Houdini Sťance Trunk

by Professor Spellbinder, Jim Gerrish, Frederick Goode, and Eleazar Goodenough

The entire Magic Nook crew is taking the blame (or credit) on this one. It started because Phineas didn’t want to write the planned article on Magic Wands for First Years for the “Halloween” issue of The Wizards’ Journal. He kept putting it off and putting it off. “It’s too boring,” he insisted.

Finally, Jim Gerrish said, “Why don’t we forget the wands for now and invent something brand new?”

That was all the excuse Spellbinder needed. He suggested a Houdini Sťance effect.

Jim Gerrish said, “How about a Metamorphosis in miniature?”

Fred Goode said, “Yeah, and here’s how it might work.”

Eleazar piped up with, “I saw just the stuff you guys need at the craft store.”

And so it became a group project. Spellbinder did the design work and started writing notes for this article, Eleazar went shopping at the craft store, Jim Gerrish set up his outdoor workshop for sawing and drilling, and Fred Goode took the photos and we all kept tearing the unworkable ideas apart to get them to work.


A small wooden trunk is shown empty- the lid is opened and the front hinges down. From the trunk, the magician removes a Houdini Action Figure (doll), a pair of handcuffs, a lock, and a length of rope (and anything else you want to add!). A spectator ties the rope into knots and puts it into the trunk. Another locks the handcuffs and the padlock together and puts them into the trunk. The Houdini Doll is shackled and put into a cloth bag. The trunk is now closed and locked and chained and tightly held and guarded by a spectator.

Houdini's beautiful assistant, looking suspiciously like "Barbie" now comes out along with a miniature hoop and curtain that just covers her. Suddenly the hoop curtain falls down and Houdini is revealed. The spectator, who has been holding the trunk all this time, unlocks the trunk, removes the chains, and opens the trunk to find the rope unknotted, the handcuffs and lock opened, and inside the bag is the “Barbie Look-Alike” Doll wearing the Houdini shackles.

Make it yourself from our plans and photos, a pre-made craft shop trunk and dollar store stuff. Houdini action figure optional and sold separately.

Houdini Sťance Trunk $5.00

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