The Mystery Of The Three Ghosts

This is another effect based around CABINET A, as already described in the "Chinaman, the Ghost and the Cat." It is based on one of Servais LeRoy's pleasing illusions. In it you have a mystifying production and at the finish an excellent transformation.


Performer places on a mask over eyes and gets into a cloak with headpiece made up to represent Mephistopheles. He calls attention to a cabinet which is open in front. There is, however, a curtain which has been pulled open. The cabinet is revolved and placed in position again so audience can freely see inside that cabinet is empty. Performer steps into the cabinet and takes a white sheet that girl assistant hands him. He holds it up in front of him a moment when suddenly a figure forms under the sheet and moves away from cabinet covered with sheet over to left side. Another sheet is given performer, who holds it up while another figure appears and likewise covered goes to right side. Still another sheet is taken and held in front of performer when another figure appears which under sheet comes down in front of cabinet and midway between the other two covered figures. Performer in cabinet closes the curtain in front of him. Mysteriously the curtain opens, but performer lias vanished - the cabinet is empty. Finally figure under sheet at left rises up from crouched position, removes sheet and shows himself to be one of the assistants. The figure at right side rises up and shows herself to be one of the girl assistants. Then the center one rises up and removes the sheet. It is the PERFORMER HIMSELF. He removes the mask, cloak and head piece.


1 — The Protean Cabinet of LeRoy, already described.

2 — Three large sheets, big enough to cover a person when he crouches a bit without exposing the person beneath. They can be white or of varying colors, say pink, white and light blue or orange, respectively. It would add color.

3 — Two red cloaks with head piece attached to give a Mephistopheles atmosphere. Also two red masks. Fig. 35 shows the costume.


You will require two male assistants and two female ones to work this version. However, there is no reason why it cannot be varied by using all men assistants. One can be eliminated by having sheets handy on table and then picking them up yourself each time instead of having them handed to you. One of the assistants must be as near your size as possible, as he must double with you.

In setting the illusion the assistant doubling for you puts on the Mephistopheles cloak and headpiece and the mask. He steps into secret compartment of cabinet, together with man and girl assistant. Fig. 35A.

Performer has his cloak and mask handy. TO PERFORM:

Cabinet is in position with opening toward audience. The curtain is opened.

You enter and put on the Mephistopheles cloak, then mask, and adjust the headpiece over your head.

You revolve the cabinet around to show that nothing is concealed on the back, and bring cabinet to original position with opening toward audience.

You step into cabinet and girl assistant hands you a sheet. Fig. 36.

You show it freely, then open it up and hold it in front of you, at same time covering opening of cabinet, Fig. 37.

You give signal to male assistant to come out of rear compartment. He comes out and steps in front of you in crouched position. Then you let down sheet on him. Fig. 38. Let bottom of sheet dome down on the floor. Assistant steps down on floor behind sheet and crouches down. Sheet is dropped over him completely hiding him. The audience is to be mystified as to just what is under the sheet- Assistant moves to right side of cabinet and somewhat in front. Fig. 39.

You take another sheet and open it up in similar fashion to cover opening of cabinet. You signal the girl assistant in rear compartment, who comes forward and is placed under sheet. Be sure bottom of sheet comes down to floor- She crouches down and is covered by the sheet. She moves to the left and front of cabinet, see Figure 40, next page.

You hold up another sheet over opening of cabinet and signal your double to come forward. He takes hold of the sheet. You release your hold. The sheet is lowered with bottom on floor. You step down onto floor, crouch down and your double covers you over. You come forward in crouched position to center. Fig. 41, next page.

Your double in cabinet pulls curtain in front of him. Then he exits into rear compartment and pulls the cords which open the curtain. Or curtain can be opened by girl assistant.

The assistant at right side raises up and removes the sheet covering him. The assistant at left side raises up and removes the sheet covering her.

Then, with all eyes of audience on the central figure, you raise up and remove sheet showing the figure to be you, who just a moment ago apparently vanished in the cabinet. You quickly remove mask, headpiece and cloak, Fig. 42.

The transformation and appearance of performer at the finish is quite unexpected and startling.

Tarbell Systems Inc., Chicago

Tarbell Systems Inc., Chicago

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