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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Magic
Derren Brown Predicts UK National Lottery — Last Wednesday Derren Brown performed a trick in which he appeared to predict the results of the UK national lottery on live TV. This immediately led to much speculation about how he did it. Of course, he didn't disclose his "prediction" until after the lottery results had been announced, which makes it meaningless as a prediction. But it was still a clever publicity stunt. On Friday Brown revealed the secret of the trick, or rather he pretended to. He didn't actually reveal anything…
Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2009.   Comments (11)

Water Bottle Trick — An African villager named Winston shows off his skills as a human water spout: Apparently this isn't a magic trick, but rather an example of controlled regurgitation. The Human Marvels offers some background on the history of human water spout acts: In the mid 17th century a Frenchman named Jean Royer was known for his regurgitating and spouting abilities. Another spouter, Blaise Manfre, was noted for his ability to drink water and regurgitate wine. Of course, his feat was…
Posted: Tue Sep 08, 2009.   Comments (2)

Kuda Bux and Eyeless Vision — On the Raffaele De Ritis' Novelties and Wonders blog I found an old video of Kuda Bux, a performer who claimed to have x-ray eyes. He would cover his eyes with putty, cotton wool, and gauze bandages. Then he would challenge people to write any word, in any language, on a blackboard, and he would be able to magically reproduce what they had written. Kuda Bux claimed it was psychic ability that allowed him to see while blindfolded, and according to Wikipedia his act inspired Roald Dahl…
Posted: Wed Jul 29, 2009.   Comments (16)

How Man is Made Invisible — Hudson Pace sent this interesting clipping. He writes: Here's a hoax (see attached). Presumably done with double-exposures, but it would be nice to know how many people he fooled and why he did it. It's from 'The Encyclopedia of Modern Wonders for Boys', published by Collins apparently in the 1930s. Googling 'Herbert Winck' gives one reference to the same pictures in 'The Wonder World Encyclopedia' from 1936, also published by Collins. As you'll see from the caption, the pictures…
Posted: Thu Dec 04, 2008.   Comments (7)


The strongest man in the world — Here's an entertaining example of complete bs. An Arabic TV station interviews a man who claims to be the "Incredible Hulk" of Egypt. He says that he has the strength of 30,000 men! He never sleeps! He has sex 15 times a day with his four wives! And he's so strong that the government doesn't allow him to work, for fear that he might accidentally hurt someone. But the only evidence of his strength that he offers is his ability to tear a coin in half. This, of course, is a well-known…
Posted: Tue Dec 02, 2008.   Comments (7)

Shoelace Trick — Is it a magic trick, or a trick of the camera? I'm not sure. Real or fake ? Réel ou faux ?Uploaded by _006-serie-TS_
Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2007.   Comments (12)

Quick Change Artists — Status: Magic Trick A lot of sites have been linking to this video of a pair of quick-change artists performing on NBC's America's Got Talent. The video is fun to watch if you haven't seen them performing before. The pair are magicians David & Dania, who were recently profiled in this Slate.com article. Apparently the duo have become the most popular act during NBA half-time shows. So how is the trick done? Slate.com reports that: the trick dates back to the 19th century, and the…
Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2006.   Comments (51)

Criss Angel Pulls Woman In Half — Status: Magic trick On YouTube there's a video of magician Criss Angel taking the old "sawing a woman in half" trick a step further. He actually pulls a woman in half, whereupon her upper half crawls away in horror while her legs remain behind wriggling. I, like many other people, have been trying to figure out how he does this trick. All I can conclude is that it's achieved by clever editing of the camera footage. (Which, if true, would make it less a magic trick than a special…
Posted: Sat Jun 24, 2006.   Comments (114)

Stevie Starr, Professional Regurgitator — Status: Magic trick Stevie Starr calls himself a professional regurgitator. He's been doing his act for a long time, and is quite famous. (He's appeared on shows such as Jay Leno and Ripley's Believe it or Not.) But I just became aware of him through a video of one of his performances on Google Video, and I'm at a complete loss to explain how he does what he does. His performance includes some of the following tricks: He swallows sugar, followed by a glass of water, and then…
Posted: Tue Feb 14, 2006.   Comments (193)

magicSHELF Mystery Solved — Status: magicSHELVES are a kind of simple magic trick, but they do work (they will hold up your books) Greg Cason broke down and ordered one of those LinkyDinky magicSHELVES that I posted about last week (I was tempted to do the same), thereby learning the secret of how they work. It turns out it's not a photoshop trick, nor are the books glued to the wall. Actually, they work almost exactly as I theorized. [edited out... I can't give away the secret. That would be against the…
Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2006.   Comments (7)

MagicSHELF — Status: It's a kind of magic trick (though it really will hold up your books) Linkydinky.com is offering a product called the magicSHELF. Kathy Johnston emailed me to ask: "Is this for real? I can't tell how it works." Unfortunately, I don't yet have a definitive answer. The magicSHELF has stumped me. Pictures of the magicSHELF show books floating against a wall as if by magic, with no visible means of support. As the site says, "magicSHELF floats your books in the air, docking to…
Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2006.   Comments (38)

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