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THE NAME OF THE DEAD
For this trick, you hand out three slips of paper, and ask three people to help you. Two are to write the names of living people on their slip, and the third person, the name of a dead person. These slips are folded and placed in a hat, without your touching them. You are then blindfolded, or the hat is held high over your head so that you cannot see into it. You are able to reach in and bring out the slip with the dead person's name.
This is a very easy trick. Take a sheet of note paper, and tear it into three pieces. The top and bottom pieces will have one smooth edge and one rough edge, but the center piece will have two rough edges. Have someone in the audience write a dead person's name on the center slip, and two other spectators, the names of a living person on each of the other two slips. Have the slips folded and dropped into the hat.
When you reach into the hat, all you need to do is feel for the slip with two rough edges. When you have found it, don't bring it out right away. Have the spectators concentrate on the names they have written. Bring out the slip, still folded, and hold it against your head. Build up the suspense until you have created a mystery. Then reveal the slip in your hand as the one with the dead person's name. If you wish, you may leave the room while the names are being written, and be brought in blindfolded for a dramatic presentation.
Have members of the audience call out the names of about ten famous people, living or dead. You write down each name on a separate card. The cards are then well mixed and you make a prediction on a slate. A spectator selects one of the cards. He reads his selection aloud and the name you wrote on the slate is the same as the name read.
You will need ten small cards or a small pad of paper to write the names on, a slate, and a hat.
With everything at hand, ask someone to call out the name of a famous person. Write this down on one of the cards and drop it into the hat. Ask for another name. This time do not write the name that is called, but write the first name that was called. Now both cards in the hat have the same name written on them. As different names are called you continue writing the original name on each card until you have about ten cards in the hat, all with the same name on them. Now write this name on the slate so that the audience does not see it.
Place the slate where it can be seen, but with the writing away from the audience. Invite a spectator to assist you. Shake the hat to mix the cards. Ask the spectator to reach into the hat and select one of the slips, and read the name written on it, aloud. After he does this, turn the slate around to show that the name selected was the same as the one that you predicted on the slate. Be sure and destroy the slips after your performance, so that no one may see them.
THE BOOK TEST
You hand a spectator a sealed envelope, and display an ordinary telephone book. You ask the spectator to call out a three digit number, which you write down. Another spectator is asked to make certain calculations with the numbers, and announce the result. He is then asked to look in the telephone book at a page and name indicated by the results and read the name at that number. The name in the book is the same as the name in the sealed envelope he has held all along.
Before you start, turn to page 108 in the telephone book and count down to the 9th name on the page. Write this name on a slip of paper and seal it in an envelope
Hand the sealed envelope to a spectator and ask him to hold it. Ask someone to call out a three digit number, or have three different spectators each call out a one digit number. Write this down in plain view, on a slate or large sheet of paper.
Have another spectator come up to make some calculations. For example, suppose the number was 653. Ask him to reverse the number (356), and to subtract the lower number from the higher:
Ask him now to take the result (297), reverse it, (792) and add the two together:
The answer will always be 1089, no matter what numbers are used. If only two figures result from the subtraction, be sure to add a zero at the left, such as 079.
Now ask the spectator with the telephone book to look on the page indicated by the first three numbers, 108, and to count down to the name indicated by the last number, 9. Ask him to read aloud the name that appears at that position. Have the spectator with the envelope open your prediction, which proves to be correct.
If you wish, you may use this as a telepathy stunt instead of a prediction stunt. In that case, do not write a prediction, but ask the spectator who is looking in the telephone book to concentrate on the name. With great concentration, and drama, tell him the name he is looking at. Of course you have memorized it before the start of the trick. To vary the program, use a dictionary, or book instead of a phone book.
THE MAGIC NUMBERS
You write a prediction on a slate and cover it with a handkerchief. You then pass out a pad of paper to a spectator and ask him to write a four digit number on the pad. Two other spectators each write a four digit number under the first. Have a fourth spectator add them together and announce the result. The slate is uncovered and there on the slate is the answer.
Use a pad about 5 by 7 inches with a cover. The pad should open at the narrow edge (top). On the first page write down a four digit number, and under this two more four digit numbers just as if they were to be added together. When writing your figures, try and make them look as if they were written by different people. Draw a line under the row of figures so they may be added together. On another sheet of paper add these figures. Do not write them on the first page, but memorize the total, or write it very faintly on the slate. Fold back the cover and first page of the pad (with the figures) so that the second (blank) page is in view.
To start the trick, show the slate and appear to concentrate. Write down the total of the figures you wrote on page one, on the slate, so that no one can see them. Cover the slate with a handkerchief and give it to someone to hold, or stand it up in plain view.
