by Chris Dunn
Chris Dunn is an old
friend but a new contributor to The Magic Nook. We welcome
his first effect to The Wizards' Journals and hope he will send
us many more of his clever "do-it-yourself magic"
ideas. Dracula's Coffin is a close-up or table-hopper's
"mini-illusion," and can be built from ready-made parts
found in craft stores, or it is easily made from Balsa or
The craft store coffin contains an image of
Dracula drawn on a wooden paddle. You show Dracula on both sides
of the paddle. In the lid of the coffin is a mirror. When you
hold the paddle up to the mirror, the spectator can still see
Dracula on the side of the paddle towards him, but on the
reflected side, Dracula casts no reflectionand is invisible. A
toothpick "stake" is driven through Dracula's heart and
although the spectator can see it sticking out on both sides of
Dracula when it is displayed properly, when it is held up to the
mirror, the spectator sees only a blank paddle with the stake
sticking through it!
Now you will want to put Dracula in his coffin,
but to put the paddle back into the coffin you must first remove
the stake. You place the paddle and the stake back into the
coffin and close the coffin quickly, putting a small cross on top
to make sure that Dracula cannot escape. You can than open the
coffin to show in spite of your best efforts to trap him, Dracula
has vanished. His image is not on either side of the paddle. Now
that Dracula is gone, the blank paddle can be handed out if you
want. An alternate ending is given where a Vampire Bat appears on
the blank paddle briefly even after being examined by the
spectator, but that must have been a mirage because when he
examines the paddle again, no bat is found.
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