EFFECT: The performer declares that through some unknown power he is able to read and visualize writings in the dark. Three unprepared and blank cards are shown and numbered 1, Z, and 3. They are handed to spectators who are asked to write some piece of personal data upon the blank side, such as a telephone number, address, name, licence number, etc. The cards are then laid down with the writing side down in a row upon a table or stand. Each party knows his or her card by the number. The lights are extinguished and immediately, without a moment's wait, and in total darkness, the performer slowly calls out the number or contents on a card. At once the lights are turned on, the writer acknowledges the correctness of the information and it is verified. Once more in total darkness the information on another card is slowly divulged as if through some psychic source. The effect is repeated with the last and everything may be examined and retained by the writers as there is nothing in the way of trickery to be found. The cards are totally unprepared and the writing is done with either pens or pencils of any kind. There is also no source of light in any way. The secret is subtle and most ingenious.
METHOD: The three blank cards are first shown and numbered by the performer. In his pocket and quickly accessible is a duplicate card which is numbered on both sides to resemble the writing on the others. On one side of this is a figure 2 and on the other side is a 3.
Card number 3 is handed out first and then number 2 card follows. With card number 1, the performer steps to another party and asks that they whisper a number of three figures into his ear. These are written down in front of the party. Another person also gives the performer three figures and these are written under the first three on his way to a third person. But, instead of writing the second row as given him, he actually writes figures that, when added to the one above, will total 9. The number that the third party gives is actually written down and this three figure number the performer remembers. The card is left with this party with the request to draw a line, add the'figures up and remember the total. Thus the performer will later know this total although the first and third rows were written exactly as given. Performer, remembering the three figures of last party merely subtracts one from the last figure and places it before the first, making a four figure total which is the correct answer.
The three cards are placed, writing sides down, on the table. They are arranged from 1 to 3 in a row and performer explains that in complete darkness he will exhibit a seemingly supernormal power.
The moment lights are out, performer starts slowly to get the various numbers in the addition total and arrange them in their proper order. As he is talking, this supplies ample time for the card in pocket to be brought out with the '2' side upward. The '2' card on the table is merely placed UNDER and squared up with the '1' card and the fake card with '2' side up is placed in its' stead. The number revealed, lights are on and the performer asks who wrote the information divulged. When they do so, performer lifts card '1' and verifies it aloud but REALLY READS TO HIMSELF WHAT IS ON CARD '2' AS BOTH ARE TOGETHER AS ONE CARD. It is returned to its place and the lights are cut again. This time during the slow revelation, the '2' card is removed from under the '1' card; the '3' card placed under and squared with the '2' card; and the fake card is merely turned over bringing the '3'side up and left in place. The lights are on and the '2' card apparently verified aloud but the writing on '3' remembered. Lastly, in the dark, the fake card is replaced in pocket and the '3' card returned to its place. When the lights come on', everything may be examined as there is nothing to find wrong.
Once tried, the actual handling of these cards is very simple. In drawing rooms, the cards may be placed on the floor in full view and this further prevents any possible mishap because of the cards being so far below the line of vision.
The performer introduces a calling card upon the surface of which are five pennies, face up. They are slid off onto the table. The performer announces he has written something on the other side of the card which he will not reveal until the conclusion of the experiment. He requests that the five pennies be examined and that it be ascertained that each bears a different date. Next, he requests that the pennies be turned face down, shuffled about and any one selected and pla&ed face down upon the card. Then, taking the penny in one hand, he proffers the card to a spectator and asks him to read what is written thereon. The spectator reads off a date. The date on the selected penny is found identical with that written on the card.
You will need five pennies and a shell which fits over any one of these five. The date on the shell is inscribed on the back of an ordinary calling or business card.
Lay the shell, date side down, open side up on the tips of the second and third fingers of the right hand. Now place the card, writing side down on the shell and grip same against the shell with the right thumb. The card thus conceals the shell. On the upper surface of the card lay the five pennies, date side up.
