Dracula's Coffin
by Chris Dunn

Chris Dunn is an old friend of 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 Basswood.

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 reflection and 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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