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Date: 11/29/2015

Anverdi-type Haunted Card Box

In the mid 90s I played around with incorporating electronics into magic. Anverdi had a great idea where a box would close just before a spectator selected card could be placed inside it. I didn't like the mechanics of his box, which was a box for two decks where one half was used for the electronics and the other half for the actual action. The sliding lid of the box would slowly close. Here is a video for the original Anverdi box:

After I read Anverdi's book I could build the variation I had in mind. The effect is identical. A deck of cards is introduced. All cards are different and there is a genuine free choice for the spectator (no force). The spectator himself could drop the cards into the box. The box I built does not have a sliding lid but a regular flapping lid. It closes just before the spectator card can be dropped into the box:

I think that my version looks a bit more magical. My goal was to build a box where it is not immediately clear what closes the box. The electronics are hidden in the boards of the box. What I built is only a prototype some 20 years ago, so the walls of the box are way thicker than they have to be. There is no reason why this could not be made to fit into a 1/4" thick board today. I am not using a motor as the actuator for the box as Anverdi used for his box. The electronics is all pre-microcontroller age.

Oh my was it fun to build electronics. The smell and smoke of solder and burned flux still lingers in my nose. Below a photo of the inside of the box.

Inside the Haunted Box

And here I show the guts of the electronics clearly visible. Everything neatly built on a little prototyping board.

Inside the Haunted Box


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