Devil Device

Hell Really Exists

Hell Really Exists

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MAGNUSON

Effect: The sitter is ushered into the "reading" room of the medium. He is seated behind a flat top desk or table. The seeker of enlightenment is seated opposite and invited to write his or her most important queries, not upon a pad or fileboard, but upon a plain blank business card.

From a small box the seer takes a crystal ball. He gazes into the sphere of so many hidden mysteries, shakes his head, and then advises the sitter to drop his card into the now empty box, writing side down. The box is closed and remains in full view before the subject.

Now, and without opening a desk drawer to get at the spirits, and without doing anything that might seem out of the way or uncalled for, the medium proceeds to answer question after question. As the last one is answered the seer opens the box, reaches in and hands the dumbfounded (?) onlooker his question card. Thereupon the believer leaves, thoroughly (we hope) satisfied that here, at last, is a strange man with a strange power—and for weeks to come he shows the card to skeptics, his story growing with each telling—which same happens to the mental marvel's reputation to his benefit, if not to that of his subsequent and eager patrons.

Preparation: This effect is thoroughly practical and it can be duplicated by anyone with no practice or study. The secret, of course, lies in the box. At any 5 and 10 cent store or stationers you can buy what is known as a file cabinet. It is a little hardwood box used for filing cards, recipes, etc.

Fake the box with a fine hacksaw and you have the "slickest" piece of mental apparatus today. Remove the lid from the box by taking out the small nails or screws that hold the hinge on to the box proper. This is not a hinge in the regular sense of the word, but two pieces of metal at each side of the cover. Now, with the fine saw, cut down the back of the box following the side of the box as closely as possible. When you come to the bottom lay the box on its face and continue cutting right through the bottom of the box, too.

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Stop when the saw blade touches the front of the box. Then duplicate this cut on the other side of the box.

Next, with a razor blade, or sharp knife, follow the inside of the front of the box, cutting from one cut side until you hit the other cut side. Soon you will have two separate parts to the box. Paint the insides of the entire box with a dead black paint. Do this also with the cover. When dry, you are ready to complete your "crystal box."

Place the two parts of the box together as they were before you cut them apart. Then, using two pins or fine nails, fix the box so the bottom and the back side will pivot. It works just like the old Turnover Production Box, so well known to magicians. First drive one nail into the lowermost back corner of the side of the box, and holding the cut out back portion of the box in place, drive the nail straight through the side into the edge of the cut-out bottom and back portion of the box. Turn the box over and repeat this on the other side.

Now replace the lid onto the box proper. Use the same small nails that were in the hinges originally. One last operation and the box is ready. In the back of the box near the top, but not in the lid, drive a cut off pin. Let it project just a sixteenth of an inch—just enough so you can catch it with your finger-nail.

Routine: A two and a half inch crystal just neatly fits into the box. Having it there is an excuse for the box on the desk. Having the sitter put his card into the box strikes him as being an afterthought—as it's supposed to. The minute the sitter is through writing ask him to turn it writing side down. Take the crystal from the box and gaze into it for a moment. Shake your head and push the box over to his side of the desk, the back of the box toward you. Have him drop his card inside, writing side down. As he docs this, drop lid into place and pull box over to the center of the desk—at the same time catching the pin with your finger-nail. With a little flip towards you the back and bottom of the box do a turn-over. The part that was the bottom is now the back, and the original back lies on the desk in back of the box which hides it from the sitter. On this "shelf" is the sitter's card, but the writing is now face up so as to be read easily when the crystal is held close to the box and "gazed into."

The angles are against the sitter so he sees only the front of the box. If the writing happens to be upside down it is overcome by having the sitter hold out his hand. Walk over to his side of the desk, and because you are standing you can look over the box at the questions in the act of "reading his palm."

With all the information gained the box is slid towards the sitter and the back flipped up into place. Everything is now as it was at the start, and the card is in the box face down. If one's movements are natural and he takes his time for acting the part he is playing, no other piece of apparatus will duplicate the effect as neatly as this device.

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