol cards. In that instance, in a series of four runs of twenty-five trials…twenty matches indicated ‘chance’….28 matches were ‘fair success’…and thirty-two indicated ‘ excellent results’. When you compare the Dr. Rhine experiment with the percentages found in the Tarot experiment…there really is no comparison.

If indeed, the powers of the Tarot Deck go beyond that of pure chance, perhaps they are magical and can chart our destiny?? With each turn of the guest’s tabled cards, anticipation and amazement grew. And in the end…there before them…removed from their very deck lay face-up cards. They were, in perfect order…The Wheel of Fortune, The Tower, The Magician, The Hanged Man, and The Fool! A perfect match to those removed and lying face up in front of the host with each call of ” OUT “.

” I know,” you confide in a somber tone. I was as amazed as you the first few times this happened. Now it has become as uneventful as a morning cup of coffee or my daily commute to work. I am not troubled by it…but…I find I do regret tempting the fates. I’ve discovered that the powers of the Tarot are not the kind to be dabbled in by the mere novice. You see…these ‘powers’ are not natural…not of our realm. When we unleash the Tarot…we open a Pandora’s Box into our midst.

” I was so totally unaware of the dangers when all this began. I hate to burden you with it now. But some things are better brought into the open…gotten off one’s chest.

About three weeks after my experiments and dabbling began…strange things began to happen, here in the house at night. I found lights I know I turned off in the evening, burning brightly the next day. There were sounds. Bumps and thumps I could not explain. Personal items from my nightstand were not where I put them when I awoke.

I thought at first that there was some vagrant who had broken into the basement or crept through an open window, and was hiding in the attic. But I have checked, time and time again. There is no one here. But then…I don’t have an explanation for what I’ve been finding in the bathroom. Come with me…I’ll show you what I mean.”

When you enter the bathroom, the first thing you point to is the waste-basket. it is cluttered with thick dark hair which seems to have been shorn in clumps from someone, or, something. The soap dish is cluttered with filthy nail clippings and the washbasin is soiled with what might be toothpaste. No one can be sure.

” I know you must think I am crazy for keeping these things…or at least for not calling the police. But quite frankly, I’m a little scared. I don’t know what it is we are dealing with here…but if you’ll stand with me, we can settle it once and for all tonight.

I took a chance and did one last reading of the Tarot Deck to see what path I could follow. It told me that there were powers present which would allow me to create the beast or Incubus that threatens me…to bring it at will to flesh and form.

We must combine the hair and nails and whatever has been spat into my sink, place it into a bowl, and mix and grind it well. Once ground to a paste, the tip of this ancient statuette must be dipped into it. If all goes well, the Incubus will appear, and the statuette will symbolically destroy her. We shall see.”

As make-shift tools…a shaving mug is removed from the medicine cabinet along with its sturdy handled brush. A snippet of the hair is first to be dropped into the mug, followed by a pinch of the disgusting nails. Most repulsive of all…a bit of the slimy sludge in the basin of the sink is scooped up using a section the statuette. The statuette is tabled on the vanity for a moment as the handle of the shaving brush is used to grind the components into a paste. That done…the statuette is again picked up and dipped into the demonic mix as you utter a chant of some sort deep and low within your throat.

A noise is heard, muffled, somewhere in the distance. Another room perhaps…something is stirring. The lights begin to flicker and dim as the intensity of your chant increases. Then, without warning…there is a horrific scream. The door in the room directly across the hall swings open with a hellish fury, and there, framed in the blackness of the room stands a hideous looking temptress of the night. Her eyes are dark and empty. Her face is twisted and contorted as animal screeches fill the air.

The guests are in shock. The lights flicker one more time as you step slightly forward and wave the statuette into the air. Your foe howls in pain… As her hands pull briefly aside…the cloth is seen stained with deep red blood. She grabs her chest again, then stumbles back just a bit into the darkness as a huge flash fills the doorway. At that very moment…the lights go out completely.

Your petrified guests stand frozen in their spot, unable to move. There is a mixture of nervous laughs and crying in the room. You plead with them to be calm. After a long thirty seconds or so, the lights come on full once again. You peer across the hall to find the door is once again closed…and wisps of smoke are gradually clearing from the space.

It is you who first approaches the door…grabs the knob and gives it a cautious turn…but it is locked. As you turn to face your bewildered guests once again…the door you just checked slowly opens part way. In time…when courage is at its peak…you and several friends turn on the light and enter the room. It is empty but for the exception of a blood-stained throw rug near the door, and a small clump of thick black hair.

All will be in a bit of shock. It is time for the night to end. As the guests depart, you thank them for their help and pledge solemnly never to tempt the fates again.

—————————— AN EXPLANATION OF EVENTS:

The Matching of Random Cards: Although the two Tarot Decks appear to be shown clearly in random order…things of magical nature are not always as they seem. They are in fact…in identical order at the start…identical REVERSED order that is! Prior to the removal of the twenty-two Major Arcana cards…the top card of each full deck matches the bottom card of the other…the card second from the top matches the card second from the bottom and so forth through the entire deck. When the two decks are placed side by side, face-up, and simultaneously shown by turning the top card of each deck over and tabling it to its respective side face down… the cards appear to be well mixed and each deck totally different.

The spectator ( guest ) is given one of the decks face down as you use the other to demonstrate how he is to disregard his cards in the phase to follow. You hold your deck face down and deal them off one at a time face down on to the table as you explain the process. What you are doing, in reality, is secretly reversing the order of the deck you hold into the exact same order as the cards you have just given to your guest. Your flow of chatter continues throughout as you explain the way in which the guest will be allowed to randomly call ” OUT ” at any point to indicate that is where each of you is to table a random selection. You explain as well that his/her cards should always be tabled face down…and yours will be tabled face up to prevent any trickery.

It is at this point that the Major Arcana cards are removed from left to right and tabled face down to one side of your respective decks. The remaining cards are put well to the side since it is only the packet of twenty-two Major Arcana pasteboards we are working within the experiment.

The dealing now begins. Each card you deal from the top of your deck is dealt face-up…one atop the other. As a card is called ‘out’ by the guest, you place yours on the table face up as the spectator tables theirs face down. You both then return to your dealing piles and repeat the removal process at the discretion of the guest’s call of ‘out’.

When all is done…your deck will be in exactly the same order you started with…but the guests ( since they were dealing face down one atop the other ) will now be reversed. You are free to turn both decks face up, and once again prove the cards are well mixed and in random order. However…the remarkable part of this entire sequence of events is this…because the cards were in the same order as you dealt them off…the face down and face up disregards removed at each call of ‘out’, will match EXACTLY !!

The Incubus: The first show of proof of the Tarot is given in the demonstration at the dining room table. It is here that the groundwork for the remainder of the evening is laid. It is your tone and your conviction that will sell the totality of the effect. The events which follow in the bathroom and the adjoining room are basically pure theater.

The statuette can be virtually anything that looks a little eerie, from a spooky child’s toy, to something found in a nic-nac shop. Keep your eye out for things that can work in the context of the routine. Remember, the idea here is to produce something that looks like an ancient artifact of sorts.

The hair may be purchased at any craft store were doll supplies and wigs are available. The nails and clippings are bits and pieces cut from a lady’s press-on nail kit found at most variety stores. The bit of grunge in your basin may well be some of the toy store variety slime and goo so popular these days mixed with a bit of toothpaste. As an alternative mix…use toothpaste, a bit of egg white, and some green or yellow food coloring.

The lighting must be controlled via a remote dimmer switch via your female accomplice in the adjoining room. She is of course…there from the start. Any variety of Halloween makeup and wigs will provide the grotesque look she sports. The screams and howls may be pre-recorded and played on demand for the best effect.

The bright flash just prior to her disappearance is simply a Fism-Flash hidden in the darkness of the room…positioned just in front of the Incubus. And finally, the blood which pours from her chest is simply a blood blatter filled with fake blood, and broken on cue as she grasps for her chest.

Moments later, it is she who unlocks the door just prior to her secret exit from the room. No one will be in a hurry to approach, believe me…so there is ample time for her to leave. The stained rug and hair were there from the start. The Fism-Flash makes a silent departure with your accomplice.

One of the oddest things about this presentation it seems to me is the fact that the demonic female form never really vanishes at all. The door simply closes in front of her. But the later inspection of the room reveals absolutely nothing. ( She of course has left by a predetermined route…be it a door to yet another room and then to the outside…or possibly, in a window in a one-story dwelling.) It is ‘implied’ that she has vanished into thin air. And although that is not what the guest have seen…it is what they will remember. The blood-stained throw rug and a clump of hair are all that remain.

The premise of the nails and hair were Deans originally. I have generated the touches of the Incubus and her flight. I hope you have enjoyed the premise…and that you will find a way to present it which pleases and entertains both you and your guests.


May 1999

“Spirited”
(Spirited Slates)
By
Ronald J. Dayton

Slate Writing or Spirit Slates have been employed by both mediums and magicians for many decades past. Spirit Mediums would present the slates as actual physical proof of having made contact with the world beyond. Messages would appear in an eerie manner…written on slates previously shown to be blank The usual method employed two wooden frame slates, which were very common in earlier days…being used by students to write their lessons in school. The slates were shown in a convincing manner on each side, then stacked together. Often, the joined slates were held, resting in the lap of the person attempting to contact a deceased loved one. The medium would then go into a trance…and while in this state, supposedly cross-over to the other side…and contact, and actually become the intermediate for the deceased soul. Eventually, the medium came out of their trance-like state…and when the slates were separated, a message to the paying customer was written on the slate. The impression created was that it was a direct contact from the departed relative/ friend.

These spirit mediums were frauds and crooks…bilking innocent people out of their money. Often, when the parties involved were fully convinced and deceived into believing what was taking place was really real….the sessions would go on for months and sometimes even years. Entire life savings would exchange hands in time…going from the believed individual, to the con artist.

Magicians on the other hand later presented these slate effects in pseudo spiritualistic presentations. It was obvious to all involved that the displays of spiritualism were purely entertainment…and were not claimed to be genuine. Magicians perform the slates as pure theater…and their audiences accept it in this light.

But what are the Spirit Slates…and what principles are employed in their working? Simplicity is the key to their success. Simplicity, and very subtle and calculated handling. Much of their impact is due to psychology…and the power of suggestion. It is important to create an atmosphere for the slates. Theatrics, lighting, music, and carefully prepared dialog are important factors as well. The spectators must be guided into a way of thinking, a mindset, if you will, which, will help to suspend disbelief and logic for a while. You must play on their weaknesses…and find the Achile’s Heel steeped in myths and even fears of the After Life and the spirit world beyond. The questions of our own mortality which live in the dark recesses of our minds. And when you have succeeded…the strength of the presentation will belie the very ordinary and even bold method used.

The slates, as has been mentioned earlier, are nothing more than that in their most basic form. Two wood frame slates. The writing surface is recessed evenly within the frame of each. But the diabolically clever gimmick to work the magic is nothing more than a piece of sturdy cardboard stock, cut to fit within the framework and lay against one side of the slate…but loose enough to fall out if the slate is tipped over. This cardboard has been painted flat black on both sides. It is also wise to spray each side with a clear flat sealer, available in the art
supply and craft stores.

The medium or magician writes whatever message they want to appear on one surface of the slate prior to the presentation. The black cardboard insert is then placed over the writing. When the slates are held properly, one in each hand, they may be shown very casually on both sides. Everything seems to be fair. The unprepared slate is placed atop the flap covered side of the gimmicked slate. In the act of placing the two squared up slates on a table, or on the spectator’s lap…the the slates are turned over. The flap piece falls into the recess of the bottom slate. When the top slate is eventually lifted…the writing is revealed!

The impact of the effect can be doubled…a message appearing on each of the slates, by simply writing one message in chalk on surface of one slate…and another message on one side of the cardboard flap. The two messages are put face to face, leaving only the other black side of the flap visible against the slate. The stacking and tipping are executed as before. This time, when the slates are parted…a mysterious ghost message is found on each slate.

Care must of course be executed when working with the free-falling flap style slates. For that reason, magicians devised what is known as Locking Slates. These slates have built-in devices within the frames that will lock and hold the flap or flaps in place.

Some style slates have hinged half flaps which may or may not also lock. These flaps drop down along the length of the slate. The slates usually have white lines, much like the ones on lined writing paper, to conceal the point at which the flap is hinged in the center. It also makes it logically easier to list various words or numbers printed on the slate. These slates are used for mathematical effects in most instances.

To think that slates are no longer viable in magic today is a huge mistake. I have a copy of a presentation of magic by a dear friend, now deceased…Frank Olkowski. Frank was an old-time performer of the highest caliber. He was part of a group that became affectionately known to me as ” The Trio.” Three long time friends on the east coast, who befriended me for a good number of years. Sadly, all are gone now. Frank Olkowski, Jack Steck, and Joe Van Hart. They were to me, both supportive, and inspirational. Writing this article on slates reminded me of Franks’s routine. I am fortunate enough to have it on video. It is a perfect example of how strong the slates can be when properly presented. To this day…I can only have theories on what Frank did to accomplish it. I’m thinking it is a series of multiple flap slates…but, I can’t be sure because of how flawlessly he handled them. I smile to think of it.

