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