The Darkest Corners

By Neil Kelso and Ben Hart
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The Darkest Corners

60.00 usd

Book or download by Neil Kelso and Ben Hart (Book $60.00 or download for $45.00)

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The Darkest Corners - magic
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A complete sellout at Magifest, The Session and Blackpool, this inaugural release from UK magician and Britain’s Got Talent sensation Ben Hart is more than just a magic book. It is a rare collection of complete, audience-tested parlor magic routines taken straight from the professional repertoire of an international touring magician. The Darkest Corners offers an exclusive look at Ben’s unmatched creativity and desire to push the boundaries of magic.

Ben is known for taking classic magic effects and revolutionizing them with unique and original methods, as well as strong storytelling and theatricality. Every show Ben has ever created has been a sellout at the famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival and The Darkest Corners is filled with only the best routines from those shows.

The routines in The Darkest Corners are modern and engaging, using intriguing presentations to create highly-deceptive effects. This includes Ben's signature trick Incubation (which many of you may have seen on either Britain’s Got Talent or at Magifest 2020), where a piece of confetti visually transforms into a solid egg. This jaw-dropping piece of magic features an unbelievable method that is just as beautiful as the trick itself.

Other Highlights Include:

Melocoton: A signed tissue transforms into the stone of a peach. Then, when that peach (which has been in plain view the whole time) is cut open, it is revealed that the signed tissue is now inside of it where the stone should be.

A Shot in the Dark: Mystify a theater full of people using nothing more than a box of matches. Ben has transformed a seemingly simple trick into a powerful moment that can captivate audiences of nearly any size.

Nuts: The entire audience is asked to think of a time when they acted “silly” or “nuts”. A walnut is then tossed throughout the audience to select a spectator at random. This spectator is then invited on stage, where they learn a summary of their memory is inscribed on a tiny scroll sealed inside the walnut they were just holding.

Hart to Hofzinser: A chosen card appears rolled inside a spectator’s wedding ring, which is held behind their back the entire time.

The Human Lottery Machine: After a four-digit number is generated randomly by members of the audience, the magician regurgitates four solid balls. One by one, it’s revealed that the numbers on these balls match the randomly generated number.

Additionally, you’ll see Ben’s dynamic creativity come to life with a trick using a real venus fly trap, as well as a special prediction using a live fruit fly. Ben also offers invaluable insight on how to alter your presentation to perform mind-blowing magic on the radio, techniques for using video projection when performing stage magic, and much more.

This 300+ page book is filled with 250 stunning photos and is absolutely gorgeous from front to back. The Darkest Corners is a book you’ll be proud to own.

But, don’t take our word for it. Check out what these other world-renowned magicians had to say about The Darkest Corners:

"When it comes to a magician who really gets every nuance and detail it takes to create a real magic experience for his audience, Ben Hart is a master, well before his time! I personally find his performances inspiring and I might have to just buy every copy of this book personally as the secrets are too good I wanna keep them for myself. Also Vanishing inc have once again outdone themselves with the production quality. It compliments Ben’s ideas perfectly. One of my faves of 2020 by far!"Dynamo

“If you are looking for original, creative and theatrical material along with a superb understanding of how to present it then you’ll find it in The Darkest Corners. What a glorious and stunning work of our art this is. Highly Recommended “ Nick Einhorn

"You know how they say ’great minds think alike’? I’m not sure I’m all that great at all after reading this. It's rare for me to read something that truly inspires me to take my art more seriously. Ben Hart is sharing in a way that is inviting, exciting, and sparks creativity. What an amazing gift he has given us in The Darkerst Corners!”Caroline Ravn

“A brilliant, alternative style of magic. A delight to read”Kieron Johnson

“Ben Hart is one of the great hopes for the future of magic. He fuses it’s past with his own unique vision of its future producing original material that has a timeless quality. The Darkest Corners is a triumphant collection of great magic. Equally important to the book is the voice of its author, Bens long time friend and a unique artist in his own right, Neil Kelso. Kelso infuses the text with their relationship, shared experiences and observations bringing insight, humour and deep understanding. This is a great book and one I suspect will become a treasure chest of inspiration for magicians all around the world.” Luke Jermay