Slide the pennies on the table, retaining card and shell in right hand. The other side of the card is very deliberately held so that the audience may not see it, for says the performer, he has something written there which he must not reveal. In truth he has something else concealed there he must not reveal. Coins are turned over, mixed and one selected, but the chooser places the coin date side down on the card without looking at the date on same!
The left hand now grips the other end of the card. The right thumb presses down on the penny. The left hand draws away the card and the right hand draws away the penny, above and the shell below. When the edge of the card is reached the penny will naturally be pressed into the shell.
All that remains to be done is to show that the date on the card and the date on marked penny are identical.
NOTE: The best method of marking a coin is to place initials or marks on a half inch square of adhesive which is pressed on penny opposite date side. Even if adhesive should loosen it does not interfere. Mark the adhesive after it has been placed on penny.
NOTICE: I am familiar with every known method, Anna Eva Fay and others. All advertised that people may bring their own questions to the theatre that they have written at home but I have never yet seen anyone read these messages. They are always passed up, with my method, this really can be accomplished.
EFFECT: The billing reads that the people may write their questions at home and bring them to the theatre and that they may write on their own paper, sign their name and fold it up. Performer announces that if people have not written their questions at home, they may do so now on their own paper but for the sake of convenience of those who have no paper or pencils he will pass out amongst them and furnish same, which he does (not faked). He requests the people to write their full names and write questions that can be answered in a mixed audience and that all improper and objectionable questions be omitted entirely. He now gives a large decorated box for inspection. This is UNPREPARED. He next asks some prominent man to select a committee of four or more men to collect the messages in their own hats which they do. Once more the box is shown and the messages are placed in it by the committee. The performer takes the box on the stage and places it on an unprepared kitchen table. He now shows another box just like it, proves it empty and then proceeds to mix the messages by dumping them from one box to another, leaving them on the table in one of the boxes. He slides the other box off the stage out of the way. At the back of the stage he now erects in plain view of the audience a cloth cabinet, the front of which has a small circular transparent gauze opening. A small table with lighted candle or electric light ^.nd a chair are placed inside. The lady is now introduced (Galatea make-up, hair loose, made up for full effect). Music, "Ben Bolt. " She is constantly murmuring to herself (for effect).
She takes her seat in the cabinet, curtains are closed, spectators can see her inside by means of the light. A megaphone on a rack is now placed in front of mouthpiece leading inside cabinet. The professor now takes each message out of the box holds it high above his head and the lady in the cabinet calls out first the writer by his or her name, then reads the message and answers it correctly in a clear and distinct voice thru the megaphone. In this manner she takes up from 12 to 30 minutes. She also makes predictions on weather, crops, baseball, sporting events, describes some person who has died, names the relatives who are perhaps amongst the audience, etc.
A number of other effects may be worked up with ease, limited only by the knowledge and skill of the performers. This method is in a class by itself, and really does what others advertise but never put across.
EXPLANATION: The real secret is in the second box. The kitchen table has drapery around it and this box is concealed beneath. It is really not necessary, however to conceal it. Here is an illustration of the box.
A and B are two separate compartments. In A there are a bunch of duplicate folded messages, which the professor has placed there before hand. Compartment B is empty. C is a sliding lid that slides from A to B. After the performer comes' on the stage with the other box, (the one which has been examined) which has the real messages in it, he places it on the table and the trick box with the fake messages inside is brought into view from beneath the table.
