February

Requirements for this impromptu mystery are very simple and ordinary. A pencil, a slip of paper, and a single die complete the list of necessary apparatus.

The basic principle is a mathematical oddity which seems to be little known, and, in this particular instance, quite easily overlooked by the very few who might have heard of the idea. It is excusable on their part for misdirection at, the beginning makes the feat appear far from being mechanical.

The performer has members of his audience give him "any single number" until six are named. Should one of these be repeated another is requested. They are marked down upon the paper slip as given and the paper handed another member of the audience. This person is also given a single die which he rolls several times to prove fair. Then he rolls it once more and multiplies the row of figures on the paper by the topmost number on the die just thrown.

The performer explains the impossible nature of the test. It is one of genuine telepathy wherein he is enabled to "read" a group of figures multiplied by a number arrived at by chance, and positively unknown to him, etc. And without further ado the performer apparently fulfills his claims to greatness.

A subterfuge enters into the effect at the very start when the performer secretly writes down his own row of six figures instead of the ones given. The mystic figures are 1-4-2-8-5-7. Asking a person to give another figure, "for that has been named" is a cute bit of "throwing off" for no one of the six people knows what the other gives.

The paper and die are given someone else find

the multiplying done. This selection of a figure with which to multiply is so obviously fair that no one will think it possible for the performer to have any idea of the total reached.

However, the oddity of the six figure number used, and as written by the performer, is that it may be multiplied by 1,2,3,4,5 or 6, and the result will consist of the same six figures in different orders. And further, the six totals possible of being reached, will rotate from left to right in the same relative positions to one another as in the original number multiplied, although each total starts with a different one of the six figures.

The fact that the resultant number is divisible by 9 allows of an additional effect. Once the total has been computed the performer explains the impossibility of his knowing anything about it. The spectator is asked to concentrate upon one of the six figures and draw a circle about it. Then he is to add together the remaining five figures and name the total thus reached. The performer reveals the circled figure "merely by remembering that the six figures total 27 and the circled figure will be the difference between that number and the total called out, i.e., the total of the remaining five.

This over, the performer, knowing the other five component figures, is able to reveal each of them, one by one, in any order that he may choose. Or, he may ask the spectator the position of the first named figure, adding, "And now, which other figure do you just want to concentrate upon, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc., leaving out the one revealed. Knowing its position gives the performer the exact line up of the fiveS

other

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up of the fiveS

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Prediction while being chased: If that V.'in-

ston Freer levitation is practical for anyone but himself it will be the "headless woman" mystery trick of 1940, to be seen on every sideshow platform, to be copied right and left by pirate builders, and about the middle of the season to be exposed in several of the mechanic magazines if not the Sunday supplements.

The Playbill, N.Y.C. theatre program weekly, has been carrying a full page Nash automobile ad with a large leader - "You'll Feel like Houdini when you do it!" The intimation is that v/hen you're in a Nash there are so many wonders about*the new model it is like a magician's top hat. Flick the gears, and pouf - you vanish. The wonder part to we boys is that the Houdini name lives as strong if not stronger than v/hen he was alive. For an ad to carry such a lead line it presumes that everybody who reads knows who Houdini was ana what he stood for. --- The Borden company has a large blurb on their present milk bills (Since when have you been drinking milk? Ed) which uses the old vaudeville gag of a cow not being a "dumb" animal because "a brown cow can eat green grass and give white milk that makes yellow butter." The new part is a sketch of a cow pulling a rabbit from a hat and a lead line — hang on your seat, please —

"THE HOOF IS QUICKER THAN THE EYE." --- All of which reminds us of a not so nice but rather funny crack by a magician who had just watched ex-magus Fred Keating emote in a not-so-ouickie movie. "Is the ham quicker than the eye?"

