Warning! Do NOT attempt to do this
effect without first reading The Monkey's Paw by W.W.
Jacobs, on a dark night when you're all alone! You can
read the story here, http://gaslight.mtroyal.ca/mnkyspaw.htm
,but reading it on a computer is not the same.
So now that you know where we're coming from, let's have a
look at The Monkey's Paw by me, Phineas Spellbinder. My
story is the same, but without the three wishes, which can only
cause misery and despair.
I tell a brief history of The Monkey's Paw, but
without spoiling the story for those who have never read it and
who might be inspired to do so after seeing "the real
thing" in action. Because I do a lot of performances in
libraries (when the story lady is out sick) I always make sure
they set up a display of magic instruction books, Lord of the
Rings, The Wizard of Oz, Harry Potter
books, and The Monkey's Paw for young readers.
Then I bring out the paw. It is kept in a polished wooden
box, and wrapped with bandage material so it looks like I am
unwrapping a mummy.
"Who would like to hold it?" I ask. I choose
someone who has been heckling me if possible. I drop it in his
outstretched hand, but retain hold of the tips of his fingers to
keep his hand open (and to make sure he can't mess up my act!).
"As you can see, the paw has been mummified... it is
hundreds of years old... maybe thousands."
The paw suddenly begins to wiggle around in the
victim's" hand. "Be still!" I say and it stops
"Because it is so dangerous to make a wish using the
Monkey's Paw," I continue, "I have not made even one
wish with it, so far. But its power can still be tested. The
Monkey's Paw knows who its current owner is. Anything that
happens to the paw, happens to me and anything that happens to
me, happens to the paw. I will show you."
The article then describes several tests you put forward to
show that whatever happens to the Monkey's Paw happens to you.
At the end of this demonstration, you hold out your hand over
the paw and it leaps into your hand. You place the paw in your
other hand and throw it at the box on your table. The lid on the
box slams shut.
"Open the box!" you command the victim. "Is
the Monkey's Paw resting comfortably back in its box?" He
reports that it is.
"Close the lid then and let's leave it alone." You
then continue on with your other magical or bizarre