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Illusions, Escape & Stage

The best illusionists of today, Lance Burton, David Copperfield, Penn & Teller, Siegfried & Roy and Criss Angel all use the same principles of deception you can learn here in these ebooks. They might have more stage hands and bigger stages, but the principles and methods are well known and you can learn about them. And concerning escapes, nobody has reached more popularity than Harry Houdini. Even decades after his death his name still is familiar and people know who he is. His magic was lousy his escape work and public relations acumen are unmatched. David Blaine tries to take Houdini's place, but boy does he have a long way to go to reach the master.

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Percy Abbott
Sensational Spirit Cabinet Act by Percy Abbott

A modern seance, with a tie that is like lightning for speed, and yet is the most convincing of all ties. Each wrist is securely tied with a length of rope. Any number of knots may be used and knots can be sealed. The ends of the rope are made secure to the back of the chair. Feet are also tied to chair legs. All ties are thoroughly inspected and the committee is convinced that there is no slack in the ropes and that magician is really secure. The cabinet is placed around magi ready for the tests. For instance, a card is selected and shuffled back into the pack, the pack placed between the...

★★★★★ $8
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Supreme-Magic-Company
Under Water Box Escape by Supreme-Magic-Company

One of the great publicity stunts. The box may be made by a local concern and placed on display for examination before being used. The magician is tied with a length of rope, placed in the box, and a committee is allowed to fasten the lid with either screws or nails. Nails may be driven into any part of the box. The box is lowered into the water and almost immediately magician is seen emerging from the water at some distance from the box. After he has been identified he sinks from view. The box is raised from the water, the lid removed, and out steps the magician.

PDF 4 pages.

$7
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Supreme-Magic-Company
The Living Head Illusion by Supreme-Magic-Company

The magician displays a medium-sized fancy box, saying that it is the home of a young lady who has no body. The box is placed on a slender type of table. The door of the box is opened, disclosing a head that is very much alive. A dialogue is carried on between the magician and the head etc. There does not seem to be any possibility of concealing the body anywhere, as the audience has an unobstructed view under the table at all times.

Simple workshop plans and instructions.

1st edition 1958, PDF 3 pages.

★★★★ $4
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Devin Knight
Become Invisible by Devin Knight

All my secrets of how to become invisible when I was performing as Jason Michaels and more. Never before revealed. You get invisibility secrets you can use on stage or outdoors. Methods by Al Mann, UF Grant, Tony Shields, Bill Neff, and myself. Methods for everyone. Learn how Bill Neff would become invisible while addressing the audience, how psychics walk thru the audience invisible. They can hear you but not see you. Disappear while walking down the street. Secrets behind my invisibility stunts that made the front page. No pipe dreams. All methods have been used. Visibly turn into a cardboard cut-out on...

$15
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Laurie Ireland
Human Pin Cushion Torture Box by Laurie Ireland

This was the showstopper of Laurie Ireland's school show. This illusion is big and flashy while still lightweight, easy to handle, packs flat, is self-contained, requires no special stage conditions, and only requires one assistant. This ebook explains everything you need to construct, perform, and present this fantastic illusion.

Effect: An assistant enters a cabinet just big enough to accommodate her. Panels open to show head and feet. The magician then pushes five metal rods clear through the center of the box and right thru the ribs of the victim. Two more rods are then shoved through...

★★★★★ $7.95
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Neil Foster
Tops Treasury of Illusions by Neil Foster

60 illusions

  • Artists' Dream Illusion
  • Beauty and the Least
  • Big Opener
  • Bikini Girl Illusion
  • Black Art Principles
  • Book of Life
  • Catch a Ghost Illusion
  • Chest Escape
  • Chinese Straight Jacket
  • Church of Life Illusion
  • Cinemagic (Motion Pictures to Life)
  • Close-Up Illusion
  • Club Performer's Spook Act
  • David Devant's Hindu Rope Trick
  • Don't Shoot, Mister!
  • Double "B" (Box Ballyhoo)
  • Double Exchange Illusion
  • Dramatique
  • Duel of the Ghosts
  • Dunninger's East Indian Rope Trick
  • Everything But the Kitchen Sink
  • Floating a Strange Lady
  • Floating Effects With Thread
  • Gallows Illusion
  • Gambol of the...
$29.50
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William W. Larsen & Ormond McGill
Thayer's Vanish of a Girl by William W. Larsen & Ormond McGill

With this method, you can cause a girl to vanish from a nightclub floor.

When this was first introduced, Thayer claimed it was the dream of every magician. We agree. It seems impossible. Perform it on a regular nightclub floor. No stage traps, wings, flies or other conveniences that you'd find in a theater environment. That's what makes this illusion seem so utterly convincing. You even invite a committee of spectators (not stooges) to supervise and ensure that all's fair.