The premise of Frank’s handling was so simple that that is where it’s strength lies. He used two slates, and a piece of white chalk. He talked a bit about the chalk and the fact that it was white. then he said, ” You know…this calk can also write in colors !” With that, he printed the word ‘white ‘ on one side of one slate. Turning the slate over, he wrote ‘ blue’. Stacking the slates, he wrote the color ‘red’…and turning the slates one last time, he printed the word ‘ green.’ After a moment, the audience fully realized that they have been ‘had’. All of the colors were written in white. Frank then turned the slate stack face forward once again to show the word ‘ white ‘ printed in white chalk. Now is when the real magic began! he said words to the effect of; ” If this were not just plain white chalk…but magic chalk instead… ( pause ), perhaps the words would really have been written in color!” Saying that he pivoted the back slate to the side and facing front. The word ‘ green ‘ was now written in green chalk…and turning the two slates around, one in each hand, the words ‘red’ and ‘blue’ were written in bright red chalk and beautiful ‘blue’ chalk as well.

I have long thought that the flaps could be eliminated if someone made a slate or pair of slates which worked on a Sand Frame principle. I have seen in recent years, smaller pocket size slates which were self-contained…and would produce the desired message which was under your control at all times. I do not know how they work…and couldn’t tell you if I did. But the very fact that they are available may mean you might be able to acquire one if you so desire.

The fact that slates are not as commonplace today as they once were does not mean that the principles employed cannot be adapted to slate-like articles such as memo boards that use dry erase making pens. Office supply houses are an incredible place to browse. Although the writing surfaces pens with which to write are a far cry from the more ancient slates and chalk… the construction of each is very similar. A thinking performer might just find a way to make it work. How marvelous to have a note board or memo board which is so wildly accepted by people…and use them as a tool to create seemingly impossible effects!!

If you make a concerted effort to dig into the rich history of slate magic…you may find many novel and interesting ploys other than flaps. The way a message is written on a slate has some- times been used as the key to deception. Careful arrangement of equally carefully spaced letters which were painted on the slate with flat white paint…then combined with other letters to fill in the blanks…printed in chalk would create logical sentences or messages which secretly hid the presence of a number total or card value. Erasing the message while it faced away from the audience meant you were erasing only the letters written in chalk. When the slate was turned toward the audience…the hidden total or chosen card was revealed.

One clever marketed effect, still available from Abbott’s Magic Co., is the Pig That Turned ‘Round. It is a mechanical slate, with a funny visual finale’.

I have used a slate for an effect called Calculated Risk. In my version, a series of genuine three-digit numbers were printed on the slate. Each of two spectators were then allowed to total the columns both horizontally and vertically as a system of checks and balances to ensure everything was on the level. At the conclusion of the effect, they were to announce their totals. Each was different. They were then asked to subtract one total from the other, and remember the difference. A prediction envelope, which was in plain view on the table from the start was now opened, and the prediction inside was read aloud. It told the difference between the two numbers. the spectators then announced what their difference was…and the numbers matched perfectly.

The whole secret to this effect was nothing more than the use of a
series of several three-digit numbers…each digit of which could be inverted or turned upside down to create a new three-digit number. The tricky part was to find combinations that totaled the same when added horizontally and then vertically…but had a noticeable difference when only the three-digit columns were totaled vertically. By some miracle, while I was toying with the basic idea, I managed to find the right combination the very first try. Talk about dumb luck! <G>

So in closing, I would like to say that I hope this has created some degree of interest for you in slate work. I have not, of course, been able to touch on every phase of this little corner of magic…but its history is so rich, it simply wouldn’t be right to allow it to be forgotten. Please do not allow yourself to be drawn into thinking that just because slates are no longer relevant to society for the most part, that the principles used decades ago are no longer relevant either. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Look to the modern equivalents to slates for inspiration. Discover how to make the changes. Work to make it work for you. There are pages upon pages of ideas and time-honored methods at your disposal. The only thing you have to do is to make the effort to find them. A nice place to start is once again, the Tarbell Course In Magic. One well-honed and routined effect could well be your secret to success. If you doubt me…take a look, someone’s written it on your memo board.


April 1999

MADNESS IN WHITECHAPEL
By
Ronald J. Dayton

A Lesson In The Framing of Bizarre Magic Theatre

What a gala night of wonder. Uninvited neighbors will peep out from behind closed window blinds in total disbelief as your guests arrive dressed in the period style of London’s 1800’s. Although their modern-day carriages are powered by high octane horses…their spirit is that of the wealthy upper class.

The food, the table settings, music and decor reflect the pains you have gone through to make this a special event indeed. You have spared no expense. And as the Bizarre drifts advancing hours…your friends are as yet unaware of the brutally gruesome lesson you have so lovingly prepared.

After the games and dance and songs…After the meat pies and plum, puddings have been washed down by warm red wines, the assembled throng of humanity quiet to a low buzz of anticipation as you tap your empty goblet with your fork to focus their attention. That goal achieved…you make an announcement for one and all.

“Kind sirs and gentle ladies…you have gladdened my heart with your attendance this night. We are, as you know…in another time and place. And if you should be so inclined…I have prepared a bit of nonsense for your entertainment, and edification. Join me now, won’t you dear friends, as we retire to another room…deeper into this evolving world of fantasy we have created.

Your guests file out in orderly fashion, following your lead. The new room they enter has been emptied of its usual furnishings…and has been transformed into a mini-theater of sorts. The atmosphere is a bit unnerving. The far back of the room is lined with rows of chairs at which the guests are seated. Directly in front of them, a fog-like haze drifts mere inches off the floor. The framework of a large closed door stands like some isolated remnant of a long-dead theatrical set. To either side, a flickering English gas lamp burns, They are basically the only illumination in the room, save the strange glow of amber light filtering up from beneath the flowing gray mist at your feet.

Your narrative begins with a serious, almost ominous tone.

“My duties as host this evening permit me the luxury of designating tasks to others. I will simply convey thoughts and facts…weaving a tale of macabre and sinister events. Two esteemed and valued cohorts will match the imagery to action. I fear what you see may not be pleasing to your sensibilities. The graphic nature may be a bit too much. I trust, forewarned…you still thirst to know of what I speak.

The location is a dreary, disease-riddled section of London’s East End, Autumn of 1888. Fog and darkness blanket the narrow back streets and alleyways like a black veil of impending evil. It is not safe for anyone to venture out…but of necessity, some have no option. This district of the city, known at Whitechapel is a seething slop bucket of poverty, infirmity, and death. Driven by survival alone.


The heavy door in the stylized framework slowly begins to open. There, framed against a background of blackness stands the figure of a lady. She is shabbily dressed. A battered hat, a flattened disc of faded perry winkle rests precariously atop her head. Gnatty strands of unkempt, brittle hair hang adoringly to her shoulders.

A soot smudged collar assumed once to be white but now almost tallow in color encircles her neck. A burgundy knit shawl caresses her shoulders…as if a tablecloth for some banquet only desperate men would attend. Her hands are tucked within a simple muff for warmth. It is the only comfort she is likely to find this night.

A simple dress hangs down to them to bathe in the cesspool of filthy and runoff on the Whitechapel cobblestone streets. The dress conceals badly worn shoes, and torn stockings rolled down to her knees. Nothing however can conceal the gaunt, almost surreal chalk-like mask of make-up that identifies her trade. The gaudy patches of rouge and smears of lipstick. The nagging cough that warns of something else.

Somewhere in the shadows…there is a man who beckons her. It is August 31st, 1888…as Mary Ann Nicols is approached for the very last time.

She will not be the only victim of this twisted beast. Monsters need not come to us from hades. They are here among us, wrapped in the flesh of man. Our ability to inflict pain and suffering upon our fellow human beings is well documented. Who can know the madness that fuels their corrupt needs? Who can know the horror of the moment?

Fears grew to a fever pitch in Whitechapel as the frequency and brutality of the attacks increased. The body count grew from August 31st on through most of the year. Annie Chapman, Sept 8th…Elizabeth Stride, Sept. 30th along with Cathrine Eddowes on the very same date. Mary Jane Kelly was the last of the confirmed victims…being taken on Nov. 9th, 1888. She was almost unrecognizable…

Unknown to most are thirteen additional souls suspected of falling prey to this monster. A woman known only as ” Fairy Fay ” may have been the very first…Dec. 26th, 1887. A woman named Annie Milkwood was murdered on Feb. 25th of 88, Ada Wilson on March 28th, Emma Smith, April 3rd, Martha Tabram, Aug. 7th, Annie Farmer, Nov. 20th…Rose Mylette, Dec. 20th. Then moving to the following year we discover Elizabeth Jackson, June of 89, Alice McKenzie in July. the killer seemingly took a break of sorts, with the next body being that of Frances Coles, Feb. 13th, 1891, and Carrie Brown on April 24th. Oct. 3rd of 1888 and Sept. 10th of 1889 also resulted in two additional nameless victims…each missing their head at the time of their discovery.

Eighteen prospective suspects were revealed and examined during these brutal years. Each thought to be the butcher of Whitechapel. None were ever proven. None convicted of the atrocities. But to this day…one name lives on in infamy. You know it well. The name is Jack the Ripper.

With these words…the sound of echoing, approaching footsteps are heard in the distance. A figure emerges slowly from the shadows. He appears to be a man of means. Formal dress and half cape. Gold tipped ebony walking stick…quality shoes and finely crafted gloves. The crowning touch is the stately top hat with a smart white satin band. Quite eloquent from head to toe. Just the sort of man Mary Ann Nicols has hoped to come along. That was her wish. ( Pause ) Be careful what you wish for.

The dapper figure moves in calculated increments…like a black jackel…looking for the weakness. He draws near and whispers something in her ear. She turns her back to him as if responding to some request. He nervously taps the tip of his cane against the street. Mary is frozen in place…fearful of doing anything which might chase him away. He seems after all…a gentleman indeed.

Co-Director Notes:

“This is about as much as I can publish of this routine. What follows after this brilliant introductory story is a series of original macabre magical effects built around the dark deeds of Jack the Ripper. So graphic was the subject matter that I have opted to leave the rest of the routine out.

I do, however, want you to take the above as a superior lesson in how to “Frame” an effect. It is entirely possible for the student to write similar scripts in the effort to engross an audience and give them a magical “experience” rather than just a simple magic puzzle that is merely presented for them to figure out.

I was once quoted as saying that Spirit/Bizarre magic was “The Final Frontier” of the conjuring arts. I still believe that to be true. Because only in this area can you actually suspend disbelief, and for a very brief moment (perhaps longer) you can make an audience accept the existence of magic.”


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Secret Passageway 1/99-3/99

OFFICIAL I.C.O.M PAST LESSON ARCHIVE

In the dark recesses of the “International Conservatory of Magic”, a brave member has just entered…

Introduction to this forum,

Magic has many facets and tastes. This area may not be for everyone, but then again YOU may not be everyone! This area is devoted to magic on the spooky side. It may deal with dark imagery and SUPERNATURAL themes. Due to overwhelming demand, we have included a forum devoted to this branch of the magical arts that has been coined, “Bizarre Magic”. This is theatre, plain and simple, and was a wildly popular form of magic around the beginning of the 20th century. It is STILL popular among many people as a way to bring more drama to magic.

The “Shadows” segments are a collection of previously unreleased original Bizarre publications that will appear quarterly. The artwork for “Shadows” are original and include a poem to set the mood for the coming months written by Ronald J. Dayton. With an added quote from noted writers.

This Forum Is Rated PG



1st. quarter 1999

“SHADOWS ” IS A PUBLICATION which will appear, as shadows often do, at different times, and in varying lengths and form. As always, the image cast is dependent upon the amount of light being shed, and its direction. Much like our magic itself, shadows change with movement. Without movement, there is no change. Without light, there is no shadow.

A single candle is a lonely light. Its sphere of influence is limited. Its very life is consumed by degrees. The wax of even the brightest eventually trickles down ….. returning us to darkness, sealing our fate.

A thought is like a candle’s flame. If it is shared… if it is passed along…perhaps others can benefit, and perhaps, the original light may never fully die.

These pages are my candle. I pass them on to you.

Ronald J. Dayton 11-18-93

“Like our shadows, our wishes lengthen as our sun declines.”
Edward Young-NIGHT THOUGHTS


January 1999

The Spooky Ethereal Ghost Touch
By
Bobby J. Gallo

Many magicians may recognize this trick from endless beginner’s books on magic. Indeed, I actually teach this trick myself to my beginning magic students in after school programs. For them in that situation it is harmless fun. However, One incident made me rethink this feat as being a fantastic “Mood-Setter” in the right situation, lending a certain atmosphere for a program of bizarre magic.

I was working a cruise ship a few years back when one night during stormy rough seas, all the entertainment staff, (myself, the juggler and a few dancers) were in the main showroom area relaxing after the show. All the passengers had gone and it was only us. This was a very old ship and it lent itself well to the telling of tall scary sea tales. After all were sufficiently prepared to be spooked out, I asked one of the dancers if she would care to participate is a mini-seance of sorts? She consented and with the most serious of tones, I proceeded to perform the ancient children’s trick, “The Ghost Touch”. When the climax to the trick came, Something happened that I did not expect, “She screamed at the top of her lungs!” After the laughter in the room died down I realized that this is indeed a powerful trick correctly presented! So here it is for you to try on your next magical victim!

Effect:
The magician asks the audience, Do you believe in ghosts? Whatever the answer, the performer asks a brave spectator to have a seat. Upon doing so, the magician states that in order to conjure a spirit to this plane, the assistant has to do exactly what the magician says, or this experiment will simply not work. “All you have to do” says the entertainer. “Is close your eye’s when I tell you and do not open them until I tell you”. Simple enough!

“Oh, and before we start it is important to make sure that there is no one seated or standing behind our assistant.” “Please look behind you” asks the magician. The assistant does so and see’s no one. “No is hiding anywhere near her. That is important to note.”

The magician then positions his two hands in front of the spectators face, telling them that he will place the forefinger of each hand onto the forehead of the assistant.