I have many books; it’s what magicians do, Collect books. There are not many I would like to leave on a coffee table, this one is as beautiful and as quietly understated as both of the creators, but I cannot, The beauty of the binding and presentation of the contents would attract too many muggles, and within it there are too many profound secrets for the magical performer. I am tempted to say ‘Don’t Buy This book.’ It’s too good, too full of ideas and routines. We can’t have all those people who do buy it being this good, this wonderful. I might never be able to find an audience to work to.Fay Presto

“Ben Hart just might be the best magician working today. I know that’s high praise, but in my defence, I’ve seen him perform. A lot. Close-up, stand-up, cabaret, stage, mind-reading, live and pre-recorded TV, he does it all. And he does it flawlessly. Of course, he’s not just a performer. He’s also an inventor, a historian, a technician, a writer and a storyteller. And ALL of these skills are brought to bear in this extraordinary new book. His love of the classics combined with his avant-garde aesthetic and obsessive attention to detail result in this eclectic collection of fresh, devious and eminently performable material. You can add this title to the tiny list of modern classics that contain the working material that all the top performers actually use. Highest recommendation.” Mark Elsdon

“Ben’s flair for making off the wall ideas feel entirely logical by combining them with interesting script is surpassed only by his ability to generate the devious methods required to accomplish them. If you don’t find a contents page with burned matches, appearing eggs and venus fly traps exciting, you aren’t fit to be a magician. Go out and buy this book.“Mark James

"If you don’t already know that Ben Hart is an extraordinary magician then you haven’t been paying attention. Buy The Darkest Corners and have a look under the hood and see how this magician’s mind ticks. You will be amazed."John Lenahan

Contents of The Darkest Corners



  • A Shot in the Dark
  • Melocotón
  • Incubation
  • Nuts
  • Glitterbomb
  • Coins Across the Airwaves
  • Cards Rising Through the Airwaves
  • A Gift from Venus
  • Card in Balloon
  • Roots
  • Pen Through Note (Ideas)
  • Hart to Hofzinser
  • The Human Lottery Machine
  • The Matrix Rings
  • Advertising Banner


  • To Video, or Not to video
  • Magic on the Radio
  • Fake News
  • Written in your Blood
  • A Word in Amber

Closing Words

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Customer reviews for The Darkest Corners



What a phenomenally well-produced book! This is a beautiful volume, with clear color photos to illustrate methods taught. The creativity behind these illusions is impressive. I cannot yet comment on how difficult the methods are to perform, but they are professional quality, and I expect that I will have to put in work to be able to present any of them to audiences. That's as it should be, but just don't get the wrong idea that you might be purchasing a beginner book with this one.
If the price for this 300-pager seems high, I would offer this observation: not only are the secrets it teaches worth a considerable fee, but the obvious time and effort required to PRODUCE the content in this book, then PRESENT it in such a lavish volume...those are also worth a lot. Kudos to all involved with making this book! Highly recommended.



Dang. This is one heck of a book. Most of it requires a decent setup, but I think it’s worth it. Which is RARE for me to say being a purist who loves impromptu stuff! Just buy the freaking book. Stop reading the reviews. Buy it now! You won’t regret it.



I thoroughly enjoyed Ben's book, and not just because he has a great first name (!)

Whilst I can't see myself performing many (if any) of the routines, I took home important messages about attention to detail, dedication to an idea, shaping audience mood, structuring a show...and so much more.


Arthur Alexander

I purchased this book knowing full well that these tricks aren't likely for me. I wasn't wrong, but the thinking is absolutely amazing. Although I may never perform one of these tricks the insight I got on creativity was second to none. Ben is just pure genius and any serious magician should read and study this book, if not for the effects, for a creative take, that I think all of us can benefit from. It's also a beautiful book, as is standard with any Vanishing Inc. release!

VI Monthly


This is a truly a phenomenal new entry into the magic canon. Not only are there a number of incredible effects detailed within these pages, there is also a treasure trove of wisdom in discussions on Ben's creative process and general mindset on constructing a performance. I highly recommend this book!

VI Monthly


I loved Parlour Tricks and wasn't sure if I would be disappointed buying The Darkest Corners. But, boy!, they did it again. A book packed with great tricks and insight into the art, beautifully woven together. There is a lot you can take out and adopt it to your own stile of magic.
Oh! And one week after I got the book I became a friend to a goose farmer. ; )



I'm certainly not a beginner, but I'm not an expert either. All I can say is that from the very first trick-A Shot in the Dark-this book grabs you. It definitely takes your magic to a very different level. Just genius thinking in this book. You won't be disappointed at all. I"m making several of these tricks mainstays in my routine. Can't go wrong. And it's also a very classy looking book to boot.