The girl enters a box, sitting atop a four-legged table. The box is lifted from the table and falls to the floor,...

★★★ $6
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William W. Larsen
Thayer's Great Handcuff Escape Act by William W. Larsen

A fast, modern escape act you can present at nightclubs, casino floor shows, and TV.

It's an ever-changing world. And with these changes come new modes in everything, including show business. Houdini could be heavily shackled, then retire to a cabinet for thirty minutes, liberate himself and the audiences clamored for more. But that was then ... Paying customers today demand two things: speed and comedy. Many successful professional magicians throw good tricks away if the item won't produce at least six laughs and takes more than two minutes to perform.

This act has been streamlined to appeal...

$8
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Ulysses Frederick Grant & Ken de Courcy
Walking Through a Steel Plate Plus by Ulysses Frederick Grant & Ken de Courcy

As usual with Grant instructions, they leave a lot to the imagination and "know-how" of the magician. However, the method was a clever one, simple but very effective. Ken de Courcy has taken the original instructions and added to them his own presentation points, and not only that, his improvements and various novel dressings which lift the effect up and turn it into acceptable modern entertainment.

In the original effect, a committee was invited on the stage to examine a solid steel plate. Then circular drawstring curtains were placed at the front and the rear, the magician walked behind...

★★★★ $7
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Ulysses Frederick Grant & T. A. Whitney
The Farmer and the Witch Illusion by Ulysses Frederick Grant & T. A. Whitney

Here's a stage illusion that fits in a suitcase. A miracle that your audience will talk about long after the curtain drops. Two children volunteers are selected and come up to the stage. A boy is dressed in a farmer's costume with mask and a girl is dressed in a witch's costume with mask and broom. The performer tells a story of how an old witch called at the farmer's door for food and water and how the farmer turned her away. But the old witch had magical powers and changed places with the farmer, to teach him a lesson.

The magician asks the farmer to remove his mask and in place of the...

★★★★ $4
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The Great Leon
Miniature Haunted House by The Great Leon

Do it yourself plans, patter, and complete routine.

Seven times a trophy winner at conventions. Invented, designed and routined by the famous professional, The Great Leon, this is not just a trick - it is a complete act - a show in itself. In fully illustrated building plan form, with every detail of the many brilliant effects, patter, presentation, plus many photographs showing the "House" in action. Large detailed Eugene Gloye drawings, all to make it simple to create your own "Haunted House." Act can run to 30 minutes. No assistants. Use anywhere; has been done before 7500 people. Sets...

★★★★ $9.95
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Collins Pentz
Stage Tricks Illusions and Escapes by Collins Pentz

From the preface:

To nearly every present day magician all these tricks will be new, as it was fifteen to twenty years ago that they appeared in The Eagle Magician. These tricks have been carefully selected from nearly six volumes of this valuable little magazine and accurately revised and condensed to fill this valuable book. But few of the old-timers and collectors have any of these magazines, so to the present day magi's they will be an invaluable addition to their act.

In the old days smokers used to roll their own. Today many magicians like to make their own; "Magic Tricks", To fill...

★★★★★ $5
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Will Goldston
Stage Illusions by Will Goldston

From the introduction:

This is an age in which, in order to succeed, one must specialise. One conjuror will specialise in thought-reading tricks, another in silent illusion acts, another in sleight-of-hand tricks, another in the presentation of what I may call “large apparatus” tricks. This book will appeal primarily to illusionists, but I fancy that other magicians will find that it is well worth perusal. I have heard of illusionists who have produced some of their best effects by merely enlarging small sleight-of-hand tricks, and I have no doubt that some sleight-of-hand performers...

★★★★★ $6
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Science and Mechanics
Magic Handbook (Science and Mechanics) by Science and Mechanics

This is the only all magic issue of Science and Mechanics magazine. It includes a cross section of magic effects from illusions with building instructions, to various close-up effects and mentalism. The emphasis with this magazine was to encourage readers to build their own. It therefore has a distinct DIY feel. The magic consultants for this issue were William B. Gibson, Sidney H. Radner, Litzka Raymond, and Victor D. Dressner.

  • COVER STORY: Famous Knife Box Illusion
  • EXCLUSIVE FEATURE: Escapes—Special Form of Magic
  • GENERAL FEATURES
    • About Magic
    • Magic Black-Art Table
    • Magical Appliances ...
★★★★ $20
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Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin & Professor Hoffmann
The Secrets of Stage Conjuring by Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin & Professor Hoffmann

Translated by Professor Hoffmann.