He does so and asks the assistant to close her eyes. He then tells her to open her eye’s. Upon doing so he slowly moves his forefingers away from the face of the spectator. As he moves his forefingers back to the forehead of the assistant, he again says “close your eye’s” as she does his fingers come to rest once again on her forehead. These actions are repeated several more times. Then the magician says “if we continue, sometimes a trance-like state is developed and a few people can actually feel a ghost touch them!”

Several more times the process is repeated until out of nowhere, the spectator lets out a terrifying scream! The magician says open you eye’s! “What happened”, the assistant then states that she actually felt a ghost tap her on the back! And all the while both magician hands must have been busy because the assistant realize that his two forefingers were on her forehead at the time the ghost tapped her!

Method:
Three things must be stated right off the bat.

  • You should always pick a woman for this effect. While it will work with a man, men tend jump, and this can be very funny. Woman scream! I know this sounds politically incorrect, but in all my years of doing this, that is what works best…period.
  • You can perform this trick in one of two ways. As a serious seance piece in which case you can only do it for a single person at a time (something makes me uneasy about this idea). Or for a group (recommended) where it becomes a mystical effect for the person seated but comedy for the rest of the group. Much like Slydini’s paper balls over the head.
  • The situation must be just right or this routine simply does not have the desired effect.

Proceed as in the description of the effect until you feel it is right for the climax of the routine. When that point it reached, instead of placing the forefinger of each hand on the assistants forehead, merely take the index and middle finger the the left hand (like making a 60’s peace sign) and place that on the forehead instead. The assistant should think that both your hands are now busy. Then take your free hand, reach around their back and “LIGHTLY” tap them. The tap must seem ethereal and ghostly.

As a final note, you may have noticed one very neat thing about this routine. There are no props whatsoever needed! That makes this a feat that truly fits my Commando Magic Criteria (I.C.O.M Library). Wherever you are, you are ready to perform this feat provided you have the right setting and atmosphere as stated earlier.

Warning: Perform this trick at your own risk, if they faint, you may wish to have water handy!

February 1999

” Of The Flesh “
By
Ronald J. Dayton

Bizarre Magic sometimes seems to smack of the occult. When presented in this guise, many feel it is totally inappropriate, and that legitimate performers of stage magic should dis-associate themselves with it…indeed, that it should not be presented at all. Perhaps this is a view you also share…and your opinion should be respected.

What I am about to offer this month in Shadows is a presentation of a blend of pure theater and magic. It is a variation of material which originally appeared in a limited publication, ” The Stark Grimoire ” by Dean A. Montalbano. The approach you take if you should choose to embrace any of the elements of the offering will be completely up to you. As a bit of speciality theme entertainment or Halloween party added atmosphere, it most certainly could have its place.

Setting and atmosphere are all important. The room in which you perform this small vignette is all important. Placement of chairs, props and control of lighting are crucial. It is best if this is given on an evening when the natural elements such as rain, moonlight and wind combine with the darkness to set the mood.

After leading the mind set of the guests down an unclear path of unsettling feelings you have been experiencing lately. Strange sounds…frightening dreams and a general sense of uneasiness…you eventually, although not willingly, admit that there is something you have been keeping from them. You ask them to follow you. There is something you would like them to see.

As they enter the room which they have not previously been allowed to enter, the atmosphere is almost foreboding. A heavy, pungent smell of herbs and burning incense fills the dimly lit room. The sound, although almost imperceptibly low of strange music drifts from some distant source. Centered in an ornate area rug stretched out in the middle of the room they see what appears to be a large straight back chair. From what is visible, it seems to be something from the middle ages. Decorative feet clutch at the rug like the talons of a beast. The chair is draped with a heavy covering cloth of rich black velvet. Beneath the drape is a form of some sort…possibly, human.

Tall wrought iron candle holders stand one to each side of the chair. Several feet in front of the center chair is a semicircle of plain straight back chairs, numbering just enough to accommodate
all of the dinner guests.

The last touches as far as props are concerned are items which occupy a table several feet to the left of the centralized chair. Upon the table rests a decorative metal tray…A large pewter chalice brimming with some sort of granular powder, and a small wooden chest…quite ornate, and obviously very old.

The guests are asked to take a seat there at the semi circle of chairs. Crossing their arms, and holding the hand of the person seated to either side of them, they are requested to sit in silence, and not to move…no matter what may transpire.

An assistant or overseer may assist in dimming the lights just a bit as you begin weaving your mysterious tale. You speak of past indiscretions in seeking knowledge people are not meant to delve into. Toying with, experimenting with the unseen forces of the Ouija Board, and the control gradually stripped away from your life. The voices, the images…the nightmares which woke you bolt upright and dripping with sweat. You nervously reveal, unbelievable as it may sound, of an embodiment of evil…a demon which had entered your life.

He spoke to you at first through the Ouija Board. At first he played with you like a cat amusing himself with a mouse. At first your thoughts and will were your own, but, eventually, this monster was beginning to infiltrate the very fiber of your soul. Seeking to destroy him …you burned the witchboard in your fireplace. But as the Ouija was consumed in flames, as the last amber died a slow and crackling death…the words ” You are not rid of me “, appeared as if penned by some ghostly finger in the ashes.

Haunted by the thought this demon would return…the hours of each day passed like eternal torment…your mind was racked with fear and pain.

Several months ago…there was a knock at my door. The hour was late, but something compelled me to open it. I was shocked, to say the very least , to have this greet my eyes.

With these words, you move quickly to the covered form, and pull the cloth back and away. Revealed to the silent spectators is a gaunt and pallor young woman dressed in a flowing gown of white. Her eyes are dark and recessed, but opened wide. Her lips are a deep blood red. The flickering light of the candles on either side cause shadows to dance across her almost cadaver like form.

I know not from where she came…but, I know who sent her. She is my near lifeless reminder of the under world I dared to enter. Her skin is cold to the touch…and her appetite is…shall we say, unusual…but the meals are easy to prepare.

You turn to the table at your right and pick up the ancient wooden chest. The lid is opened and the contents briefly shown to the seated guests. Many are repulsed at what they see, and turn their heads away. The chest is found to hold the meal of which you spoke. It brims and seethes with a mass of moving, undulating worms and bugs.

Returning to the seated form in white, you reach into the chest and remove a wriggling strand of slime. Almost instinctively, her head snaps back and her mouth opens wide, devouring and savoring the tasty morsel as you lower it to her lips. As the lid slams shut with a startling bang, her head again snaps down to face the guests. With no sign of emotion or disgust , she swallows the squirming treat.

Walking to the table once again, the chest is set to one side. It is now that the lovely metal tray is shown front and back with a casual turn of the wrist. The pewter chalice is now placed upon the tray as you explain what it is you hope the guests will help you to do. You see, it is this very evening that the demon has said he will return. With the help of the assembled party, you hope to perform a ritual. One which will rid you of your curse, and bring sanity back to your life.

A circle of protection must now be formed.

Walking around the lady in white, the granular powder from the chalice is poured out in a line around her. Spectators become a bit more edgy when they realize that they are not within the circle.

You now carry the tray and chalice to the seat near the middle of the semi circle. Placing the tray on that person’s lap…you ask them not to move…just to guard the tray, and wait. The chalice is lifted from the tray, and the remaining contents poured out on to the tray. You spread the mound of powder out a bit, then turn and walk defiantly toward the lady in white. Lifting the chalice upward to the heavens, you command the demon to hear your words. Muttering a low and unclear incantation at first, as if speaking in tongues…you eventually raise your voice to command the following: “ DEMON BEGONE…LEAVE THIS PLACE…RETURN TO YOUR EVIL WORLD. LET THE DOOR BE SHUT FOR ALL ETERNITY. ” ( A pause ) ” GIVE US SOME SIGN ! “

As you shout the final words…the lady in white shrieks out a chilling scream. Instantly, a huge gash appears in her arm…and as she reaches to touch it, blood spews forth from the wound. You move quickly to catch some of the crimson fluid in your chalice. Lifting it skyward once again, you command..” BE GONE !” There is the eerie sound of wind and the ear splitting sound of some unearthly, monstrous growl. One of the candles bursts into a blinding light as the silver tray flies from the lap of the spectator into the center of the protective circle.

When the tray is lifted, and turned over…a residue of powder reveals a message. There, written on the tray are the words...”SO BE IT !”

The lights are brought up to full. The lady in white sits with a cordial smile on her face… obviously fatigued a bit by the ordeal…but whole and well. There is no evidence of damage or injury to harm…the gaping gash wondrously healed. All is well as you thank your guests for their invaluable help, and bid them return to the party while you collect yourself.

As you leave the room, escorted by any assistant you chose to use for the lighting and sound…the lady in white remains. Locking the door behind you…the chamber, and your secrets, remain undisturbed.

METHOD:
The tray is simply a decorative metal silver tray to which the letters for the ‘message’ have been formed with a bit of magician’s wax, or post-a-note glue to which the mysterious white powder (white sand) will stick when spread out upon it.

The chest is any nice fancy cigar box or old jewelry chest you care to antique and embellish with brass hinges, latches, adornments etc. The secret to this is that the bottom has been removed from the box, and a dark, flexible plastic sheet has been glued and stapled in its place. The box is then filled with a few edible leaves and flower petals…some latex night crawlers from a sporting goods store…some plastic bugs etc. One corner of the bottom has a few Gummie Worms dusted with a bit of cocoa. An added slimy touch is to put in a bit of Karo syrup. By moving your fingers across the bottom of the box as you hold and display it..the critters inside seem to take on a life all their own at a glance. It is one of the Gummie Worms of course, which is fed to the lady in white.

The music and sound effects are all pre-recorded. The incense, the lighting and the fact that you have lead your guests to a certain path of thought help to strengthen what they see, and what they believe they see. The sound of the beast and the wind are on a separate tape which your lighting assistant activates when needed. You also have the option of doing this yourself.

The gash and blood are easier than one might suspect. Loosely tied around the arm of the chair is a loop of clear fishing line. When the lady in white raises her arm just a bit, the illusion of a cut or gash appearing in the flesh occurs. In her other hand, she holds a small squeeze bulb containing fake blood. While the tray is being displayed at the conclusion of the seance…she breaks or slips free of the loop and wipes the remaining fake blood from her arm.

The flight of the tray from lap to floor is nothing more than a strong black thread pulled by the light assistant, yourself, or possibly even the lady in white herself.

The bursting of the candle flame is accomplished by nothing more than a piece of flash paper you have stolen and touched to it. Naturally, it is the candle you are standing nearest to at the time.

So there you have it…a full routine of the bizarre and unexplained…all accomplished by very natural means indeed. As a flight of fantasy, or simply as a diversion in entertainment for several close friends who know and understand your interest in all forms of magic…the premise may well be something you could use. If not…at least I hope you have enjoyed reading the explanation and process.

Sincere thanks to Dean A. Montalbano and his alter ego, Mr. Rothchild T. Stark for the inspiration.


March 1999

” SOMETIMES IMAGINED “
By
Ronald J. Dayton

Introductory Presentation to the Audience

The human mind…quite a marvelous thing, wouldn’t you agree !? Such a complex configuration of micro circuitry…impulses and commands…it defies understanding. We are blessed to have it…and sometimes, cursed as well. We come to rely on the things our brain tells us. All of our senses, knowledge, logic and faith are contained within it. What a terrible nightmare then, when things not of our choosing….possibly, not of our world invade this sanctuary and rip reality from our souls.

Man has always known of imagined things. Imagined fears and doubts, imagined demons and imagined pain. But I have found…by slipping into the study of things man should never seek… that many of these imagined things….are very, very real. Creatures can, and do, come creeping in the night. They came because they were invited. Like some naive fool…my dabbling in the occult had opened some mystic door…and in they came. They assembled though I cursed them. They laughed and mocked my frail mortal shell. They taught me things…things I will now share with you.

Introduction to the Workings

The material above is offered as a suggested patter theme for the bizarre bit of theater about to be offered. Given the proper circumstances…guests numbering from one on up will observe things not for the feint of heart. They will witness events which are shocking in the extreme. Things which will be etched in their minds forever.

From the very onset of your party/ gathering…your guests have been perplexed by the fact that a distinctive eye patch seems to protect some recent injury to your eye. You are questioned, no doubt, from time to time…but casually laugh it off as being quite trivial.

At some point of your own choosing later in the evening…once conversation has begun to slow, and the time seems right, you excuse yourself from the room for a moment. Upon your return, all eyes watch as you enter. You are now sporting a crisp white doctor’s jacket …looking for all the world as if you have prepared for surgery.

Your guests are asked to follow you. They are lead to a room which has not been assessable earlier in the evening. The room is appointed in a very peculiar way, almost resembling a medical classroom. At the very front of the room is a large stainless steel table, sans a chair. The only objects on the table are a glass container of cotton balls, complete with lid…and a bottle of rubbing alcohol. About ten feet in front of this table are a row of cold metal chairs…just enough to accommodate each of your guests. A couple of feet behind the chairs is a small, four legged stainless table… approximately the height of a snack tray table. The only object on it is a round tipped tongue depressor (Ice Pop Stick).

Your presentation is begun by leading the minds of your guests toward a predetermined line of thinking via the patter suggested in the first two paragraphs of this lesson. You are free, as always, to change any part or parts you wish. There may well be a better, stronger way to handle this than I have devised. Do whatever works best for you.

The preliminary ‘ speech ‘ is given while you are standing behind the large table, facing your guests. There is the lingering smell of rubbing alcohol permeating the room. It adds greatly to the overall feel of the moment. It gives rise to images of operating rooms…sterile gowns and latex gloves. Although not seen at yet…each individual has a sense that special implements and gleaming surgical steel may soon come into play. There is an uneasiness now, as you walk silently toward them, then around to the smaller table.

