Ghost Writing

EFFECT: The magician shows a few blank pieces of card and removing one, he shows it to be completely blank back and front. He then draws a circle on one side.

An envelope is shown to be empty and the card with the circle on is slipped inside. A small piece of pencil lead is also dropped into the envelope which is placed in view on the table.

The performer talks about the spirit world and how it is possible sometimes to get the spirits to show their presence(?). He offers a demonstration.

A playing card is chosen and placed sight unseen on the table. The magician attempts to evoke the spirits and asks them to look at the card and write its name in the circle on the card in the envelope.

After a few moments, the performer maintains that it is done. The envelope is opened, the lead tipped out, shortly followed by the card. A card name is now seen to be faintly written in one of the circles in a shaky, ghostly hand! And when the selected card is turned over, it is seen to be the very same card!

REQUIREMENTS: 1. A Double Flap Straight Through Envelope. 2. A few opaque pieces of blank card. 3. A pen. 4. A piece of pencil lead in an envelope. 5. A pack of cards.

PREPARATION: On one of the blank cards draw a circle in pen and write in pencil within the circle, in a faint, shaky script, the name of a playing card, e.g. 2H. Place this card writing side up under the top card of the pile of blank cards. Have the 2H on top of the pack.

PRESENTATION: Pick up the pile of blank cards and double lift the top two, showing both sides to be blank, and replace them on top of the pile so that the card with the writing already on it is the face down top card. With the pen, draw a circle on it and then place the pile down.

Open the Double Flap Straight Through Envelope and let a spectator look inside to confirm that it is empty. The left fingers are, of course, holding the other flap closed underneath, so the envelope looks normal.

With the envelope still held open, use the right hand to pick the top card off the pile of blank pieces and openly slip it into the envelope. Herein lies the strength of using this envelope. The spectators have seen you draw a circle on one side of an apparently blank card. They then actually see the empty circle go face up into the envelope, so when it reappears face up at the end with ghostly writing inside the circle, the magic is, in my opinion, extremely effective. Certainly, I would suggest the effect is stronger than that achieved by simply switching a card and putting it face down and unseen into an envelope.

So, the card has just gone into the envelope and you now close the flap, but retain the envelope in the left hand. Ask a spectator to tip out the contents of the other envelope on the table. He does so and the piece of lead appears. Under cover of this misdirection, quietly turn the fake envelope over end for end. It will look the same so nothing will appear to have happened when attention returns to it.

With the right hand, open the fake envelope flap, and throw the lead inside with the card. Close the flap and place the envelope onto the table.

You can now do your 'spiritual' patter and depending on the way you wish to present this effect, this will either be serious or lighthearted. Personally, I prefer the latter.

Use the deck to force the top card, the 2H, but do not show its face at this stage, simply place it face down next to the envelope.

The spirits now apparently go to work! Once their task is done, pick up the envelope, open the flap, and holding it as usual by the long sides, arch it open, allow the lead to fall out, and then shake the card out. The ghostly writing will now be immediately apparent. And when the selected card is turned over, the spirits are seen to be correct!

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