A metropolis "wise-guy" actually won a local football score contest three weeks in a row by coming through with perfect predictions. The newspaper noses smelled a rodent, checked up and around, to discover that the fellow had stolen a P.O. cancel stamper and was predating his predictions after the last game result was in. A long time ago we figured a publicity prediction stunt by maneuvreing in this manner; Put some blank paper in an envelope and stamp it with first class postage. Seal the flap by the merest touches in two or three places. How write your awn name and address on the face rather lightly in pencil. Hail it and sit tight. As soon as it gets back to you, erase the address and type on the address of where it is to go. Open the envelope and remove the blank paper. Dig some disaster or big news story from a paper printed since the envelope was postmarked. Type a prophecy of this occurence on the paper and seal it securely in the envelope. How get it back into the mails as a wrong delivery or, if possible, deliver it yourself, or, if you must be subtle, just drop it near the office door of the place and trust that someone will pick it up and hand it in. (There was a detective story alibi written on this theory once - people will always mail a letter they find lost). Dai Vernon later told me that almost the same procedure was used once in a confidence game but I didn't get further details. I had never thought of the legal side of doing the stunt, considering it purely as an idea for pronosticating an event for publicity purposes, rev/ that I've read about the cancellation stamp business I see that the fellow went to unnecessary lengths. So if you want to try the thing out please write and let me know what days you can have visitors.

Bill Neff has passed on an awfully good piece of advice that had not occured to us, and we doubt if to many others. His accompanying account sheet showed $465 grossed in 4 days from playing school shows so the advice should have some weight. We quote, in part, "Just remember the good solid effects in magic and don't pass them up in favor of fly-by-night magic of to-day. After 30 years some of Thurston's stuff was bordering' on the "old" but he was still working. T merelv ask scoffers to STOP AND TRY TO ESTIMATE THE THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS OF SCHOOL

STUDENTS WHO HAVE NEVER SEEN-----, and-----, and -----. (Deleted by request)" So think it over. The school circuit can stand most of the tricks we call "junky" end "old stuff" for the reason that a new generation, or new audience, conies along every four years. And that's why a lot of fellows ere working steadily with material the others (who aren't working) would turn up their noses at.

Die you buy a copy of The Ghost when we told you about it? The second copy of this 10?! pulp magician-detective thriller is on the newsstands now. The writer continues to go overboard and describe tricks throughout while enhancing his own prowess. Efforts are being made to tone his writing down a bit on the expose side without detracting from the story, either in speed or substance. Clayton Rawson, who plays fair with magicians in his books while giving magic every possible buildup as a mysterious art, is ringleading the pack in pursuit of Fleming Roberts, the real name of the author of The Ghost. Vie append several of the "letters to the editor" from the latest issue — together v/ith editorial answers. Note the notice of a new department to come. The publishers are Better Publications, 22 West 48th St., New York City.

ested in mafic. Why not orffuTse a club? Hundreds of kids will join up not only to be amateur magicians but for the thrill of being: in the ranks of the "Ghost."

Arthur C. Liberty. 175 So. Main St.. Concord, N. H.

Thanks for yonr suggestions, Arthur—and —wait and see.

A Special Department

THE GHOST will shortly begin to feature regularly a special department devoted to magical tricks and stunts, simple but interesting and exciting. Watch for it. It will explain the performance of magical feats so clearly and concisely that regular readers will have little difficulty in attaining sufficient mastery to perform tricks in person, at home for the delectation of family or at parties for the entertainment of friends.

And here's an interesting letter from one of our many feminine readers:

An Interesting Question

J. B. Harper—is his first name Joe?— raises an interesting question in his letter:

Dear Sir:

Upon reading the Initial Issue of your Ghost Magazine. I was very much Interested in the story but somewhat startled about the Ghost's revelations. By this I mean the revealing of tricks and gimmicks used by him.

I am an amateur magician and know that no professional one who depends on hia Art for nts "bread and butter" would publicly reveal "how it's done." Also, one buys a mystery magazine to be mystified, so I merely voice the knowledge and experience of magicians all over the world when I say-—"for our sake please stop revealing 'how it's done'."

8incerely yours,

There is a saying that "it's fun to be fooled but it's more fun to know." It is on that basis that magicians — not George Chance alone but others as well—have now and again revealed to the world a small part of the secrets of their magical art. No violation of professional ethics is involved in doing this. The books on the subject of Magic obtainable in your libraries are compilations of material freely given to the world by magicians.

Of course, there are some secrets that magicians would not and do not reveal. George Chance has several such. As to exactly what THEY are, youll never know—and neither will we.