Go to one of the spectators and ask him to write a four digit number on the pad Hold the cover and first page down along the back of the pad so that he writes on the second page. Repeat this with two more spectators from different parts of the room so that you are walking about quite a bit. Ask the third person who writes down figures to draw a line under the column of figures so that they may be added.
Now walk to the other side of the audience, and as you do so, fold the top page over onto the pad, so that your figures are on top. As you do this, tear out your page, close the cover of the pad, and ask a spectator to add the figures. Give him the pad to rest the sheet of paper on. Ask him to announce the result after he has added the figures. Have the first spectator, who is holding the slate, uncover it and read what is written on it. The totals will agree.
You are able to predict the total of some numbers you could not have known at the beginning of the trick. You will need an "assistant" or "stooge" for this one, but it is worth letting someone in on this, because of the result of the trick. Explain the trick to him in advance so he will know what he needs to do.
On a small piece of paper, write down your prediction. Any four digit number over 6,000 will do. Fold your prediction, and place it in a sealed envelope which will be in view of the audience all through the trick. During the trick, ask a spectator the year in which he was born. Suppose he says 1920. Write this on a large slate. Ask another spectator to name a date that is important historically such as: 1914. Write this below the first figure. Ask another spectator what year was important in his life. Suppose he says 1941. Write that down under the other figures. Stress to the audience that there is no possible way for you to know the dates these people would choose. Now tell them to make it more difficult you will have another number added, about which you know nothing and which you will not see. Go to your "assistant" and hand him the slate, and tell him to write any number under the three others and add them all together. When he has finished, ask him to read the total aloud. Ask someone to open the envelope you placed on your table before the start of the show, and to read what it says. It will have the same total as the one just read.
Now for a little more explanation. Your assistant must know the total you have predicted. He must add a number which will give the total you have predicted. In other words, he holds a slate that shows the following:
1920 (Year of birth)
1914 (Historical year)
1941 (Year of importance)
--- (The number he must add)
= 8477 (Your prediction)
He must add 2702 to make the correct total. This is a very clever trick, and don't pass it up because it requires a secret assistant. The effect on the audience is what counts, not how simple a trick may seem to you.
THE SAME AS YOU
This is a gag which you can use to get a laugh. Hand a spectator a slip of paper and tell him to go to the other side of the room and write a short sentence on the paper, fold it and hand it to another spectator. Appear to concentrate very deeply, and say, "I will write the same as you on my slip," which you do. Hand your slip to the spectator who is holding the other slip. Ask him to open the spectator's slip and read it aloud. Now you say, "That's right. I wrote the same as you." And that's exactly what you have written-just the four words "The same as you!"
You may vary this by writing, "That's right!" on a slip. Proceed as above. Have the spectator's slip read aloud, and then ask him to read your slip. Of course, he will say, "That's right."
You show a book, a novel, textbook, or any kind of book, and have a spectator insert a card anywhere he chooses. The book is opened at the page indicated by the card, and you are able to tell what is on that page, either by a written prediction, or by saying it aloud. Use a book with a plain cover. Choose a page near the center and write down the first sentence on a slip of paper or memorize it. Place a card about halfway into the book at this page.
Pick up the book, but hide the projecting card as you go to a spectator and hand him a plain card. Have him thrust the card into the book anywhere he wishes. Now, if you planned to use a written prediction, hand it to another spectator to hold. As you move about turn the book over, revealing the end from which your card projects.
If you don't use a written prediction, turn the book around as you approach another spectator and have him open the book to the page indicated by the card. Be sure to cover the card that still projects from the other end with your hand. As you hand the spectator the book, slip the card out of the book, without letting him see you do this. As the spectator holds the book, ask him to concentrate on the first line on the page that is indicated by the card. Then tell him what it says, or have him read it aloud and then read your prediction. Don't merely tell him that the page says so-and-so, but appear to concentrate deeply and state the sentence slowly and mysteriously.
THE MYSTERIOUS NUMBERS
Here's a trick you can use to fool and amuse yourself, as well as others.
Think of a small number. Now double it, add 4, divide by 2. Subtract the number you first thought of. Your answer is 2. Right?
This works automatically. For instance, say your first number was 3. Doubled, it becomes 6, add 4 and you get 10. Divide by 2, equals 5; subtract the number you first thought of (3) and your answer will be 2.
When you do this, the answer will always be one half of the number you add. When you repeat this, change the number you tell people to add so that the answer will be different. Remember, if you tell them to add 10, their answer will be 5 - always one half of the number they add. Try it!