I have hundreds and hundreds of books. This one is in my top 5. DON’T WAIT. Welcome
To awesomeness!!!



I normally don’t buy magic books but this was too good to pass it’s an amazing book. Glad I bought it, clever thinking and the effects are amazing. Ben reminds me why I love magic. Thank you for releasing this, highly recommend it.

T “G” D



This book isn’t full of material that I will do. I will definitely take ideas from it but this is Ben’s material and it won’t work as well for anyone else.

This book gets you thinking about how to approach classics and improve them. To mold them to your own style and it’s brilliant.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who is a fan of classics and interested in a real lesson on making magic your own.



My girlfriend purchased this book for me as a gift. Best gift ever! Every single effect in this book is creative and brings something new to the table. Most tricks you come across on the market are all similar to each other in some way or another. That's not the case with the effects in this book. Ben Hart has a knack for coming up with fresh, original presentations that feel inherently magical and relevant to the audience.

Even Ben's takes on classic plots like Card to Balloon or Bank Night are fresh and original. For instance, in his version of Card to Balloon, spectators SEE the moment the card vanishes and reappears inside the helium balloon that they're holding onto because it starts sinking from the added weight! In his version of Bank Night called Glitterbomb, he fixes two problems with traditional Bank Night routines; either they're so dangerous that the whole act feels rigged to the audience in the first place (eg. knives under paper bags), or the stakes aren't high enough for the audience to truly care (eg. money in an envelope). His solution involves glitter, hence the name Glitterbomb; although how exactly he uses glitter is something I'll leave for you to find out. It's pure genius!

This book is definitely going into my collection as one of my all-time favourites. It's a true exercise in creativity. Even if you don't end up using any of the effects, the book is still worth the money just to see Ben Hart's thought process.



This book is amazing!! Ben is clearly an incredibly smart and creative magician and his friend writes this book brilliantly. His use of old ideas combined with modern day principles are genius. My personal favourites are incubation (as many people's will be) and the walnut prediction effect. 7 of these effects are going into my repertoire immediately. Just buy this book you won't regret it, I'd comfortably say everything trick in the book could sell for £50 by itself and be worth the money. Beautiful design too. Top work Ben, Neil and vanishing inc



The Darkest Corners Ben Hart By Neil Kelso made it to my top 10 books. Any one who performs magic for paying audiences will no doubt love this book! I would have been happy and still raving about this book if it would have cost $160 because the value of the material is so worth it. Like most people when you buy a book you pray that you get at least one effect that you can expand upon for your performance. Ben shares with us professional stage graded effects which you can build upon a complete solid show from just this book that would make audiences come back again and again. I can honestly say that I hope that this book sells out and that it is not reprinted again. The words of Ben in closing of his book hits the nail on the head..thanks so much for collaboration, that is what we need in our art and thank you Ben, Neil and Vanishing Inc for locking him in a basement to get this book done. It catches the essence of what wonder and magic should look like through and through.



Within minutes of receiving the book, I have read through every page and am now looking at it again with props in hand and thinking how at least one of these pieces of wonder will fit rather nicely into my act.
Neil's delving into Ben's creative process is as detailed as you could wish for and their insights into the use of on-stage cameras reminds the reader not to forget the audience in Row Z by giving them the same experience as that of the one front row centre.
'Incubation' is a pleasure to watch live and on television.
The lengths of preparation that go into a lot of the routines is great, but surely that is worth it to create a miracle moment for your spectators.
A very enjoyable read.



My copy arrived today and I read it cover to cover in a matter of hours. It's an incredible book. Not just for the effects (although they are fantastic), but for the thinking that has gone into them. Ben is an amazing magical thinker and neil has done an amazing job of breaking those thoughts down on the page.



Bens book is brilliant. From start to finish it is full of incredible material. Top quality. Highly recommend



By far the best purchase I made at MagiFest, and hands down the best book I’ve purchased in years. A number of the routines have already made their way onto my workbench- while others I already had work on (like the Linking Finger Rings and Needle Thru Arm) found new life in my brain. Well-written, beautiful photos, and a layout to be commended, Ben and Neil have done a wonderful job creating a work that will go down as a wonderful and insightful debut.



