Black Flash Illusion
by Jim Gerrish

Based on a long forgotten and unused principle from Paul Anton, first published in 1948, this modern illusion is easy to build, easy to operate and astounding to behold. No Black Art is used, despite the name.

An extremely thin table (notice I didn’t say deceptively thin… it actually is extremely thin, based only on the weight it has to carry) is rolled onto the stage. In the center of the table is a box-like tube, open at each end. At each end is also mounted a large electric light bulb.

The stage lights are dimmed and the electric lights on the table are turned on. The table is rotated so that one end faces the audience and it is swung around to show everyone that the box is actually a hollow empty tube made of 1/8 inch thick hardboard or plywood. The brightness of the light bulbs lightens up the interior so that not even a moth could be concealed inside without being noticed. To prove it, the performer releases a live moth inside the brightly lit box-tube.

Suddenly the lights go off and the stage lights come up full. At the same time as this instantaneous “Black out,” the top and sides of the box-tube open up and fall away and it seems the moth has instantaneously and visibly transformed into your assistant who is wearing a butterfly costume. Naturally, the moth and butterfly costume are optional, depending on your tastes and theme. My intention is to later follow up by vanishing the butterfly in my new version of David Devant’s “Mascot Moth Illusion,” but that is for another e-Book. In the meantime, this illusion is ready for Prime Time.



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