“The stick upon this table is not a surgical implement…a fact which I am certain, puts your mind a bit more at ease. Its edge is dull…and rounded. The only one in need of fearing it to any degree, is a small child who is afraid of the doctor who must look into his throat to see if any diseases are present. But the night the demons came, to play their games… to torment me… they brought new meaning to the words pleasure and pain…agony and ecstasy!”

What if…just, what if…the edge of this harmless piece of wood were heated to be hot? What if it then were pressed against the delicate flesh of someone’s neck? I would think there would be excruciating pain.

One of the ladies is approached from the back of her chair. You ask that she remain calm… that you mean no harm. You lift the hair away from the back of her neck. Slowly, by tormenting degrees…allowing her mind to begin imaging hat is about to take place. The hair is then abruptly allowed to fall again as you step back to the smaller table.

You ask if all can now imagine the tongue depressor getting hot. So hot that it is about to burn. No doubt, someone will come forward. When he joins you at the table, you ask the lady to close her eyes…to relax as much as possible.

With her eyes shut…she hears the performer grow uneasy as if the stick is actually getting too hot to hold!. A long minute later…she is aware you are approaching her once again. You ask her to keep her eyes shut tightly, and not to move. She once again feels you lift her hair away from her neck as long seconds pass. Suddenly…she she experiences a horrific burning sensation on her neck. She screams and jumps up in pain. As she spins around unbelievingly to face her attacker… only to find you standing there, with an ice cube in your hand. The tongue depressor had never really been heated at all.

Her friends are mildly amused by the predicament she is in. “I’m sorry my dear for decieving you this way. But what a perfect example of the way our mind can trick us. The pain you felt was neither real nor imagined. It was the product of your senses and nerve endings…and the expectation of what you mind waslead to believe would happen.. Please…take you seat once again. I promise not to trouble you further this evening.”

The ice cube is returned to a small zip-loc plastic bag, the bag closed and replaced in your R.H. jacket pocket as you return to the back of the large table at the front.

“Real or unreal”…how do we know for sure?

The creatures of the night taught me well. They took me to the very brink. They tested the limits of my sanity, and tried their best to break my will. Eventually, I questioned almost everything. My senses were in limbo. My nerves were in tatters. How can this possibly be? Youve just been witness to my little party gag with the hot stick and an ice cube…but though amused at its conclusion…you were not convinced. Perhaps this will change your mind.

With the assistance of a man, the two of you bring the small table around to the front side of the chairs. Thanking him, he is allowed to return to his seat as you pick up the tongue depressor and slip it into your inside jacket pocket.

“Pain pretended to be inflicted upon another may be one thing…but could it be that reality begins when the pain is self inflicted? Is it any less real when we see it with our very eyes?” You be the judge. “

With that, you firmly plant the hand of one arm down upon the center of the small table. Slowly…very slowly, the hand is turned in a clockwise direction. At first, to the point most people might expect…but then…far exceeding expectations. The bones of the wrist are heard to snap and crack as the hand continues to move….eventually being twisted 360 degrees…a full circle, and then
a bit more. Astonishing to see. Beyond comprehension. But somehow, you have endured the pain.

It is now that you turn without a word, and walk back to the rear of the large table. Facing your guests…you begin to weave a tale more incredible than anything that had gone before.

Reality…or yet another lie?

My demons would never say. They left my mind in turmoil, being the liars that they are. That is how they lure us…weaken us. And I have one final proof.

All night you have wondered about this strange patch upon my eye. I could have explained. Perhaps I should have…but I didn’t want to give cause for alarm. The patch you see, is quite real. It covers what for me was the cruelest torment the night creatures had yet devised. I tell you, what I recount is accurate and true as memory allows.”

It is at this point that you reach up and remove the patch from your eye. The patch is tossed upon the table as you look straight toward your captive audience. You begin once again to weave your incredible tale of the nocturnal visitors. Your words and actions blend into an unbelievable sequence of events.

“I had lived in fear for almost seven months when for no other reason than the blessing of sheer exhaustion allowed me to fall into a deep, deep sleep. I have no idea how long I lay there like some still breathing corpse when the first sense of their presence disturbed me. I heard, not too clearly at first, the scratching approach of their footsteps as their claws and scales snagged the carpeting in the hall outside my room. I sat slowly up, trying not to make a sound…trying not to breathe ‘lest they would discover I was there. My heart pounded in my chest as I heard their beast-like grunts. I was frozen as the door know began to jiggle and turn.

I watched in horror as the door began to open and a hideous head peeked in. His eyes were squinting yellow slits…more reptilian in appearance than human. They matched the color of his yellowed, rotting teeth. Like hideous toddlers…he and four others entered my room. They approached the bed…two at each side, the leader crawling up on the mattress at my very feet. >
I have never been so frightened in my life as I was at that moment. The shadowed form at my feet began to stand as upright as he could. As if by this unspoken signal, those at my sides took firm hold of my arms and legs with vice like grips. The leader then got back down on all fours and began to crawl up on to my body. I could feel his tail drag across my leg as he positioned himself
to sit heavily on my chest…legs straddling my rib cage, forcing small barbed claws at the base of his heels deeply in. My fear was so great…I didn’t even scream.”

He studied my face intently, seeming almost fascinated by my eyes. It was almost a look of envy. My eyes were so perfect compared to his. Who would have thought….who in their worst nightmare could imagine what it was he then did without warning.

The thing that necessitated the patch I wear this very night. It happened just like this!” With the final word ‘ this ‘, you reach up and into your eye. Horrified, the guests watch as blood begins to ooze from the socket. Even more unbelievably, they will stand in horror as the hand lowers to reveal your own eye lying in its palm and the socket a dead black, empty hollow in your head.

The eye is placed for a moment in a nonchalant manner upon your table as you reach down to retrieve the eye patch. The patch replaced to cover the injured eye. The left hand then goes to the left hand jacket pocket and removes a small glass jar with twist off lid. The jar is about half full of some light blue liquid. You remove the cap, and haphazardly plop the eyeball inside. Putting the lid tightly back in place, you lift the jar and look at it with your one remaining eye With a smile, you continue.

“Real or unreal?”

I will never tell. But you can rest assured, my quest for knowledge has been curtailed. I can never be certain that the pain was inflicted, the demons were real or simply a figment of my imagination. But if they come again. If they enter my world from their own…I will know. As you see ( pause…then raise and gently shake the jar ) I’m keeping an eye out for them !”

This bit of unexpected levity will bring nervous laughs and groans from those who have been watching in disbelief. It takes the edge off…and lets them know they have nothing to fear. They are then cordially asked to return to the main room…you will join them in just a few minutes.

When you do return…all evidence of what has seemed to have transpired is gone. You are in your normal garb…free of the eye patch and all injuries. It has been an experiment of the mind and
nothing more.

Or was it ?

MEANS AND METHODS:

The Imagined Burn: This is a bit of psychological ‘magic’ that will play exactly as explained. All that is necessary is to combine the proper elements and the mind set for same. The spectator is conditioned to expect a burn. Everything they have seen and heard and sensed has lead them to believe this. What they are not aware of is the fact that the nerve endings of the skin have difficulty in distinguishing the difference between extreme hot and extreme cold. When you touch the ice cube to the guest’s neck…their mind interprets it as a burning sensation.

Twisting Of The Arm: The secret to this beautiful piece of impromptu magic created by Shinko Nagisa is available in printed form from most magic dealers. The price is $5.00 plus postage and handling. Magic Inc. in Chicago, Ill. carries it as do many others. Harry Anderson performed it on the Carson show… and more recently, David Blaine presented it as part of his television special. The cracking noises are an added touch. What you will need for this is a tape recording of one of those pleated plastic containers…which accordian fold down to be more compact…then may be pulled out for full capacity. But even breaking some sticks and twigs and recording same would suffice.

Plucking Of The Eye: Neither simply a sensory trick, nor a marketed effect… this little gem is my very own creation. You will need several items to present this. First of all, you will need to locate as realistic looking as possible false eye. The new ones which are ‘Splat EyeBalls ‘ play very nicely.
I don’t know what they are made of…but if you throw them down upon a table with a fair amount of force…they flatten out. Due to their soft nature, they look quite realistic. A little sticky…but nice. You will need a light color eye patch…not black, a jar filled with some water and blue coloring mix, a small squeeze bulb filled with fake blood, and some flat black make-up.

The tightly closed jar is in your left hand jacket pocket from the start. Prior to the performance you have carefully applied some of the flat black make-up paint to the upper lid of the eye you intend to use in the effect. When the eye is shut it creates the illusion of an empty socket…providing the lighting is at the right level.

Where is the false eye hidden? Simply have it in the right jacket pocket along with the zip lock bag of ice. While standing behind the large table as you make your opening comments…steal the eye out and place it behind the jar of cotton balls. When needed, palm it an as you lift up the patch allow it to fall out of palm position onto the table top.

Odds ‘ N Ends:

The small squeeze bulb can easily be obtained at any time It is held in the hand which assists in the plucking of the eye. There are several cottonballs lying on the table near their jar at the onset of the effect. One of these has been soaked in rubbing alcohol to provide the atmosphere in the room. The squeeze bulb could easily have some cotton stuck to it so it too resembles a cottonball. Knowing where it is positioned will allow you to obtain it secretly and use it in combination with removal of the eye.

After the guests have left the room…simply do a quick clean up. Remove the hospital jacket…clean up any remaining fake blood from your face and arm…then quickly but thoroughly clean the make-up from your eye. You are left clean ( pun intended ) and may join your guests to being the evening to a close in which ever way you choose. Rest assured….they will talk about this evening for days and weeks to follow.


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Secret Passageway 10/98-12/98

Official I.C.O.M Past Lesson Archive

Secret Passageway 10/98-12/98

Lair Of The World’s Only Bizarre Cyber-Magazine”Shadows”

Ooooooooh, you’ve found the spookiest place in I.C.O.M! What magic related web-site would be complete without a forum dedicated to the weird and bizarre? On this page will be a running compendium of puzzles, tricks, stories and just about anything imaginable and “unimaginable” relating to the kind of magic that goes “bump in the night!” Such is the mysterious nature of I.C.O.M!


October 1998

“Shadows” is a cyber-publication which will appear, as shadows often do, at different times, and in varying lengths and form. As always, the image cast is dependent upon the amount of light being shed, and its direction. Much like our magic itself, shadows change with movement. Without movement, there is no change…without light, there is no shadow.

I view light / illumination, as knowledge. When light is blocked, shadows result…and the total picture cannot be seen.

Shadows and darkness have also been associated with things to be feared over the centuries. This is only right. An unwillingness to learn is indeed something to be feared.

Ancient wisdom speaks of the Ying and the Yang…opposing forces or opposites in our life. For every positive, there is a negative. For every darkness, there is a light.

“Shadows”, the publication, is meant to be a positive force, dispelling the negative connotations of the word as defined within the context of LIGHT and DARK as already explained.

Ronald J. Dayton 3-15-93

“No one knows what it is that he can do ’til he tries.”
Publilius Syrus

Stage Presentation For The Visible Vampire
By
Bobby J. Gallo

This is a presentation for the commercially marketed stage effect called “Visible Vampire” made by MAK Magic. However, it can be made to work equally as well with Abbotts Vampire Block or enjoy it merely as an interesting read.

I originally developed this to feature in one of the annual magic performance sponsored by SAM Assembly 168 (a tradition which I am proud to say “I” started in that particular club). This was a highlight of one of the better shows. Afterwards I was actually told by magician Joe Shade that the presentation was actually better than the trick itself! A high compliment indeed. Another truly humorous moment was when one of the members told me that his son was actually hiding underneath his seat as I performed this.

In retrospect, upon reading it after nearly a decade later, it all seems a little campy for me at this point in time. Not to say that I would not use it again. Now that we are here in the Halloween season, you never know, vampires do have a way of resurrecting themselves…<G>…

Requirements:

One of the most important elements needed to pull this stunt off in a convincing manner is the correct music. I believe I had probably the best possible score for this effect. It was called HYPNOTIQUE (5:37) from Music For Magicians, 1974 Electric Lemon Records. It was a stunning organ piece that would give you chills up and down your spine even if you were as brave as Achillies (Greek mythological hero).

Of course you need the prop itself which consists of a long rectangular box with a coffin cut-out shape in the front, a wooden block suspended from a chain with a red heart painted on it and a hole running though it that represented the vampire, and a wooden stake. The block could be lowered into the box and it was evident that the box was just big enough to accommodate the block with no extra room at all. Actually, in some ways the trick is not all that visible from the stage, but with the proper presentation, the audience realizes what is going on.

What does go on? It is basically a penetration effect. The block is lowered into the tube, the stake is thrust into the sides of the box through the cube and out the other side. When the chain that is connected to the block is pulled, the block penetrates the stake and is free. It really is a baffling penetration and is one of the few props of its nature that I intend to keep in my collection. Since it is a marketed effect, I will not tell you how it works. The purpose of this lesson is to give you an example of presentation. If you can get one of these little beauties, I suggest you do so. The nature of the magic business is that once they stop making them, thats it…period.

The Presentation:

(Music Starts)

Now ladies and gentleman, we come to a most serious and unusual part of this evening’s performance. Please hold the person next to you as we experience together, that which until tonight, was thought only to exist in the realm of fiction. I speak of one of the most malevolent species ever to be written about in stories best left unread. A timeless terror known to small eastern european countries, “who sometimes know better than we“, as Nosferatu’ The Vampire. (pause)

The Vampire is an evil creature who stalks the night in search of blood…and often succeeds. Do they indeed exist? I believe they may.* To prove this I brought along with me something you probably have never seen before. A genuine Vampire, in his coffin!

