This is based on TWO levitations invented by U.F. Grant circa
1965, but the old master wouldn't recognize either of them in my Vampire
In 1975 I built a self-levitation illusion based on ideas I
had combined from two U.F. Grant principles and came up with my Vampire
Levitation, designed for use in a 1975 theatrical production
of Bram Stokers Dracula, by Hamilton Deane to help
the actor playing the role of Dracula turn into a bat and fly
Some time later, I adapted the theatrical illusion to
performances for my Wizards Magic Show, combining the
Levitation with my Fabled Cloak of Invisibility as
described in The Wizards Journal #6 but eliminating turning
into a vampire bat as the ending. After all, I was a respectable
Wizard, not a creature of the night.
I discovered that I was able to perform the Levitation as a
separate effect in childrens shows, usually around
Halloween, but I also produced a non-spooky version for use by a
clown using a circus theme, so the effect has wide possibilities
for childrens entertainers as well as for stage
illusionists. The only requirement is that the childrens
entertainer must be comfortable working with a backdrop. Any
setting where a backdrop can be employed makes it possible to
include the Levitation. This might lead you to think that my
Levitation requires heavy machinery and tons of time to set up.
Au contraire, mon frère. The levitation is lightweight and sets
up in plain sight of the audience after you set up the backdrop.
They can see nothing. It's not a suspension, either. You lift up
off the ground and have the option of vanishing at the end,
reappearing from the wing to take your applause, or reappearing
in another illusion if you prefer (all options are discussed in
Of course, you may already have a backdrop that will work and
in that case, you don't need to buy or make a new one. A PVC pipe
backdrop, such as the ones found in Jim Gerrish's PVC Pipe
Illusions Book 1 will also work.
The performer is wearing a large brightly colored cape. At
some point, the performer brings the cape up over the bottom part
of his face, in typical Bela Lugosi fashion.
Then the performer begins to rise slowly into the air. His
feet are visible beneath the bottom of the cape, and they attain
a height of 15 inches or so above the floor. Then his feet
disappear beneath the cape and his head begins to change into the
head of a bat. There is a fluttering at the top of the cape, as
if wings are spreading out. Suddenly the cape falls to the floor
and a large bat flies out over the audience well, that is
if you are performing the original version as used in the Dracula
play. Assistants are needed for this version, while the alternate
versions described below can be performed solo.
Alternate Endings after Levitating:
The performer simply disappears and the cape falls in a lump
on the floor. Later, the performer reappears, or simply walks out
of the wings, bows to applause and retrieves his cape.
The performer turns into one or more doves, which fly off
when he vanishes.
The performer turns into some helium balloons which fly up to
The performer can also simply float back to earth without
disappearing, and continue his show as if nothing out of the
ordinary has happened.
All of these variations on the theme are discussed and
explained in the e-Book.
Buy all 11 articles of this issue (#17)
of the Wizards' Journal $50.00
That's less than $5.00 per
article if purchased together!