He shows the inside (it is painted dead black inside) and then the outside which is decorated. BOTH BOXES LOOK ALIKE. He then announces that he will mix the messages to prove that he uses no confederates in the audience. The mixing should be done so that the trick box again comes below on the table at the third movement, with the real messages now in the trick box. These are all now crowded into the compartment B - the vacant part. The lid C is slid over them and this time the fake messages are dumped into the unprepared box. The movement is natural and the audience imagines that they are the same messages. The trick box with the real questions is now slid behind the scenes in a careless manner where the lady stands ready. She slides lid to the other side, takes the messages from this box and places them in a small sack. The bag has two compartments - inside top has seam through which a long cord runs (long enough to enable the lady to tie the bag around her leg). While she is doing this, the professor is setting up the cabinet in plain view of the audience. This cabinet has no panel work but is sewn all in one piece. It has a ring on each corner to which are snapped with snap hooks, four guy lines, leading from four parts of the stage through screw eyes. All he has to do is to snap on the four hooks so that the bottom part of cabinet touches floor. The table with lighted candle (or electric light) is now placed inside, also a chair. The lady is next introduced as already explained. Audience can see through the circular transparent gauze front, that is, they imagine they can see her, but they only see the upper part of her body. There is an extra opening in front of the curtain for mouthpiece of megaphone to go through and while the performer is arranging and explaining this, the lady reaches down and unties the bag from her leg and opens it, holding it in her lap. Professor now explains that he will take out each message separately -- still folded -- and hold it high above his head. (Sometimes I call a little girl up on the stage to take each message from the box and hand it to me. ) Lady now deliberately reads message by light inside cabinet. When I want her to know that I am holding the next one, I call "Next, " and in this manner she calls the writer by name, hesitates while the performer says to party addres sed,"Please hold up your hand (he knows that the party whose name is called really is there) and Medium proceeds to read the message and put a suitable answer to it - - all in a loud clear voice, thru the megaphone. As soon as the lady has finished with a message she places it in the second compartment and in this manner from 12 to 15 messages are read on small time. In opera houses, when you give an entire program, 20 to 25 messages, not counting the predictions or conclusions of the act, are read and answered.
If you wish to work a sensational effect with a booster among the audience (male or female) he (or she) remarks "Say, Professor, you forgot to answer my question. " The professor works it up by saying "That's not my fault, " but on second thought tells him to hold up his message tightly in his hand and now announces "Like wireless Marconi system,
Miss W----will read your innermost thoughts. " Of course, this is all pre-arranged. The lady has this stock message memorized. It should lead to the sensational.
This knocks the knowing ones completely off guard. The professor now announces that Miss W----will make predictions, describe some person who died recently, etc. The latter information can be had at the local cemetries from the tombstones, or from old daily papers, and by finding out at the post-office or in the City Directory the address of some of the relatives whom I mail complimentary tickets. The ticket taker then informs the lady from notes taken, of all those having complimentary tickets.
In the performance, she first calls the persons by name and then describes the relative that died, even naming the age and perhaps the cause of the death. She can also describe many other notable happenings of that particular town. Old papers will give all this information. My advance agent used to mail all this information to me before I played the town. The predictions are about the same. The daily papers generally tell how baseball teams are running and who is near the pennant, or who is near the championship in prize fights, races, elections, etc.
This, the lady makes a memorandum of and anything else of importance. This is done at the end of each performance. For the finish the curtains are opened, megaphone set aside (lady however has first retied bag to leg) and music plays "Ben Bolt. " She is waved off the stage by hypnotic passes by the performer. Curtain.
NOTES: Lady can take out the messages that she has read and places others from bag into a basket, and the ones that have been read on top. Curtain goes up again and the messages can be examined. This is not, however, really necessary. It will be seen that it is not necessary to read all of the messages, neither is it necessary to first introduce a Spirit Cabinet, a la Anna Eva Fay in order to get possession of the messages. Neither is it necessary as in the old method, to develop the messages after performer gets possession of them. Everything is always ready and can be worked at an instant's notice. It can also be worked with a wooden platform and cheese cloth covering effect (but then the messages would be concealed in the bosom part of the lady's dress.) It can also be worked with telephone system. Third party gets possession of trick box and takes it with him to his operating room. I have performed it in all three ways, but I prefer the cabinet and megaphone method effect because it is away from anything attempted. Of course in this method the lady should have suitable answers to questions memorized.
There are very few performers doing it this way. It can be framed with velvet front cabinet which makes a fine setting and latter can also be used in Spirit Cabinet work.
