Black Flash Illusion
by Jim Gerrish
Based on a long forgotten and unused principle
from Paul Anton, first published in 1948, this modern illusion is
easy to build, easy to operate and astounding to behold. No Black
Art is used, despite the name.
An extremely thin table (notice I didnt
say deceptively thin
it actually is extremely
thin, based only on the weight it has to carry) is rolled onto
the stage. In the center of the table is a box-like tube, open at
each end. At each end is also mounted a large electric light
The stage lights are dimmed and the electric
lights on the table are turned on. The table is rotated so that
one end faces the audience and it is swung around to show
everyone that the box is actually a hollow empty tube made of 1/8
inch thick hardboard or plywood. The brightness of the light
bulbs lightens up the interior so that not even a moth could be
concealed inside without being noticed. To prove it, the
performer releases a live moth inside the brightly lit box-tube.
Suddenly the lights go off and the stage lights
come up full. At the same time as this instantaneous Black
out, the top and sides of the box-tube open up and fall
away and it seems the moth has instantaneously and visibly
transformed into your assistant who is wearing a butterfly
costume. Naturally, the moth and butterfly costume are optional,
depending on your tastes and theme. My intention is to later
follow up by vanishing the butterfly in my new version of David
Devants Mascot Moth Illusion, but that is for another
e-Book. In the meantime, this illusion is ready for
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