This experiment may be performed while sitting at the table with only a candle or small electric light burning. It is very mysterious and ghostly.
Performer asks spectators to hold hands to establish a contact. He places his hands on the table and has spectator to each side cover his hands with theirs. When all is arranged, suddenly a spectator feels a touch of mysterious fingers beneath the table. This is felt from time to time by various spectators. A tambourine placed on the floor under the table is jingled and perhaps thrown up into someone's lap. A bell is rung. All of this seems to be accomplished by some unseen force.
Have tongues of oxfords fastened on one side so that they cannot slip down. Place black elastic in oxfords instead of shoestrings. Or in emergency, do not lace oxfords up very high. It is necessary to be able to slip feet in and out of oxfords easily.
2 -- Right sock with toe cut off. This gives you free toe action.
4 -- A candle in candlestick. SECRET AND PATTER:
Have specially prepared sock on right foot and have prepared oxfords on.
Have tambourine, bell, etc., handy. To Perform:
Start with this patter:
"Phenomena are considered better when produced in the dark, as the forces seem to work better in darkness. However, I would like to see just what can be accomplished by dim light. It may be that nothing will happen and then again the forces may manifest themselves slightly or even with force. I will first place this tambourine under the table on the floor."
Place tambourine on floor under table, and near it, place the bell. They should be near the center of the table but near enough so that you can touch them with your feet.
"Now, each of you place your hands on the table and each one touch the other's hand so that a psychic connection will be established. Just touch the little finger of your neighbor's hand and keep the connection until the experiment is completed."
Have spectators place hands on table with little fingers touching, as directed. Place your hands together on the table and have spectator at each side of you touch his little finger to each of your hands.
"Now, the force that passes through one passes through all. Do not let go or the force is broken and there might be some danger of losing the phenomena. Sometimes, people are strong enough to carry force from one to the other without holding hands, but for safety, we shall touch hands. Remain as quiet as possible. Do not get excited and do not let go, no matter what happens. Also look at the person sitting opposite you and concentrate on that person."
This sounds good and accomplishes the purpose of keeping people from looking under the table. Impress the importance of touching hands on table and concentrating on person opposite them.
"Many times the first manifestations show themselves in the form of ghostly fingers. Sometimes the forces are so strong that you can feel these mysterious fingers grasping you. You can feel the movement of the fingers as they glide about through the ethereal substance."
It is customary in seances to sing some familiar hymn or song that lends good atmosphere. You can omit this.
As spectators sit quietly, slip your right foot out of the oxford. You can aid with heel of your left foot. With your toes touch someone lightly on the legs or knees and wiggle toes, then touch another, and perhaps a third. If all goes well, you can touch a number of spectators. When you touch someone, he or she may scream. Tell him quietly to remain still as nothing will harm anyone.
At any moment, you can slip your foot back into your oxford. You can at times operate with both feet to get even greater effect.
Pick up the tambourine with your toes over the edge. Shake it and move it around, finally throwing it on to someone's lap.
Place toes around top of bell and shake bell, then drop it on floor.
"The psychic influences seem to be at work tonight quite forcefully. Did anyone feel a ghostly touch of fingers? I felt them two or three times and even the tambourine and bell were influenced by the forces. We can now break the current. Just separate your hands and relax for a few moments."
Have spectator pick up bell and tambourine and place them on table.
I have performed this experiment while wearing just my regular oxfords. I would lace them low and use only my right foot. I would get this shoe on and off with the aid of the heel of my left foot. I do not hurry especially in performing as I depend on misdirection above the table.
Sometimes, a performer likes to work by having a spectator on each side place his foot on each toe of performer's shoes. If you perform in this manner, have a metal lining put in your shoes over the instep and toes so that when foot is removed, the shoe will not fall in.
If you desire, you may have your shoes cut down to make it easier to slip foot in and out. If large size oxfords help, use them.
Robert Gysel is exceedingly clever at foot manipulation and thus can produce some weird effects with bare toes as well as with his oxfords on. Here you learn his method of manipulating a bell or tambourine under the table without removing his shoe.
Gysel has a small headless nail driven into the inside inner edge of his heel. This is rather thin and painted black.
The bell used has a ring soldered to the top instead of a handle.
When bell is on the floor, he brings right foot over it, and getting nail through ring, picks bell off floor and rings it.
He then sets bell down on floor again and releases foot. A tambourine may be manipulated in the same way through the hole in the side. If tambourine does not have opening, several round holes can be made in the edge.
Figures 47 and 48.
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