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

Volume #1 Page Three

This issue is continued from last month

” THE 27th VICTIM “
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.


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 “
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.”


The Ghostie

Flying Ghosties
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.


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.

Author: Bobby J. Gallo


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