As a fan of the Harry Potter novels, I wanted to include
mention of one of my favorite characters in the stories... Nearly
Headless Nick, who prefers to be called "Sir Nicholas."
This demonstration will help demonstrate the "reality"
of the spirit world by calling up his "ghost."
While relating the tale of Nearly Headless Nick to those of
your audience who may not be familiar with him (probably all the
adults), you pick up a rope which has been knotted into a
hangman's noose and hold it loosely in your hands. You tell the
story of how Sir Nicholas came to the aid of one of his relatives
who was being hanged for some petty offense against the King, by
cutting the noose at the moment of his hanging, thus allowing his
lucky relative to fall to the ground and escape unharmed. As you
speak, you show that the end of the noose has indeed a severed
"Now I know that some of you don't believe in ghosts,
you continue, but that is all right. Sir Nicholas has confided
that he doesn't always believe in you, either, so you are even.
However, he has offered to show us how he saved his hapless
relative from hanging. Are you ready, Sir Nicholas? Try not to
cut my fingers off, please! " As you say this, you hold up
the rope and it is suddenly severed in two by some invisible
At this point, you can separate the pieces of rope, showing
that it has actually been cut into two separate pieces, just for
the doubters among your company. Thank Sir Nicholas for his
demonstration and tell the group that you will have to restore
this priceless relic before the Keeper of Antiquities discovers
what you have been doing with it. You hold both pieces of rope in
your fist and tap the ends with your wand. There is a flash of
fire and the rope drops free, fully restored to its former
condition... that is, all in one piece again. You carefully wrap
it up and put it away for return to the museum later.