Secret And Patter To Prepare

(Note: Houdini apparently swallowed FIVE packages of needles, but to begin with, I shall teach you how to work with one package. As you become more proficient, you may add more needles to the trick. If you use more needles, remember to use longer thread.)

Take the two packages of needles. File the points down on all the needles except ONE. They must be blunt so that they will not prick your mouth. Some performers use them with the regular sharp points, but this requires expert handling and is not necessary.

Now in one package replace the needles as they were at the beginning, putting the one sharp-pointed needle on one side. This needle is the one you pass out for examination. Be sure needles look just as they did when you bought them. Close up the package, Figure 1.

The other package of needles is threaded on about 4 or 5 feet of thread in this way: Be very careful to follow directions here. About 6 inches from one end of thread, place a needle. Tie a knot on each side of the needle so that it will not slip out of place. Thread the rest of the needles at irregular intervals along the thread, knotting each into place. Leave at least six inches free on each end of thread. Figure 2.

Now bunch the needles together carefully. Put the heads together, then fold the thread back and forth in zigzag fashion so that it will not tangle. Figure 3. After the last needle is in place, wrap the remaining thread around the bundle and pull about an inch of the end through the middle of the needles. This will keep the thread in place and will furnish an end for you to grasp when the time comes, Figure 4.

When ready to perform, place the roll of threaded needles in your mouth between your cheek and the base of your gums on the left side of the lower jaw. Heads of needles should point to the front. Package should be well pressed down into jaw. If needles have been properly prepared, you should feel no discomfort from them.

You will also find it easy to talk. Some performers carry the needles so arranged in their mouths for many minutes, so that they do not arouse suspicion just before they perform, Figure 5.

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