  • PREFACE
  • CHAPTER I. The Theatre Of Robert-Houdin
  • CHAPTER II. A Conjuror’s Stage Arrangements
  • CHAPTER III. Handkerchief Tricks
  • CHAPTER IV. The Light And Heavy Chest
  • CHAPTER V. The Hundred Candles Lighted By A Pistol Shot
  • CHAPTER VI. The Ghost Illusion
  • CHAPTER VII. The Indian Basket Trick
  • CHAPTER VIII. Spiritualistic Manifestations
  • CHAPTER IX. The Bust Of Socrates
  • CHAPTER X. A Curious Effect In Acoustics
  • CHAPTER XI. The Decapitated Speaking
  • CHAPTER XII. The Protean Cabinet
  • CHAPTER XIII. The Feats Of The Davenport Brothers
  • CHAPTER XIV. The Enchanted...
★★★★★ $5
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Harry Blackstone
Spirit Dancing Handkerchief by Harry Blackstone

[This is an edited and abridged version of a manuscript originally released by Harry Blackstone Sr. as The Spirit Handkerchief.

A borrowed white handkerchief takes on a life of its own, it moves and dances around the stage as though it has become a real spirit.

Exactly as performed by the great magician (and his successor son)! All the masterful comedy touches. Learn this electrifying effect as only the Blackstone's can perform it. Every beautiful move. Every innermost thought that has made the Spirit Dancing Handkerchief famous. Learn: The handkerchief in the cabinet. Learn: The handkerchief in the bottle. Learn: The handkerchief in the hat. Detailed directions for every move.

This...

★★★★ $4
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Ulysses Frederick Grant
The Invisible Man Effect by Ulysses Frederick Grant

This is a very rare and seldom seen release of U. F. Grant. It was released in 1934 by Nelmar and was only available from him. In this short release Grant explains several methods for creating the effect of an invisible man on stage. The invisible man is heard walking out on stage and wearing a hat, but no visible body; which the performer removes. He is heard to converse with the performer and even rock in a rocking chair. The invisible man goes out into the audience and looks at cards selected by spectators and returns to the stage and whispers them in the performer's ear so the performer...

★★★★ $2
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Timo Dante
Illusions for Beginner by Timo Dante

Timo Dante has published in this e-book a small compilation of illusions that can be accomplished with little effort and budget. From appearing to hovering and sawing up to swords and escapes, one can use the book to present his first little illusion show, or take one or two illusions as an enrichment to a possibly existing show. For beginners who would like to present illusions with little budget, it is a small entry into the world full of magic.

The e-book does not contain any dimensioned blueprints but only simple concept illustrations. The following illusions are explained

  • Mystery...
★★★★★ $25
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Timo Dante
Steel Illusion by Timo Dante

Yet again a new and exciting illusion from the magic consultant and illusion designer Timo Dante.

Ever wanted to penetrate a steel plate? With "Steel" you can do this from now on. A brilliant illusion for great magicians. And that with a base variant that is hardly used.

Go head first through the steel plate and show your audience an extravagant illusion.

1st edition 2017, 20 pages.

★★★★★ $30
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Devin Knight & Ulysses Frederick Grant
Magician, Ghost and Girl Illusion by Devin Knight & Ulysses Frederick Grant

NOTICE: This is an expanded version of an illusion described in Grant's Lost Illusion Files. It gives you far more information.

Although this illusion can be done year-round, this makes a great illusion for spook shows or Halloween shows. For those affairs, it is the perfect illusion and it would be hard to find an illusion more suited for those occasions.

EFFECT: The magician shows a three-fold screen with a black interior. He forms the screen into a three-sided cabinet with opening at the front. The performer says that he is going spook hunting. As the saying goes, it takes a thief to catch a thief.

The performer...

$6
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Devin Knight & Ulysses Frederick Grant
How To Make Santa Clause Appear by Devin Knight & Ulysses Frederick Grant

NOTICE: This is an expanded version of Santa Clause Arrives in Grant's Lost Illusion Secrets. There are more ideas in this PDF.

Yes, Santa Clause arrives - and in such a manner that any performer can bring about his appearance. There is no elaborate or expensive equipment required. Indeed, you can build the necessary items right in your own home without any difficulty. If desired, some of the items may be purchased at a very low cost. Yes, you can have a full stage illusion for less than you have to pay for many club effects.

Here is an illusion which has eye appeal, will mystify your audience and, most important,...

$6
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Devin Knight & Ulysses Frederick Grant
U. F. Grant's Lost Illusion Secrets Revealed by Devin Knight & Ulysses Frederick Grant

This is the largest collection of U. F. Grant illusions and illusionettes every assembled. It took Devin Knight several years to compile this collection. Grant wrote a few books on illusions such as: 15 Great Illusions, Chinese Magic and Illusions, Modern Levitations, Victory Carton Illusions, Grant's Illusion Secrets, and many others. However, most of the illusions in this PDF were not included in those manuscripts.