The Vampire has taken on the form of what appears to be a wooden block. Legend has it that a Vampire can take on virtually any form he wishes in order to achieve his desired goal. (pause, look at block and proceed to rub neck uncomfortably) You may notice that he is suspended from a chain that I purposely placed on him to better control his movement. But as you can plainly see, the heart is red and therefore still alive, very much so. But fear not good people, the Vampire is under my complete control tonight, and can do no harm as long as no harm comes to me. (sinister smile)

You may also notice that there is large hole running through him as well. Interesting, it seems that this is not the first time he has had a close encounter with this…(hold up stake) A wooden stake, contrary to popular belief, not just any wood will destroy a Vampire, only certain types.

Unfortunately, this is not one of them, but will serve our purpose just as well.

You will also notice that there is a hole in each side of the coffin itself. The purpose of these will also become evident in but a moments time.

I will now lower the Vampire into the coffin, we see that he just fits. No extra room at all. Lower him all the way down (the audience at this point can see the Vampire through the cut-out of the prop)

Now, I will take the stake, thrust it through the coffin through the Vampire, and out the other side! The Vampire is thus impailed. And thus, completely secured in the coffin with no chance of escape.

Or does he?

Ladies and gentleman witness the impossible, for as I pull the chain the Vampire escapes the coffin, visibly penetrating the stake and escaping! (pull the chain up, the block visibly comes free of the stake and out the top)

(Pause for applause)

So next time, when you are walking home alone, late at night, and you hear the faint rustle of leaves behind you or the distant patter of footsteps. Look over your shoulder, it may just be, the Vampire!

(Fade Out)

Afterthoughts:
I know, I know, this routine is really heavy. If I were to use it again for some occasion, I would probably lighten it up a bit. The way it stands, it could conceivably give people bad dreams. But that is what people go to horror movies for isn’t it? And this IS art isn’t it? Is this the kind of entertainment that you would like to bestow on your innocent audience members? That choice it is up to you!

*At this point in my career, I didn’t really care about the fact that I may have been making false claims as to the authenticity of the magic I performed. Though today I would do things differently, I must admit that it DID have great audience impact. Its amazing how people will willingly suspend their disbelief to join you on your journey to the unknown…


November 1998

“SHADOWS ” IS A PUBLICATION which will appear, as shadows often do, at different times, and in varying lengths and form. As always, the image cast is dependent upon the amount of light being shed, and its direction. Much like our magic itself, shadows change with movement. Without movement, there is no change. Without light, there is no shadow.

A single candle is a lonely light. Its sphere of influence is limited. Its very life is consumed by degrees. The wax of even the brightest eventually trickles down ….. returning us to darkness, sealing our fate.

A thought is like a candle’s flame. If it is shared… if it is passed along…perhaps others can benefit, and perhaps, the original light may never fully die.

These pages are my candle. I pass them on to you.

Ronald J. Dayton 11-18-93

“Like our shadows, our wishes lengthen as our sun declines.”
Edward Young-NIGHT THOUGHTS

RASAR
Rope And Silk And Ring
By
Ronald J. Dayton

Quite a few years ago, and several years apart, two independent rope effects were created. One was called Rope Sue-preme which appeared in the Micky Hades publication Ropes With A Different Twist. The second was a rope penetration I called Zip, and it was printed in the Hades publication “Legerde-mine”.

RASAR is a logical combination of both effects. Together they create a series of on and off penetrations new to the world of magic. Just why it took me fifteen years to put together is a mystery to me. But I am pleased that it has finally happened…and I think you will be too when you put this amazing series of events to the test.

A very subtle handling of the silk used in the effect adds a new dimension to the illusion. It makes one phase of the penetration totally credible. In the eyes of the spectator, they have just seen the impossible take place. Everything is ungimmicked. All may be offered for examination before and after.

The moves used in RASAR affort the performer with four distinct effects. Although the method is very simple, it will take work to make your moves fluid and natural. Do not rush. Take things in a relaxed and confident stride and you will have a miracle at your command, any time, any where.

* EFFECT * 1: An eight foot length of rope has been tied into a loop using a ‘ Thumb Knot.’ This simply means that a single overhand knot has been formed by tying both ends as one. This loop is then doubled and slipped over the performer’s right leg to the point at the bend of the knee.

A solid three inch ring is rested over the rope at the top of the right leg. Suddenly, the rope, taken between both hands is pulled upward. The rope visibly penetrates the leg, and the ring is discovered to be tied within the double strands.

The leg is immediately inserted back into the double loop. This time, when the rope is taken between both hands, it again penetrates the leg…but the ring magically comes free.

* EFFECT * 2: The knotted loop is again doubled and the right leg inserted into same as in effect one. A silk is tied in an open loop around the double strands. When the rope is taken between both hands and pulled upward, the rope visibly penetrates the leg and the silk REMAINS tied to the double strands. Again the rope is placed around the leg, and on the second penetration, the silk comes free. Performer is left holding the securely tied double rope loop between both hands.

* EFFECT * 3 : Leg is slipped into knotted double loop. A silk is tied around the double strands. A ring is introduced and placed on top of the rope at the top of the right leg. Rope is taken between both hands. When the hands pull upward and apart the double rope visibly penetrates the leg. In the process, the silk comes free of the rope, and the ring becomes securely tied within the double strands. The leg is again slipped into the double strands. Rope penetrates leg, and ring once again comes free.

* EFFECT * 4 : Double loop is again slipped over the right leg. A silk is openly slipped under the double strands as before, and tied in an open loop around same. A solid three inch ring is now shown and held in the right hand along with the knotted end of the silk loop. Both are rested on top of the leg for a moment. Rope is taken between both hands and pulled upward as the hands seperate. Rope visibly penetrates leg, and both ring and silk are seen to be tied securely to same. On the second penetration series, rope penetrates leg and silk and ring come free.

It would be best to begin the explanation of this four part effect by starting with phase number four, the last routine. It embodies and will demonstrate all of the moves necessary to accomplish the previous three.

The left hand holds the Thumb Knotted portion of the loop as the right hand grasps the loop at its bottom and gives the loop a half twist. The bottom portion is then placed into the left hand. Take this doubled rope in the right hand between the forefinger and second finger as.in Fig. 1. With the left hand, grasp the two ropes which form the loop nearest the right hand fingertips. In one continuous action, the left hand raises its ropes and begins to glide to the left and toward the knot, Fig. 2. At the same time, the fingers of the right hand, using the right middle finger as a pivot point, swing into the newly formed double loop. This loop may be tugged upon in a very convincing manner.

As the right leg steps into the double loop, the secretly switched portions concealed in the right hand are ‘rolled’ off the right hand middle finger and held within the fist. When this section is pressed up in behind the right knee…elevating the leg just a bit will hold the Grandmother’s Necklace style break neatly at the bend, Fig. 3.

The silk is now shown, then slipped under the double strands at the top of the leg and tied in an open loop as in Fig. 4 using a standard square knot. Right hand holds silk loop at knot as left displays the three inch ring. Ring is now placed in ‘front of the silk loop, Fig. 5, all being held by the right hand.

Right hand gives silk a half twist, Fig. 6…and then places the silk and ring on top of right leg over single, unknotted strand of rope, Fig. 7. Right band fingers now grasp this single strand and pull it up through the center of the ring and silk. Figure 8 shows an exaggerated view. As the ring and silk rest on top of the right leg and the right hand controls this single unknotted strand which lies furthest from the knee…the left hand comes to the front of the leg and takes hold of the Thumb Knot.

With the back of the left hand toward the audience, and acting as a shield…the right hand slips the loop of rope it has formed over the Thumb Knot, Fig. 9. The fingers and thumb of the right hand pinch and hold the strands of their loop together about an inch and a half to the right of the Thumb Knot as the left hand takes hold of the Thumb Knot’s double strands. With an upward pull, the hands separate. The rope seems to penetrate the leg, Fig. 11,

Silk openly tied around the double ropes and ring suspended from same.

The illusion is quite lovely. The Thumb Knot holds the single strand loop securely in place…much like the knot and loop system of the fashion buttons ( Oriental style ) called ‘ Frogs.’

Immediately slip the right leg back into the double loop, the right hand secretly separating the loop and Thumb Knot arrangement. Knot and loop end are held at the bend of the right knee. This is shown in Fig. 12 minus silk and ring for clarity. Working together, the right and left hands give the rope loop furthest from the knee at the top of the leg a half twist, forming the smaller loop as shown. Right and left hand thumbs enter this small loop and also pass under the larger rope section loop nearest the knee. Fingers close around the larger loop loosely. As hands pull upward and apart, ring and silk will automatically come free and you will be left holding a genuine knotted double loop of rope between your outstretched hands.

For effect * 3 the silk loop is never given a half twist. The single rope section held by the right hand and slipped over the Thumb Knot passes through the center of the ring only. Upon the first penetration, the ring becomes tied on the ropes and the silk comes free.

In effect *2 only the silk loop is used in conjunction with the doubled rope. In this instance the silk loop IS given a half twist and the single strand of rope is pulled up through the top half of the silk. On the first penetration the silk remains tied around the double strands…and during the second phase it comes free.

For effect *1 The right hand pulls the single strand up thru the center of the ring then places its rope loop over the Thumb Knot. First penetration, ring becomes tied within double ropes…on second penetration, it comes free.

Experiment with these principles. Use two silks instead of a ring and silk. Use several colored bracelets. Find out what new combinations will reveal to you. RASAR may yet contain some hidden secrets.


December 1998

Look Familiar? To veteran I.C.O.M members it should. This was the effect that was formally included free with new memberships. But now with the current re-structuring of membership plans and due to the fact that brand new members have not yet see it, coupled also with the fact that this is a “pychic effect” that after all is what this forum is dedicated too,…..Here it is!…BJG (boy, talk about a run-on sentence, Oscar’s going to be angry<G>)

Tick-Talk Code
By
Ronald J. Dayton

This one of the most simplistic coding methods employing a confederate that I can think of. To the best of my knowledge, it is original.

The reason for using a confederate to handle the coding rather than your assistant is that the effect is designed to be performed for a smaller, more intimate setting. You would likely do the effect for a handful of friends seated around a card table. One of the friends, seated to your immediate left, is your secret helper.

While you are out of the room, as per your instructions, a card is selected from a deck, shown around, then shuffled back into the deck and the cards replaced in their case. When you return, you take your seat. As the card is concentrated upon the performer attempts to pick up its image from the thoughts. Eventually, he is able to name the chosen card.

The secret to this effect is that your confederate is wearing a stem type wind-up wrist watch. The stem is already pulled and the time is set at one o’clock. For the code, the hour hand, times one through four o’clock tells the suit….SPADES, HEARTS, CLUBS and DIAMONDS. This is based on the number of points and rounds in the geometric shape of the given suit. The spade has one point, the heart has two rounded sections, the club three rounds, and diamonds have four points. This was a concept utilized by Richard Osterlind.

The minute hand codes the value of the suit, Ace (1) through Queen (12). For the Kings, only the hour hand is used to tell the suit. The value ( king ) is coded by a subtle shift in hand position.

For the cards Ace through Queen, the confederate is seated in a relaxed position with arms on the table in front of him, right hand on top of the left. In the case of a king being coded, the left hand is on top of the right. Except for this small change, the positions are identical.

Being seated to the confederate’s right, it is an easy matter for the performer to glimpse his watch and hands. All information he needs to divine any one of fifty-two cards is given to him without movement or speech from the secret assistant.

After the card has been chosen and shown, as it is being shuffled back into the deck and cased, the confederate casually uses the thumb of the right hand to spin the hands of his watch to the proper time to reveal the card. He then positions his hands in front of him, and awaits your return.


USE THE BACK ARROW ON YOUR BROWSER TO RETURN TO THE ARCHIVE INDEX PAGE…

Notice: This material “IS NOT PUBLIC DOMAIN” and is intended for the personal and performance use of International Conservatory Of Magic members only.

This entire page is under copyright 1997,1998 by the International Conservatory of Magic and its respective contributors. No part of this page or its contents may be re-produced without the expressed written permission of I.C.O.M. All marketing, manufacturing, & publication rights are reserved. Violation of this is considered intellectual property and information theft and carries penalties under federal law.

Secret Passageway 10/98-12/98

Official I.C.O.M Past Lesson Archive

Lair Of The World’s Only Bizarre Cyber-Magazine”Shadows”

Ooooooooh, you’ve found the spookiest place in I.C.O.M! What magic related web-site would be complete without a forum dedicated to the weird and bizarre? On this page will be a running compendium of puzzles, tricks, stories and just about anything imaginable and “unimaginable” relating to the kind of magic that goes “bump in the night!” Such is the mysterious nature of I.C.O.M!


October 1998

“Shadows” is a cyber-publication which will appear, as shadows often do, at different times, and in varying lengths and form. As always, the image cast is dependent upon the amount of light being shed, and its direction. Much like our magic itself, shadows change with movement. Without movement, there is no change…without light, there is no shadow.

I view light / illumination, as knowledge. When light is blocked, shadows result…and the total picture cannot be seen.

Shadows and darkness have also been associated with things to be feared over the centuries. This is only right. An unwillingness to learn is indeed something to be feared.

Ancient wisdom speaks of the Ying and the Yang…opposing forces or opposites in our life. For every positive, there is a negative. For every darkness, there is a light.

“Shadows”, the publication, is meant to be a positive force, dispelling the negative connotations of the word as defined within the context of LIGHT and DARK as already explained.

Ronald J. Dayton 3-15-93

“No one knows what it is that he can do ’til he tries.”
Publilius Syrus

Stage Presentation For The Visible Vampire
By
Bobby J. Gallo

This is a presentation for the commercially marketed stage effect called “Visible Vampire” made by MAK Magic. However, it can be made to work equally as well with Abbotts Vampire Block or enjoy it merely as an interesting read.

