Adapt Your Own Magic for Halloween

By Ricky Smith - Thursday, October 3, 2019


We asked our friend, and columnist Ricky Smith to share some ideas for adapting existing effects for Halloween, and as ever, he found gold! Here are his suggestions:

Haunted Deck

Loops - Ricky thinks that this is the best practically impromptu method. He recommends finding Spencer Peterson, BJ Bueno, or Daniel Garcia and finding out the real work on this excellent effect.

If you are in your house and have furnishings, the most diabolical and fooling method of all time is one of Al Baker’s handlings. Find it and read it, as you will smile inside at the deviousness and cleverness of this ingenious method! It appears as though the spectator does all the work while everyone is well away from the miracle. Further, the deck can be immediately picked up and examined by the spectator and the audience.

Charlie Miller has an excellent method for a completely impromptu haunted deck that almost perfectly imitates the classic in the hand effect. Also, you can find some interesting haunted movements in The Secret Sessions videos.

Some of the impossible seeming balance effects might also prove to fit well with this spooky October season, especially with the very apropos design of the Tragic Royalty deck!

Rising Card

Any method, especially in the box or in the spectator’s hand could be amplified with some October-esque presentation. If you don’t have a favorite method, maybe search out Gary Plants’s handling or Jeff McBride’s, and if you want an impromptu method, definitely look out for Harry Riser’s The Descending Cards Revisited and the many Jack McMillen methods in Expert Card Technique.

Card to Box

The card to box can be greatly enhanced by taking the opportunity to point out the excellent design on the Tragic Royalty deck. This provides a good reason to give everyone the opportunity to see the box empty prior to the effect, without tipping off what is going to happen. The design of the box can also be pointed out during the loading procedure in order to help disguise any unnatural handling.

Ricky’s favorite methods for Card to Box are Ernest Earick’s House Guest and Denis Behr’s excellent Brute Force Opening.

Other Mysteries

Larry Jennings’ Coin Cut is an excellent effect and you can use the line “Like a ghost through the walls of an ancient castle…” as the coin makes its way through the table and deck to arrive at the selected card.

A selected card penetrating through a cased deck or a handkerchief can also fit in with the haunted October themes. There is an excellent version of the Card Through Handkerchief in S. W. Erdnase’s The Expert at the Card Table. Chris Power has an excellent steal of a card from a cased deck in Opus Magazine, or any method of loading a card onto the box, can then be made to penetrate the box.


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