NOTE BY E. J. F. It is suggested that envelopes be passed out to those writing on their own paper so that all questions look alike for obvious reasons. The reason may be given to the audience as doing "away with any chance of confederacy by conspicuous messages which are recognized by the Medium. "
"A NEW SPIRIT MESSAGE EFFECT"
A large envelope is shown - it has the main portion of the front cut out, thus forming a 'window'. The envelope may be examined if desired. A piece of white paper is shown both sides and inserted into the envelope. Through the window, the spectators can see the paper slowly going down inside the envelope. The envelope is then sealed, and a spectator marks the white paper for identification. This is done through the window. On performer opening the envelope, the paper is withdrawn, and the spectators plainly see this being done through the window.
The envelope is obviously empty, and the paper is shown. On its reverse side is written a message from the spirits. The paper is then handed to the spectator as a souvenir.
The envelope is ordinary except for the piece cut out. The paper at the start is not quite so innocent. To prepare this, first take a second envelope and cut away the front. This leaves the back with the join showing all the way down. With paste stick a piece of white paper onto the back of this. The result is a piece of white paper on one side, whilst the other matches the inside back of the window envelope.
Another piece of similar white paper is now taken and a tiny quantity of paste or mucilage is carefully run along one end. This is stuck to the bottom of the other piece on the side that matches the envelope. It must only be stuck along the extreme bottom edge and the result is that this piece is neatly kept in position, and if held together at the top end, it may be handled quite freely. The whole can thus be shown back and front, and appears simply a sheet of white paper.
After manufacturing it, it will generally be found necessary to trim it up all the way around, so there are no tell-tale edges of paper showing. On the inside of the loose piece of paper the message, whatever is desired, is written.
When presenting, the envelope is first shown, and the fact that it is perfectly empty made obvious. The fake piece of paper is now shown with several ordinary sheets of similar paper under it. These pieces are fanned out, and a spectator is asked to select one. He does so, and the performer says he will use it, takes it and returns to his table. En route he top changes the selected piece for the chosen one. This movement is just as easy with sheets of paper as with cards.
The fake piece is held at the top or loose end, shown back and front and inserted into the window envelope. It is inserted with the loose or message piece in front, and the stuck end is inserted first, the fingers thus preventing the loose end from moving. As soon as it is in the envelope it is pushed well home -- the envelope is sealed, and in that state may be handed to the spectator to mark the piece of paper he chose (? ) through the window.
On receiving it back, the performer lodges it in some prominent place, with the window facing the audience. Incidentally, he picks it up again at the finish so that it is upside down, but as the flap is upstage, that is not visible to the audience.
If possible, it is as well to get the spectator to mark his paper sideways, and then even the mark will not give away the face that the envelope is turned. After due business, the envelope is cut open with shears. This cuts through the envelope and faked piece of paper as well, so that the narrow portion that is stuck is cut right off.
This comes inside the top or rather bottom of the envelope, and is thus safely hidden. It is now possible to remove the marked piece of paper with its message on the reverse side, and leave the remainder of the faked portion in the envelope. As the only visible portion of this exactly matches the real back of the envelope, to all intents and purposes the envelope is empty, and the spectacle of the marked paper being withdrawn, and revealing only the back of the envelope (?) is so convincing that no one ever dreams of wanting to see the envelope.
Perhaps a more simple way to prepare the fake. Instead of pasting one end of message sheet, this is simply a single sheet that is folded so as to cover both sides of the fake envelope back, but which is free to be removed when bottom end of envelope is cut away.
While the effect is practical for use in a small size, a better effect may be obtained by using a much larger envelope, say 6x8 inches or there-ab outs.
Merely a suggestion: Have a number of plain cards on which you have various questions such as: When will my wish come true? Whom will I marry? Will I get my old job back again? etc.
Force a card on a married gentleman with this question. "When will the next great war take place? " Have the message on the paper read: "Tonight, if you remain out as late as you did last night. "
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Since World War II, there has been a tremendous change in the makeup and direction of kid baseball, as it is called. Adults, showing an unprecedented interest in the activity, have initiated and developed programs in thousands of towns across the United States programs that providebr wholesome recreation for millions of youngsters and are often a source of pride and joy to the community in which they exist.