I originally developed this to feature in one of the annual magic performance sponsored by SAM Assembly 168 (a tradition which I am proud to say “I” started in that particular club). This was a highlight of one of the better shows. Afterwards I was actually told by magician Joe Shade that the presentation was actually better than the trick itself! A high compliment indeed. Another truly humorous moment was when one of the members told me that his son was actually hiding underneath his seat as I performed this.

In retrospect, upon reading it after nearly a decade later, it all seems a little campy for me at this point in time. Not to say that I would not use it again. Now that we are here in the Halloween season, you never know, vampires do have a way of resurrecting themselves…<G>…

Requirements:

One of the most important elements needed to pull this stunt off in a convincing manner is the correct music. I believe I had probably the best possible score for this effect. It was called HYPNOTIQUE (5:37) from Music For Magicians, 1974 Electric Lemon Records. It was a stunning organ piece that would give you chills up and down your spine even if you were as brave as Achillies (Greek mythological hero).

Of course you need the prop itself which consists of a long rectangular box with a coffin cut-out shape in the front, a wooden block suspended from a chain with a red heart painted on it and a hole running though it that represented the vampire, and a wooden stake. The block could be lowered into the box and it was evident that the box was just big enough to accommodate the block with no extra room at all. Actually, in some ways the trick is not all that visible from the stage, but with the proper presentation, the audience realizes what is going on.

What does go on? It is basically a penetration effect. The block is lowered into the tube, the stake is thrust into the sides of the box through the cube and out the other side. When the chain that is connected to the block is pulled, the block penetrates the stake and is free. It really is a baffling penetration and is one of the few props of its nature that I intend to keep in my collection. Since it is a marketed effect, I will not tell you how it works. The purpose of this lesson is to give you an example of presentation. If you can get one of these little beauties, I suggest you do so. The nature of the magic business is that once they stop making them, thats it…period.

The Presentation:

(Music Starts)

Now ladies and gentleman, we come to a most serious and unusual part of this evening’s performance. Please hold the person next to you as we experience together, that which until tonight, was thought only to exist in the realm of fiction. I speak of one of the most malevolent species ever to be written about in stories best left unread. A timeless terror known to small eastern european countries, “who sometimes know better than we“, as Nosferatu’ The Vampire. (pause)

The Vampire is an evil creature who stalks the night in search of blood…and often succeeds. Do they indeed exist? I believe they may.* To prove this I brought along with me something you probably have never seen before. A genuine Vampire, in his coffin!

The Vampire has taken on the form of what appears to be a wooden block. Legend has it that a Vampire can take on virtually any form he wishes in order to achieve his desired goal. (pause, look at block and proceed to rub neck uncomfortably) You may notice that he is suspended from a chain that I purposely placed on him to better control his movement. But as you can plainly see, the heart is red and therefore still alive, very much so. But fear not good people, the Vampire is under my complete control tonight, and can do no harm as long as no harm comes to me. (sinister smile)

You may also notice that there is large hole running through him as well. Interesting, it seems that this is not the first time he has had a close encounter with this…(hold up stake) A wooden stake, contrary to popular belief, not just any wood will destroy a Vampire, only certain types.

Unfortunately, this is not one of them, but will serve our purpose just as well.

You will also notice that there is a hole in each side of the coffin itself. The purpose of these will also become evident in but a moments time.

I will now lower the Vampire into the coffin, we see that he just fits. No extra room at all. Lower him all the way down (the audience at this point can see the Vampire through the cut-out of the prop)

Now, I will take the stake, thrust it through the coffin through the Vampire, and out the other side! The Vampire is thus impailed. And thus, completely secured in the coffin with no chance of escape.

Or does he?

Ladies and gentleman witness the impossible, for as I pull the chain the Vampire escapes the coffin, visibly penetrating the stake and escaping! (pull the chain up, the block visibly comes free of the stake and out the top)

(Pause for applause)

So next time, when you are walking home alone, late at night, and you hear the faint rustle of leaves behind you or the distant patter of footsteps. Look over your shoulder, it may just be, the Vampire!

(Fade Out)

Afterthoughts:
I know, I know, this routine is really heavy. If I were to use it again for some occasion, I would probably lighten it up a bit. The way it stands, it could conceivably give people bad dreams. But that is what people go to horror movies for isn’t it? And this IS art isn’t it? Is this the kind of entertainment that you would like to bestow on your innocent audience members? That choice it is up to you!

*At this point in my career, I didn’t really care about the fact that I may have been making false claims as to the authenticity of the magic I performed. Though today I would do things differently, I must admit that it DID have great audience impact. Its amazing how people will willingly suspend their disbelief to join you on your journey to the unknown…


November 1998

“SHADOWS ” IS A PUBLICATION which will appear, as shadows often do, at different times, and in varying lengths and form. As always, the image cast is dependent upon the amount of light being shed, and its direction. Much like our magic itself, shadows change with movement. Without movement, there is no change. Without light, there is no shadow.

A single candle is a lonely light. Its sphere of influence is limited. Its very life is consumed by degrees. The wax of even the brightest eventually trickles down ….. returning us to darkness, sealing our fate.

A thought is like a candle’s flame. If it is shared… if it is passed along…perhaps others can benefit, and perhaps, the original light may never fully die.

These pages are my candle. I pass them on to you.

Ronald J. Dayton 11-18-93

“Like our shadows, our wishes lengthen as our sun declines.”
Edward Young-NIGHT THOUGHTS

RASAR
Rope And Silk And Ring
By
Ronald J. Dayton

Quite a few years ago, and several years apart, two independent rope effects were created. One was called Rope Sue-preme which appeared in the Micky Hades publication Ropes With A Different Twist. The second was a rope penetration I called Zip, and it was printed in the Hades publication “Legerde-mine”.

RASAR is a logical combination of both effects. Together they create a series of on and off penetrations new to the world of magic. Just why it took me fifteen years to put together is a mystery to me. But I am pleased that it has finally happened…and I think you will be too when you put this amazing series of events to the test.

A very subtle handling of the silk used in the effect adds a new dimension to the illusion. It makes one phase of the penetration totally credible. In the eyes of the spectator, they have just seen the impossible take place. Everything is ungimmicked. All may be offered for examination before and after.

The moves used in RASAR affort the performer with four distinct effects. Although the method is very simple, it will take work to make your moves fluid and natural. Do not rush. Take things in a relaxed and confident stride and you will have a miracle at your command, any time, any where.

* EFFECT * 1: An eight foot length of rope has been tied into a loop using a ‘ Thumb Knot.’ This simply means that a single overhand knot has been formed by tying both ends as one. This loop is then doubled and slipped over the performer’s right leg to the point at the bend of the knee.

A solid three inch ring is rested over the rope at the top of the right leg. Suddenly, the rope, taken between both hands is pulled upward. The rope visibly penetrates the leg, and the ring is discovered to be tied within the double strands.

The leg is immediately inserted back into the double loop. This time, when the rope is taken between both hands, it again penetrates the leg…but the ring magically comes free.

* EFFECT * 2: The knotted loop is again doubled and the right leg inserted into same as in effect one. A silk is tied in an open loop around the double strands. When the rope is taken between both hands and pulled upward, the rope visibly penetrates the leg and the silk REMAINS tied to the double strands. Again the rope is placed around the leg, and on the second penetration, the silk comes free. Performer is left holding the securely tied double rope loop between both hands.

* EFFECT * 3 : Leg is slipped into knotted double loop. A silk is tied around the double strands. A ring is introduced and placed on top of the rope at the top of the right leg. Rope is taken between both hands. When the hands pull upward and apart the double rope visibly penetrates the leg. In the process, the silk comes free of the rope, and the ring becomes securely tied within the double strands. The leg is again slipped into the double strands. Rope penetrates leg, and ring once again comes free.

* EFFECT * 4 : Double loop is again slipped over the right leg. A silk is openly slipped under the double strands as before, and tied in an open loop around same. A solid three inch ring is now shown and held in the right hand along with the knotted end of the silk loop. Both are rested on top of the leg for a moment. Rope is taken between both hands and pulled upward as the hands seperate. Rope visibly penetrates leg, and both ring and silk are seen to be tied securely to same. On the second penetration series, rope penetrates leg and silk and ring come free.

It would be best to begin the explanation of this four part effect by starting with phase number four, the last routine. It embodies and will demonstrate all of the moves necessary to accomplish the previous three.

The left hand holds the Thumb Knotted portion of the loop as the right hand grasps the loop at its bottom and gives the loop a half twist. The bottom portion is then placed into the left hand. Take this doubled rope in the right hand between the forefinger and second finger as.in Fig. 1. With the left hand, grasp the two ropes which form the loop nearest the right hand fingertips. In one continuous action, the left hand raises its ropes and begins to glide to the left and toward the knot, Fig. 2. At the same time, the fingers of the right hand, using the right middle finger as a pivot point, swing into the newly formed double loop. This loop may be tugged upon in a very convincing manner.

As the right leg steps into the double loop, the secretly switched portions concealed in the right hand are ‘rolled’ off the right hand middle finger and held within the fist. When this section is pressed up in behind the right knee…elevating the leg just a bit will hold the Grandmother’s Necklace style break neatly at the bend, Fig. 3.

The silk is now shown, then slipped under the double strands at the top of the leg and tied in an open loop as in Fig. 4 using a standard square knot. Right hand holds silk loop at knot as left displays the three inch ring. Ring is now placed in ‘front of the silk loop, Fig. 5, all being held by the right hand.

Right hand gives silk a half twist, Fig. 6…and then places the silk and ring on top of right leg over single, unknotted strand of rope, Fig. 7. Right band fingers now grasp this single strand and pull it up through the center of the ring and silk. Figure 8 shows an exaggerated view. As the ring and silk rest on top of the right leg and the right hand controls this single unknotted strand which lies furthest from the knee…the left hand comes to the front of the leg and takes hold of the Thumb Knot.

With the back of the left hand toward the audience, and acting as a shield…the right hand slips the loop of rope it has formed over the Thumb Knot, Fig. 9. The fingers and thumb of the right hand pinch and hold the strands of their loop together about an inch and a half to the right of the Thumb Knot as the left hand takes hold of the Thumb Knot’s double strands. With an upward pull, the hands separate. The rope seems to penetrate the leg, Fig. 11,

Silk openly tied around the double ropes and ring suspended from same.

The illusion is quite lovely. The Thumb Knot holds the single strand loop securely in place…much like the knot and loop system of the fashion buttons ( Oriental style ) called ‘ Frogs.’

Immediately slip the right leg back into the double loop, the right hand secretly separating the loop and Thumb Knot arrangement. Knot and loop end are held at the bend of the right knee. This is shown in Fig. 12 minus silk and ring for clarity. Working together, the right and left hands give the rope loop furthest from the knee at the top of the leg a half twist, forming the smaller loop as shown. Right and left hand thumbs enter this small loop and also pass under the larger rope section loop nearest the knee. Fingers close around the larger loop loosely. As hands pull upward and apart, ring and silk will automatically come free and you will be left holding a genuine knotted double loop of rope between your outstretched hands.

For effect * 3 the silk loop is never given a half twist. The single rope section held by the right hand and slipped over the Thumb Knot passes through the center of the ring only. Upon the first penetration, the ring becomes tied on the ropes and the silk comes free.

In effect *2 only the silk loop is used in conjunction with the doubled rope. In this instance the silk loop IS given a half twist and the single strand of rope is pulled up through the top half of the silk. On the first penetration the silk remains tied around the double strands…and during the second phase it comes free.

For effect *1 The right hand pulls the single strand up thru the center of the ring then places its rope loop over the Thumb Knot. First penetration, ring becomes tied within double ropes…on second penetration, it comes free.

Experiment with these principles. Use two silks instead of a ring and silk. Use several colored bracelets. Find out what new combinations will reveal to you. RASAR may yet contain some hidden secrets.


December 1998

Look Familiar? To veteran I.C.O.M members it should. This was the effect that was formally included free with new memberships. But now with the current re-structuring of membership plans and due to the fact that brand new members have not yet see it, coupled also with the fact that this is a “pychic effect” that after all is what this forum is dedicated too,…..Here it is!…BJG (boy, talk about a run-on sentence, Oscar’s going to be angry<G>)

Tick-Talk Code
By
Ronald J. Dayton

This one of the most simplistic coding methods employing a confederate that I can think of. To the best of my knowledge, it is original.

The reason for using a confederate to handle the coding rather than your assistant is that the effect is designed to be performed for a smaller, more intimate setting. You would likely do the effect for a handful of friends seated around a card table. One of the friends, seated to your immediate left, is your secret helper.

While you are out of the room, as per your instructions, a card is selected from a deck, shown around, then shuffled back into the deck and the cards replaced in their case. When you return, you take your seat. As the card is concentrated upon the performer attempts to pick up its image from the thoughts. Eventually, he is able to name the chosen card.

The secret to this effect is that your confederate is wearing a stem type wind-up wrist watch. The stem is already pulled and the time is set at one o’clock. For the code, the hour hand, times one through four o’clock tells the suit….SPADES, HEARTS, CLUBS and DIAMONDS. This is based on the number of points and rounds in the geometric shape of the given suit. The spade has one point, the heart has two rounded sections, the club three rounds, and diamonds have four points. This was a concept utilized by Richard Osterlind.

The minute hand codes the value of the suit, Ace (1) through Queen (12). For the Kings, only the hour hand is used to tell the suit. The value ( king ) is coded by a subtle shift in hand position.

For the cards Ace through Queen, the confederate is seated in a relaxed position with arms on the table in front of him, right hand on top of the left. In the case of a king being coded, the left hand is on top of the right. Except for this small change, the positions are identical.