One of the funnier stories is told by Dr. Jacob Daley. Standing around with a group of eminent card workers he thought of a trick and asked for the loan of a deck. It was forthcoming from somewhere and the effect was accomplished. During it however, a few resounding "clicks" proclaimed the presence of a short card, and he made some little comment on it. At the finish he asked, "Whose deck," and looked around to return it. EVERY ONE OF THOSE PRESENT DISCLAIMED OWNERSHIP AMD LEFT THE DOCTOR V/ITH A SHORT CARD DECK!

The M.Y. Mirror recently carried an article regarding a Zorita Lambert who is the "headless woman" at Ripley1s Odditorium as presented by Carl Kosini. Cute line is, "But her main set is eating electric light bulbs and razor blades. THAT is HOT a fake." This is about the last chance to pick up your tickets for the S.A.I.'. Heckscher show on February 24th. Ho better cause (it's for the Ernst Relief Fund) in magic can be helped than this one. Tickets at I»!ax Holden's. —- And did you hear about the spiritualist medium who challenged spook buster Dun-ninger? He took her for a slate rids!

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iO&C£D PQ06N09TIC0 SELLERS-EVANS

typical Tom Seller' always viorking.

The following effect consists of two distinct parts, each of the two being practical for use in conjunction with some different trick. The "force" of a playing card is a s idea and quite certain of

The handling of blank cards for an appearing message or name is a Val Evans idea adapted from an ancient card maneuvre, and, strange as it may seem, is more effective with cards blank on both sides than with blank playing cards. For some reason the watchers are convinced that all surfaces are shown blank, while with playing cards they immediately suspect trickery. In general effect this part is the same as the trick by Dr. Jacob Daley back on page 88 of The Jinx, using slate flaps of a larger size, but the method is completely different.

For the "force", take an ordinary card as in Fig. 1, and cut a half card as in Fig.2. This is more than a half card as its length is as wide as the whole card. The half card is fixed to one end of the face of the whole card as shown in Fig,3, and glued along its bottom edge to the side of the whole card as per the shaded section in Fig.3.

This card may be on top of the deck, or added after someone has shuffled. A spectator puts his finger into the end of the pack when you riffle it through. '.Then this is done you take the top card and insert it into the break, as shown in Fig. 4. Now the card below the crosswise card is noted and the card looked at will necessarily be the half card - the card you want to force.

Before this apparently free selection the performer has shown four blank cards. These are about the size of playing cards, but may be larger or smaller as is convenient for the performer. On the underside of the second card from the top is the necessary writing, in this case the name or sketched picture of the card to be forced.

These four cards are fanned, writing side down, and then clased and held in the left hand from above with fingers on one long side and thumb on the other. The fingers curl underneath the packet and thus the little finger is in a position for the simple sleight.

The packet is shown at the bottom by the turning of the left hand and then turned back. The bottom card is taken with the right hand and dealt upon the table, thus shov/ing both sides. The left hand again turns showing the new bottom card blank find then resumes its original position. This time the left little finger, aided as much as is necessary by the other fingers, pulls back the bottom card about an inch and the right hand takes the next card and deals it beside the first. Thus the prediction card has been apparently shown on both sides. The remaining two cards left in the hand are shown and dealt in exactly the same manner onto the table beside the others.

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"Point to two cards,"says the performer. If the prediction card is one of them he tosses the others aside. If not among them he tells the spectator to throw aside the ones he has indicated. In either case two cards are left and the prediction is one of them. "Give me one card," next says the performer. If he is handed the prediction he continues without pause, "and into which of your pockets do you want to keep it for the time being?" And upon being told, it is put there. If the performer is given the blank card of the two he tosses it aside and tells the spectator to put the card into one of his pockets.

Then follows the noting of a card. The spectator is asked to state whether or not he thinks the performer could have known what he was going to pick. He'll say "no." "In that case," replies the magician, "do you think that there might be a possibility of an unknown and invisible spirit knowing what you would look at?" Such a question can leave but a "don't know" answer, and it is then that the "spirit" does "prove" his presence and power by writing or drawing upon the "blank" card in the spectator's pocket.

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