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The Haunted Deck

The Haunted Deck (sometimes known as the Haunted Pack) is an amazing magic trick where a deck of cards magically cuts itself in half and shoots out a spectator’s selected card. This easy to perform magic trick has been featured by professional magicians like David Blaine and Dynamo on their television specials.

the haunted deck

Who invented the Haunted Deck?

Al Baker is often credited with popularizing The Haunted Deck with his trick “The Pack That Cuts Itself”, which was featured in his 1933 book The Secret Ways of Al Baker and his Exclusive Twenty Five Dollar Manuscript.

al baker book

However, according to the Conjuring Archive, card tricks with animated playing cards go back as far as the early 1800s.

One such trick, “The Hypnotised Card”, was featured in August Roterberg's New Era Card Tricks in 1897. In this version, an invisible thread was laid over the lower half of a deck of cards with one end stuck to the table and the other end stuck to a magic wand. This allowed the magician to control the pack by lifting the wand.

In his 2009 book The Notebook, Will Houstoun transcribed magic tricks from an unpublished notebook written by an unknown magician. These effects were believed to be created at the turn of the 19th century and featured a Haunted Pack style trick where a card would slide out of a tabled spread of cards and follow the magician’s commands.

How Has the Haunted Deck Evolved Over Time?

The Haunted Deck is one of the most iconic card magic plots in history. As a result, countless legendary magicians have developed their own handlings like Paul Curry’s “Phantasy Under Glass” which takes place under a glass bowl and ends clean, Ed Marlo’s “Floating Penthouse” where a deck of cards on a flat hand opens up by itself and has three selected playing cards rise in different directions or Michael Close’s work using a memorized stack and a named playing card.

What are the Best Solutions for Performing the Haunted Deck?

While original versions of The Haunted Deck used a thin piece of hair, the most common gimmick used to achieve the effect today is invisible thread or magic loops - a looped length of invisible thread.

Invisible thread loops have been around for over a century. However, in 1985, magician Finn Jon revolutionized magic loops by using elastic thread to create his product “Revolutionary Thread”. This innovative creation would eventually be popularized by Yigal Mesika as Loops.

Magic loops are easy to use, undetectable loops of invisible elastic thread that are used regularly by TV magicians like Dynamo, David Blaine, Cyril and Criss Angel to perform The Haunted Deck. You can carry Loops with you anywhere you go, allowing you to animate, move or float a borrowed ring, deck of cards, or any other small object at any time.

Where can I buy a Haunted Deck?

We have a variety of different resources available to learn The Haunted Deck. However, the best place to start is the Loops - Deluxe 2 DVD Set. These incredible videos feature amazing Magicians Finn Jon and Yigal Mesika sharing all the best kept secrets for using magic loops. You will learn the Haunted Pack as well as the floating bill, floating ring, rising card, PK Touch (or Invisible Touch) and so much more.

These impossible magic tricks can be done with ordinary objects and are easy to perform with magic Loops.


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