Being seated to the confederate’s right, it is an easy matter for the performer to glimpse his watch and hands. All information he needs to divine any one of fifty-two cards is given to him without movement or speech from the secret assistant.

After the card has been chosen and shown, as it is being shuffled back into the deck and cased, the confederate casually uses the thumb of the right hand to spin the hands of his watch to the proper time to reveal the card. He then positions his hands in front of him, and awaits your return.


USE THE BACK ARROW ON YOUR BROWSER TO RETURN TO THE ARCHIVE INDEX PAGE…

Notice: This material “IS NOT PUBLIC DOMAIN” and is intended for the personal and performance use of International Conservatory Of Magic members only.

This entire page is under copyright 1997,1998 by the International Conservatory of Magic and its respective contributors. No part of this page or its contents may be reproduced without the expressed written permission of I.C.O.M. All marketing, manufacturing, & publication rights are reserved. Violation of this is considered intellectual property and information theft and carries penalties under federal law.

Secret Passageway 7/98-9/98

Official I.C.O.M Past Lesson Archive

Secret Passageway 7/98-9/98

Ooooooooh, you’ve found the spookiest place in I.C.O.M! What magic related web-site would be complete without a forum dedicated to the weird and bizarre? On this page will be a running compendium of puzzles, tricks, stories and just about anything imaginable and “unimaginable” relating to the kind of magic that goes “bump in the night!” Such is the mysterious nature of I.C.O.M!


July 1998

The International Conservatory Of Magic Proudly Presents


artwork copyright 1998 Ronald J. Dayton

“Shadows” is a publication which will appear, as shadows often do, at different times, and in varying lengths and form. As always, the image cast is dependent upon the amount of light being shed, and its direction. Much like our magic itself, shadows change with movement, Without movement, there is no change.. without light, there is no shadow.


Who knows what mysteries lurk in the shadows!? Darkness surrounds us before our first breath, and after our last. It is the time between, we hope to illuminate.


Shadows, like thoughts, are intangible, ghostly reflections. YOU are the source which gives it substance. We control the shadows of our lives, by moving forward and seeking light as opposed to standing idle, unable to see the darkness we’ve come to accept.


Ronald J. Dayton 12-15-92


“Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true.”
Francis Bacon
‘Aphorisms’

Volume #1 Page Three

This issue is continued from last month

” THE 27th VICTIM “
By
Ronald J. Dayton

The performer is chatting with the spectators during a relaxed moment in the show and he comments that people often ask where he gets his ideas for a new trick or illusion. He answers that the inspirations come from a whole host of areas, surprisingly, most often from things not even remotely related to magic. Take for instance, the other evening…I was reading a detective novel called “The 27th Victim.” It was about a serial killer who would choose his victims at random, then, do away with them in a diabolical way. I thought this might make a good theme or story line for a magic trick, and if I may…I would like to show you what I devised.

With these words, the performer removes a cased deck of cards from his jacket pocket. Removing the cards from the case, and setting the empty case to one side, the cards are fanned with their faces toward the audience. A spectator is asked to step forward and remove one of the cards from the fan with out naming it. As the performer looks away, the card is shown to the others in the audience.

The cards are squared up and held in the left hand. You state that you will now riffle the deck at one end until the spectator says stop. This you do, then break the deck at that point and up-jog the rear portion about half an inch. The deck is held in this manner in the left hand.

You state that, just as the killer in the novel had done, the spectator has randomly made a selection. You now extend your right hand and ask that the card he chose be handed to you. It is held with its back facing you so you cannot know its identity. You now ask the spectator to extend his first and second fingers of one hand, and curl in the third and fourth fingers toward the palm, making the hand look like a gun. This done, he is asked to shoot the playing card in your right hand.

Some people will actually make a loud ‘bang’ sound as they pretend to shoot the gun. Others will make no noise, but simply make the hand jump a bit as if from the recoil of the shot. When this happens you say, ” Oh, I see you’ve used a silencer.” The audience will get a laugh from this, and you can move on.

The card is now dead. Do you know how I know this? Because now it is a CARD-daver. So well have to bury it.” Suiting your words to action, you slip the chosen card into the deck at the point of the up-jog break. The deck is now squared.

If the plot of this card trick is in reality following the plot of the detective novel…your card victim should be at the 27th position in the deck. Let’s see if it is!”

The cards are taken one at a time from the back of the deck and laid face up on the table to your right. You count each card as it is tabled, 1,2,3 etc. When you come to number 26, you pause a moment, stating that the 27th victim. The next card ( actually on the cards to your right) is indeed the 27th victim. And that my friends is a KILLER effect!”

METHOD: Two questions have probably entered your mind. How is the identity of the spectator’s card learned, and how is it controlled to the 27th position in the deck. Both questions are answered by knowing that the jokers remain in the deck giving a total of 54 cards…and each of these jokers has been tampered with.

First of all, you must glue a one inch diameter piece of reflective mylar to the back of the first joker. This then becomes a ‘shiner’ card in which you can see the spectators selection while it is being held up to be shot. (see fig.#1) This ‘shiner’ joker is the top or back card of the deck. To gimmick or prepare the second joker all you need do is to pencil dot the top left and bottom right diagonal margins at the back of the card. This marked card is then placed at the 26th position from the top of the deck.

As you remove the cards form their case, take care not to reveal the presence of the mylar shiner at the back. Cards are then fanned face toward the audience and a selection is made. State that this is a full deck, and the jokers have not been removed…so some card other than a joker should be selected. Insure also that you can see the pencil dot marked card as the fan is formed.

If the chosen card is taken from the front half of the deck, simply get and hold a little finger break in front of the pencil marked card. If the selection is taken from within the top 26 cards, the break is made in front of the next card after the pencil marked joker. Now, as you ask them to say stop as you end riffle the deck, no matter where they say stop, you make the break and up-jog at the break you were holding. The rear portion of the deck will always have twenty-six cards.

As you hold the chosen card in your right hand for the spectator to shoot with his ‘hand’ gun ( pun intended ) you will see its reflection in the mylar. His card is then inserted at the up-jog break, placing it in the 27th position. Square up the deck and begin the count off tabling as explained.

The point is, just as you count off twenty-six cards from the back of the deck,  you say, ” And this next card, the twenty-seventh card…is ( name the card ),  then turn it face up for the reveal as you conclude, your chosen card!”

After the effect is completed, remove the jokers and place them openly face up in the card case. this leaves you with a clean deck for further effects.


fig.#1

Co-Directors Note: This effect is an act in itself. Talk about pack, small play big! With the popularity of “Murder Mystery Games” at parties and get togethers, this can be a major hit! Also, the mylar circles can be found in any craft store…BJG


August 1998

” The Unexpected Visitor “
By
Ronald J. Dayton

This is an effect which is a direct spin-off  of one devised over ten years ago in England. I believe it was Martin Breeze who first marketed it and several others in booklet form at that time.  I loved the potential it showed, and after a while, came up with several strong variations of my own.  Perhaps you will fine even more.

You begin the preparation of a playing card by first creasing it face to face, end to end,  and then side to side as in Fig. ‘a’.  The next step is to fold the point ‘x’ to the right toward point ‘y’. Point ‘x’ will overlap and extend beyond point ‘y’ as in Fig. ‘b’.  Now crease the diagonal which is formed and runs from the exact center of the card to a point about 1/2 inch from each corner… ( see dotted lines in figures ‘c’ and ‘d’ ).  The folds will cause the card to appear as in Fig. ‘e’ when the card is partially opened.  With a scissors, cut the crease marked ‘A’, Fig. ‘g’ to a point approximately 1/4 inch from the top crease.  This card rests on your table, roof-top style, as in Fig. ‘h’. The slit side is nearest you.

A second card is prepared as in figures ‘a’ through ‘f’.  This card can now be folded as in steps ‘h’; through ‘j’ without cutting the card.  This folded card is finger palmed in the left hand, with what appears to be the inner card pointing to the left.  If you would rather not palm it, it may simply be concealed in some easily accessible place.

To apparently produce a playing card from nowhere, instantly at your fingertips…you simply reach down to the card resting roof-top style on your close up mat…the fingers and thumb grasping the card at corners ‘z-z’.  When you squeeze the card together it will fold up as in figures ‘i’ and ‘j’.  It instantly creates the illusion of a second card having appeared as in Fig. ‘j’. Taking the card(s) between both hands, the fingers and thumbs of the hands open the card(s) as in Fig. ‘k’…giving the appearance as in Fig. ‘l’.

What appears to be two playing cards are now displayed, holding them in the right hand. The cards are transferred to the left momentarily as the right gestures magically them.  If you did not finger palm the second card mentioned earlier in the left hand, prior to this move you must have gotten hold of it, and retained it in the left.  So, in reality, you have secretly added a second card to the false card configuration you have been showing. This folded second card is on the left side of the first card, figures ‘m’ and ‘n’. The right half of the first card is now forced over on top of the left half, and on top of the second card as well.  As you  now open out the first card once again to the right,  you also secretly open out the second card as well.  The two cards are then uncoupled and opened out individually, taking care not to reveal the secret slit in
the first card.

This has taken so long to explain…and, no doubt,  many will have to work with the actual prepared cards in hand to get the full idea…but in actual working, it is much, much more simplistic. One card is seen resting roof-top style on your table.  As it is picked up and squeezed in half, a second card seems to magically appear.  You open the cards out as in Fig. ‘l’. Transfer them momentarily to the left hand where a second folded card is palmed and added to the first. One more fold and an opening of the card set…and you show two independent cards casually as the finale’ to a cute card quickie

(end)  ———————————-


September 1998


artwork copyright 1998 Ronald J. Dayton

SHADOWS is a publication which will appear, as shadows often do, at different times, and in varying lengths and form. As always, the image cast is dependent upon the amount of light being shed, and its direction. Much like our magic itself, shadows change with movement. Without movement, there is no change. Without light, there is no shadow.

Let us enter an enchanted forest. let us search for the secrets its thick foliage conceals. Maintain a presence of mind, and a keen sense of direction… for here too, we shall encounter shadows. Naturets floor is dappled in dancing shades of dark and light. Without direction, without the light…we surely would be lost.

Ronald J. Dayton 23-93

Out of the night which covers me, dark as a pit from pole to pole, I thank what ever gods may be.. for my unconquerable soul.”

INVICTUS

The Ghostie

Flying Ghosties
By
Ronald J. Dayton

Here is yet another offering, used with permission, from the pages of a Jim Klein publication…
” Mortimer’s Magic Magazine.” The list of contributors to Mortimer’s was quite extensive. Many names in magic with whom you are no doubt familiar. Spirits Past was inspired by the name of an effect which had been contributed by Steve Dusheck. Since the name ‘Dusheck’ translates to Little Spirit in the families ethnic background.. .it seemed fitting that I title this idea to reflect the same. The name of Steves original effect was ” Ghosties,” page 54 of Mortimer’s * 10.

I thought the idea of ‘little spirits’ or unseen forces helping a magician to achieve his effects made sense. Then, by modifying a concept created by British performer Ah Bongo, his Helicopter Bunnies.. .I created paper ghosts which could actually fly. Logic told me that flying ghosts seemed more credible than flying bunnies. The Bongo idea in turn seems to have had its roots in a simple paper copter found within the pages of the ” Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic ” by Martin Gardner.

The illustration properly shows the shape of my paper flying ghostie. When turned upside down and held at X. . when released, the arms will spread in opposite directions, and the falling figure will spin like the blades of a helicopter. It’s a novel little item, and one that can be inexpensively produced as a give-a-way at your shows. Younger children get a real kick out of them. With your name and number printed on the back… it becomes something parents tend to keep.

Your little spirit friends may be used in place of a magic wand, being waved over an object to cause the magic to happen. They may be used for a torn and restored paper effect. You could use them in a billet switch, and have a spirit message appear on one side of the folded ghost figure. One rolled in a tube and covered with flash paper could easily create a cigarette to ghost effect. I think with a little thought and imagination, you could find a lot of uses. They are cute, novel, and versatile. For a cost of pennies apiece.. what more could you ask for?

Print them in different color stock paper for color change effects… .or simply to create ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ spirits in pink and blue. Make them from Can’t Tear paper for an indestructible comedy twist to a do-as-I-do type paper tear routine.Make them in to Clippo ghosts. The suggestions could go on and on.

People often ask me…” Ron, how in the world did you ever think of that!?” I guess the answer in many instances is, because I simply took the time to think rather than let someone else do it for me. If you put your mind to something.. .you’d be amazed at the results. I hope this little pep talk will have encouraged you to put your thinking caps on, and see what you can make the spirits do for you.

Co-Directors Notes: I really hope the majority of I.C.O.M members do not pass this one by. It ended up here in the secret passageway due to its ‘ghostly’ nature, however, it would have been perfectly suited to the Kid Show Konservatory because of its outstanding value as a novel and fun interlude.


USE THE BACK ARROW ON YOUR BROWSER TO RETURN TO THE ARCHIVE INDEX PAGE…

Notice: This material “IS NOT PUBLIC DOMAIN” and is intended for the personal and performance use of International Conservatory Of Magic members only.

This entire page is under copyright 1997,1998 by the International Conservatory of Magic and its respective contributors. No part of this page or its contents may be re-produced without the expressed written permission of I.C.O.M. All marketing, manufacturing, & publication rights are reserved. Violation of this is considered intellectual property and information theft and carries penalties under federal law.

The Secret Passageway 7/97-6/98

OFFICIAL I.C.O.M PAST LESSON ARCHIVE

In the dark recesses of the “International Conservatory of Magic”, a brave member has just entered…

Ooooooooh, you’ve found the spookiest place in I.C.O.M! What magic related web-site would be complete without a forum dedicated to the weird and bizarre? On this page will be a running compendium of puzzles, tricks, stories and just about anything imaginable and “unimaginable” relating to the kind of magic that goes “bump in the night!” Such is the mysterious nature of I.C.O.M!