Over the years, Grant sold many manuscripts that just contained one illusion along with building plans in most cases. (Some of these were released by Percy Abbott in his catalog without credit to U. F. Grant.) This compilation is a collection of those plans released by Grant and also in the early...

★★★★★ $35
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Devin Knight & Ulysses Frederick Grant
Walking Through a Woman Illusion by Devin Knight & Ulysses Frederick Grant

At last, here is a new illusion effect and one that any performer may own. Yet, here is an illusion which will compete with the best of them and it will not cost you several hundred dollars to own it or even a tenth of that. In my opinion this is more effective than the Interlude Illusion at a fraction of the cost.

EFFECT: Setting at the center of the stage are four chairs, in a row facing the audience. There is a space between the two center chairs wide enough for the performer to walk through. A girl assistant is then placed in a reclining position across the seats of the four chairs....

★★★★ $6
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Brian T. Lees
Lights, Curtain, Music, Problem by Brian T. Lees

The house is packed. Standing room only! Your music starts and you walk out to begin the show and everything goes wrong. The music fails, you forgot to load some of the magic. Your favorite routine comes apart and you are standing in front of a large audience with no clue what do to next.

Speak with any entertainer and they will confirm that mistakes and problems are part of the performance. These situations are not reserved for any specific magician. Young or old, just beginning or seasoned veteran, we all experience problems at some time or another.

This ebook helps identify ways to...

$10
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Devin Knight
How To Escape From Any Handcuffs by Devin Knight

Every magician should know how to escape from any pair of regulation handcuffs at any time. You can even challenge people to bring cuffs from home to your show and yet, you escape. You can challenge any police department and yet escape from their cuffs.

Imagine you could do this without carrying lots of picks, keys, shims and without years of practice and study! Imagine you could do this for less than a dollar! Well, it's true. In this PDF you will learn two easy ways to escape from any cuffs within a few minutes. A secret source gives you everything you need for less than a dollar. This...

★★★★★ $15
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Will Goldston
Secrets of Famous Illusionists by Will Goldston
  • Foreword
  • Chapter I The Truth About Chung Ling Soo
  • Chapter II The Romantic Story Of Carl Hertz
  • Chapter III The Great Lafayette - The Most Hated Magician
  • Chapter IV Maskelyne And The Psycho Sensation
  • Chapter V Houdini As I Knew Him
  • Chapter VI Did Houdini Fail?
  • Chapter VII Some More New Facts About Houdini
  • Chapter VII De Kolta's "Vanishing Lady" Secret
  • Chapter IX The Truth About The Indian Rope Trick
  • Chapter X Tricks Of Bogus Mediums
  • Chapter XI Why I Am A Spiritualist
  • Chapter XII Mediums I Have Sat With
  • Chapter XIII Magic And Crime
  • Chapter XIV The Great Kellar
  • Chapter XV Howard Thurston's Rise To Riches
  • Chapter XVI The...
$6
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Gordon Miller
Illusions Illusions by Gordon Miller

Gordon Miller compiled a great collection of magical illusions from various Abbott publications - most with complete and detailed workshop plans.

  • Abbott's Guillotine
  • Cyclops Lens
  • Caliph's Cutter
  • Abbott's Barrel Escape
  • Don Rose Miniature Doll House
  • Abbott's Packing Box Escape
  • Where's That Gal?
  • Levitation Deluxe
  • Abbott's Modern Sword Cabinet
  • Girl In Fish Bowl
  • Spike Illusion
  • Canvas Case Illusion
  • Phantasmo
  • Devil Illusion
  • Twin Boxes
  • Dancing Slippers
  • Abbott's Amazing Shrunken Living Head Illusion
  • Abbott's Mummy Cloth Of The Nile
  • Abbott's Mignon Illusion
  • Abbott's Enchanted Tent ...
$30
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Percy Abbott
Nite Club Illusions and Illusionettes by Percy Abbott
  • Abbott's Chinese Chopper
  • The Chinese Straight Jacket
  • Cutting A Woman In Half
  • Walking Through A Ribbon
  • Spikes Through The Wrist
  • The Girl With The Pincushion Head
  • The Doni Rose Miniature Doll House
  • Abbott's Rod Through Girl
  • The Hindu Basket Trick
  • Nite-Club Girl Vanish
  • The Sword Box
  • The Cane Cabinet
  • Sword Cabinet Illusion
  • The Golem Illusion
  • Modernistic Amputation

1966 edition; PDF 31 pages

★★★★★ $15
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