One of the best magic books I own. Very unique, fooling, well thought-out ideas!



Just saw the trailer on Instagram. Didn't realise that I had gotten it early at The Session. Brilliant book. Really superb. Keep it up Josh and Andi!



Sweet %^&*. Everyone always says that Vanishing Inc. put out the best looking books. I knew that. But this one... come on!!! That cover is SO GOOD. Oh and the content is great too. Love Ben Hart. Met him a few times. Seems nice.



Jolly good show VI! What a splendid collection of tricks this is. Been reading since Feb and have barely put it down since. I'm just a hobbiest but this book is so inspiring. Plus, if there are trick I can do, anyone can do them!



Might be the best book I've bought in a year. Saw ben on BGT and was badly fooled by the egg trick. So I bought the book to learn it. Honestly, all the tricks are great. I probably won't do all of them, but will definitely do a bunch. Love the cover design too, and the color photos are sick. Very helpful.



Guys, you're killing me! Where do you find time to put out so many great books. The highlights for me (after picking it up at the Fest) were: A Shot in the Dark, Incubation (which I suspect will be everyone's favorite), and Roots (I can see myself doing this). 9/10 from me. The cover looks awesome!!



GREAT BOOK. Bought at Blackpool after Ben's lecture. Incubation is the most fooled I've ever been by a trick. He's cool a guy too!



The thinking behind these effects is amazing. The book is well written and very thorough. I did not give it the highest rating because of the practicality of performing the magic. The pre work is elaborate and in some cases quite complicated. I guess that’s why there are so amazing, but difficult for even a serious amateur to perform. That being said I’m glad I bought the book. You can see many of his effects on uTube.


Community questions about The Darkest Corners

Have a question about this product? It's possible others do too. Ask here and other Vanishing Inc. Magic customers will be able to respond with assistance! Alternatively, email us and we can help too.

  • Brandon asks: How many effects are actually in the book?

    • 1. Steve answers: The contents page lists 15 tricks.
    Post an answer to this question
  • Martin asks: Do you have a full list of contents? Thanks Martin

    • 1. Steve answers: Scroll further up this page to read it.
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  • Robert asks: Is there a video link included to Ben's performance?

      Post an answer to this question
    • Glenn asks: Hi. Who is this aimed at? Beginner, advanced? Kind regards Glenn

      • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: It's parlor magic - so not really aimed at beginners. There are effects in it that are not difficult but are designed for stage or parlor predominantly.
    • Larraine asks: What proportion of the effects require preshow?

      • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: There is no pre-show work required for any of the effects.
    • One asks: How many of these tricks are close up? And how many of them are parlour/stage?

      • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: They are pretty much all parlour routines, but a couple could be adapted to close-up.
    • Danny asks: I loved Parlour Tricks by Morgan and West. Is this mostly tricks or is there a lot of the WHY as well as the HOW?

      • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: Yes. There's a lot of the why. If you like Parlour Tricks, I'd be surprised if you didn't enjoy this too. But, if you're not happy, ship it back and we'll give you a full refund.
    • Caleb asks: I’m a magician and biologist. Love the idea of using a Venus Flytrap and fruit fly with magic, but on the fence about the purchase. Can someone who knows briefly describe these two effects? Thanks!

      • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: We'd be happy to help but since we can't discuss methods in an open forum, please email us.
    • Mariano asks: Which one of these tricks has the egg routine ?

      • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: The egg trick is in here, it is called Incubation.
    • Gareth asks: Just watched a Ben Hart show. The highlights of that show was when he joined the spectators rings together and the credit card inside a signed playing card inside a envelope card trick. Are these in the book?

      • 1. Barry answers: The linking finger rings are in the book but I don't remember seeing a trick with a credit card inside a card.
      Post an answer to this question
    • Michel asks: Some years ago, I saw Ben perform a wonderful version of the Ladybug, from the original Paul Harris's idea. Is his version of this trick explain ? Thanks

      • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: It is not.
    • Michael asks: How many pages does the book have and how many pictures are there?

      • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: There are 303 pages and over 2 dozen photographs.
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