July 1997

An I.C.O.M Cryptogram
by
Ron Dayton

In the word search shown are concealed the names of nine famous magicians. Can you find and circle them? (you may want to print this out first, after all, who wants to draw on their monitor!?) Using the first letter of each name…what word will it spell that means magic?

Answers: Next Month!


July 1997

Magical Trivia

He was the brother of the most famous escape artist who ever lived. After his brother’s untimely death, he toured as a famous magician himself. Who was he?
(Complete name required)


August 1997

The Haunted House

My Favorite Poem
Recited by
Bobby J. Gallo

This is the poem I used to open my “seance” shows with. It never fails to instill chills in my audience. I learned it as a small child and it still brings shivers everytime I recite it. I hope you enjoy it <G>……………..

Not a window was broken, and the paint wasn’t peeling.
Not a porch step sagged, yet there was a feeling.
That beyond the door, and into the hall.
This was the house, of no one at all.

No one who slept, or laughed, or ate, or said I love, or said, I hate.

Yet something walked, along the stairs, something that was, and wasn’t there.

That is why weeds, on the walkway grow high.
And even the moon, races fearfully by.

For something walks, along the stairs, something that “is” and isn’t there.

I claim no originality for the above poem. If anyone knows who wrote it, please attach it to this thread. They deserve full credit for such a masterpiece. As I said, I learned it as a child from a book I think I read in fourth or fifth grade and have remembered ever since. Or has it remembered me??????????????


September 1997

A True Story

Strange Vibrations
by
Bobby J. Gallo

Many of you may know that I just got back from a tour up and down the east coast. It was a great string of events with an interesting experience that happened to me at one particular college date.

The school where I performed my full evening show was situated in upper New England. It was a rural school with great students. Before the show I was given a key to my sleeping accommodations. It was the oldest building on campus. Over 180 years old (and smelled like it!). It was originally the main school building many, many years ago, but now served as a campus guest house and in that capacity, only used on certain occasions. Such as visiting performers and faculty. (lucky me!?)

When I first arrived, I noticed that in the “Great Room” of the old mansion, there were old paintings of various people from all eras of American history. These people had something to do with the school in one way or another during their lives. Now all were long gone and their images were enshrined in this ancient parlor.

When I entered the house, the strangest feeling came over me. The hair was standing up on the back of my neck and I really couldn’t say why? I joked to myself about this place being haunted because of the age of the building coupled with he fact that the room with the portraits downstairs looked like something out of the haunted houses in certain very popular theme parks. Also, the fact that I was the only one staying in this old mansion fueled the humorous notion.

Before the show, I was talking to my contact at the school. I joked with her about the house and the fact that it look like to could be haunted. She replied, “You mean you heard about that place?” What? I said!

It so happens that dozens of people have experienced supernatural happenings in that old mansion. Everyone from campus security guards to faculty have reported the ghost of a woman. My contact told me not to worry because she was supposedly a “friendly spirit!” However, one student told me to be afraid, be very afraid. Was I? Suffice to say that after the performance, I quietly went back into the old mansion, up to my room, packed my things and drove all night back home to New Jersey. It was the last gig on my tour and the drive was about 6 1/2 hours. I know I could have went to a hotel, but at that point it was difficult to sleep!


October 1997

“The Web”

An original effect in the realm of the bizarre
by
Bobby J. Gallo

Effect In Story Form, Script In Italics:

The apprehensive participants enter the room, where a dark, vampiric looking medium stares at them with an unnerving icy glare. “Welcome” he bids, as the layman gather around a large oak table ready for what could possibly be a most memorable glance into realms unseen to the living. The medium begins as the overhead chandelier with what looks like a decade of cobwebs, flickers on the verge of plunging the entire room into eerie darkness.

You are all here to have me beckon spirits and entities from the other side this evening. (A low rumble of thunder in the far distance)

This request I shall accommodate! says the medium in a rather authoritative way. But first we must decide who it is we shall communicate with. Or should I say what?! You see, not all earthbound spirits are those of former humans. Some traditions hold that all creatures, even trees have an almost conscious force that permeates their entire being and then leaves upon death. Look above you! The audience does this as the medium describes what they see. Cobwebs! Made by natures most perfect and most ruthless predator, “The Spider”! At this moment, the lights are extinguished.

Everyone Join hands, and concentrate.

Imagine, if you will, just for a moment. You are a common housefly. flying carefree through vast open spaces that seem to have no end. Only the space is dark, is it night? Or is just a small enclosed space deep within a cellar that seems universal compared to your small almost insignificant form.
You are flying, flying, flying…………………………

All of a sudden, you stop. You seem to be caught in something!
(the mediums voice all of a sudden seems to take on a tone of urgency!) It seems sticky, tangled, yet made of the finest silk. Then terror rushes through your entire tiny being as you realize where you are. You are caught, and even as you contemplate your situation you realize that you are being stalked, closer, and closer it comes. All of a sudden you hear a hisssssss and it strikes! (at this moment the audience does indeed hear a hiss and a scream!)

Pandemonium breaks loose in the room, the circle is broken as one the sitters rushes for the lights only to find out when the darkness is lifted, that all of the participants are present, except one!

There, where one the audience members sat is an empty chair with a skull covered in ethereal spiders webs! No trace of the spider is to be found. Water is thrown on those who have fainted.

Secret Formula:

The three essential ingredients for this horrifying effect are as follows. First is the classic “mediums grip” that is used to convince the audience that your hands are held once the lights are out.

The second is the novelty item sold in party stores known as party string. It comes in a can and can be carried secretly on the mediums person until ready. The string is available in many colors but I recommend black. (Bright yellow or orange string can hardly pass for a spiders web!) I have yet to see white string, and black just seems to add a weird feeling to it.

Third is an imitation rubber skull also found in party stores around Halloween time.

When the lights go out, The performer uses the mediums grip to free his/her right hand. At the same time, a confederate (stooge) leaves their chair and replaces him/herself with the rubber skull they have been carrying secretly before the routine began. The performer during the blackout merely sprays the skull with the string. The spraying process sounds like a hissing noise and actually adds to the effect! Be sure not to accidentally spray the spectators, it is a good idea to have the confederate’s seat positioned well away from everyone else so that in the dark you know where to spray the string. Not to mention the fact that your secret helper will have a better chance of sneaking out un-noticed!

And remember, I have used this stunt many times and it “Will” make people scream and freak out! so be prepared for a lot of commotion!

Creators Thoughts:

A different version effect (actually the original version) first appeared in an altered form in “The New Invocation” No# 78 a publication devoted to weird and bizarre magic. The routine was re-written by the editor of that magazine with my permission. It appears here in the ICOM Secret Passageway in an updated form.

The routine the way it originally appeared had aspects that actually made the effect a little “too frightening”, so I felt it wise to tone the presentation down a bit.

One last thought. The title of this routine was created before the release of a popular marketed close-up item with the same name.


November 1997

Pseudo Spirit Trick

You can produce strange noises answering questions while seated at a table. One tap for yes, two taps for no. All done with both hands in view the entire time.

Method: A stick is placed in an empty cigar tube and affixed in some manner to the leg. A thread runs from the bottom of the stick to the other leg. By merely spreading the knees, the stick rises and falls thus creating “tap like sounds” under the table.


January 1998

Don’t Read This!

Unless you would like the answers to the cryptogram at the top of page.

Answers: Carter, Okito, Neff, Jarrett, U.F. Grant, Richardi, Ireland, Nelson, Goldin = Conjuring…

April 1998

THE TYPOGRAPHICAL ERROR

Author Unknown
Adapted By Ronald J. Dayton
From Text In 1964 Hades Gram Magi-zette


The typographical error is illusive and quite sly.

You can search till you go crazy but it somehow slips right by.

It crouches in dark corners and never moves or peeps

Till the print is off the presses, then boldly, out it creeps.

This typographical error was unseen by human eyes

Till the copy’s on the paper and the ink all fully dries.

Yes, the rest of that whole issue is as clean as it can be.

Still that typographical error is the only thing you’ll see.


In his book, ” The Magic of 1937 “

Author, inventor and performer, Eric C. Lewis suggests;

WORK.. .NOT SHIRK. ORIGINATE….NOT IMITATE. ENTHUSE….NOT ABUSE. SCHEME….NOT DREAM. THINK….NOT SHRINK.


June 1998

The student may wonder why the dates on the following works are nearly six years old. The reason is one that is indicative of many pieces of material found all throughout I.C.O.M. It is “buried treasure” finally seeing the light of day (or should we say “dark of night”). This is a series of previously un-released periodicals devoted to bizarre and psychic magic. In publishing these “masterpieces”, we will try to maintain the integrity of the original manuscripts by making as few changes as possible to the text and format. When the originals are exhausted, new ones will be released as they are presently in the process of being created right at this moment!…So with all of this in mind…Turn out the lights, lock the doors, and enjoy the first installment of “Shadows….

The International Conservatory Of Magic Proudly Presents


artwork copywrite 1998 Ronald J. Dayton

“Shadows” is a publication which will appear, as shadows often do, at different times, and in varying lengths and form. As always, the image cast is dependent upon the amount of light being shed, and its direction. Much like our magic itself, shadows change with movement, Without movement, there is no change.. without light, there is no shadow.


Who knows what mysteries lurk in the shadows!? Darkness surrounds us before our first breath, and after our last. It is the time between, we hope to illuminate.


Shadows, like thoughts, are intangible, ghostly reflections. YOU are the source which gives it substance. We control the shadows of our lives, by moving forward and seeking light as opposed to standing idle, unable to see the darkness we’ve come to accept.


Ronald J. Dayton 12-15-92


“Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true.”
Francis Bacon
‘Aphorisms’

Page Two

Co-Directors Note: The effect that originallly appeared in the first issue of “Shadows” was called “Psy-Clip Powers”. However, due to the fact that this fine effect recently appeared in M.U.M Magazine, we are holding off on the publication and instead, giving everyone an exclusive piece created just for us!…Thanks Ron.

SPIDER WEB-SIGHT

By
Ronald J. Dayton

As the title for this effect indicates, it has been named, tongue-in-cheek, specifically for use on the world’s first INTERNET School of Magic. It is a divination type effect or second sight thich involves several toy novelty spiders suspended from a mono-filament string.

Each spider has a fifteen inch length of mono-filament or clear fishing line threaded through its center so the line will not pull out. At the opposite end of the length you have tied a one inch diameter plastic curtain ring. In addition, each spider has had a different color geometrical shape painted on its upper abdomen. The colors and shapes are: A yellow circle, a green square, a blue rectangle and a red triangle.

Your assistant displays each spider dangling by its ring from the fingers of the hand. while you are securely blindfolded, one member of the audience freely chooses one of the spiders and hands it to you behind your back. After a moments thought, you are able to reveal the shape and color painted on the spider’s back.

The secret to this effect lies in a subtle code supplied by the lengths of fishing line from which each spider is suspended. The line for the red triangle is ungimicked. The blue rectangle has a single overhand knot tightly tied in the line about two inches from the curtain ring. The green square has a single knot tied mid-length in the line, and the yellow circle has a knot tied about two inches above the spider.

when the spiders are placed in your hand, the other hand gets hold of the fishing line Just above the spider and the line is pulled through that hand until the ring is pulled in to it. The spider is then allowed to hang freely as you hold the line by its ring. This simple action of pulling the line through your first finger and thumb while seemingly Just getting control of the ring allows you to ‘feel’ the tiny knot ( or lack there of ) tied in the fine fishing line. when you know where the knot is, you then know the color and shape which you have committed to memory.

Years ago. performers had success by presenting some of their effects with a clever rhyming patter. A similar rhyming verse has been developed to reveal each of the colors and shapes. You of course have the option to use this style presentation or not, as you see fit.

You might choose to build your story around the popular recent movie, ARACHANAPHOBIA. A terrifying movie for most…even more so for people with a genuine fear of spiders.

This effect is based on a color divination effect I created several years ago called Orna-mental in which Christmas ornaments were suspended from lines and hanging hooks. I have added the geometric shapes to give the spider •ffect more depth. I have also modified the knot code which identifies the colors and shapes..

The rhymes used in the revelation for each spider are as follow:

This friendly guy is harmless and mellow. His shape is a circle, his color is yellow.


This spider won’t hurt you. He’s meek, and quite fair. The color is green…the shape is a square.


This arachnid is common, found both near and far. The color is blue, a rectantular bar.


This spider is deadly, a Black Widow here dangles. Their color blood red, their shapes are triangles.

Conclusion

It will take a little work to memorize the colors and shapes, but it certainly isn’t beyond your capabilities. It’s good to work for an effect rather than have it come too easy. It gives you a real sense of accomplishment when you eventually succeed.

Give some thought to other objects which could logically be suspended from a length of line. We’ve already mentioned ornaments. How about fish, kites, toy airplanes etc.!? You could easily take this knot code principle and expand upon it to create new and exciting effects and variations of your own.


USE THE BACK ARROW ON YOUR BROWSER TO RETURN TO THE ARCHIVE INDEX PAGE…

Notice: This material “IS NOT PUBLIC DOMAIN” and is intended for the personal and performance use of International Conservatory Of Magic members only.

This entire page is under copywrite 1998 by the International Conservatory of Magic and its respective contributors. No part of this page or its contents may be re-produced without the expressed written permission of I.C.O.M. All marketing, manufacturing, & publication rights are reserved. Violation of this is considered intellectual property and information theft and carries penalties under federal law.