The Great Pumpkin Mystery

by Jim Gerrish and the Wiz Kids

A child from the audience is asked to hold a large card, which shows a picture of the "most sincere pumpkin patch in the world... I hope!" The child shows the card on both sides (it has a card-like back decoration), then the magician covers it with a midnight cloth, hoping that the Great Pumpkin will appear. Several times, nothing happens, but when the child turns the card around beneath the cloth following the magician's directions, the Great Pumpkin is seen floating above the pumpkin patch.

The kids in the audience want to see the other side of the card, but when the child shows them, it contains all the familiar Peanuts kids dancing in the pumpkin patch with the Great Pumpkin smiling down on them.

If you want to add even more excitement and fun to the above routine, try making the version where the Great Pumpkin keeps popping up from surprising locations. First, The Great Pumpkin might peek out of your jacket breast pocket. As the kids scream to tell you about his appearance, he hides again and this time peeks out of your side pocket while you are looking in your breast pocket. He can appear from behind your necktie, push up the top of your hat, peek out from behind you, and so on.

The child helping you is just as puzzled as the audience, even though it happened while he was holding the card. An easy Make-It-Yourself prop that works on a principle different from anything else you may be currently using. The principle is adaptable to a variety of other plots and seasons, so even though this is named The Great Pumpkin Mystery, it can also be used to make Santa Appear, and then have him surropunded by all his reindeer, or any other plot you can imagine and find drawings or photographs for.

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