Criss Angel Pulls Woman In Half

Status: Magic trick
image 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 effect, but entertaining nonetheless.) My reasoning is that the (half of a) woman who crawls away at the end is probably not fake. She's likely a woman who, in real life, has no legs. But this cannot be the same woman who initially walks to the table and lies down on it. (No, I don't think she was using robotic legs, or anything like that.) They are two different women. Which means that at some point the camera must have been turned off, and the one woman replaced the other on the table. This also suggests that everyone in the crowd were actors. That's my theory. But I'm actually hoping it's wrong, because it would be cool if he could have done this without turning the camera off at some point. (Thanks to Captain DaFt for the link.) (And I could have sworn I once posted about another Criss Angel trick in which he crawled through a glass window pane, but for the life of me I can't find the post about this.)

Update: Archibold pointed out that Snopes has a page about this video in which they point out that Ricky Jay has written about a similar early version of this trick in Learned Pigs & Fireproof Women. Sure enough, he has. Participating in this early version of the trick was Johnny Eck, a legless & thighless man who starred in the movie Freaks. So I was right about the woman at the end of the video actually being a legless woman. But this leaves the question: was the woman standing in the crowd also the same legless woman? If so, that's amazing. If not, then I still have no idea how a switch could have been made without the camera being shut off. But I've now got to assume that it's a real trick and no camera tricks were employed.

Body Manipulation Magic Photos

Posted on Sat Jun 24, 2006


I believe that the legless woman name is Rose. You can see her here:
Posted by q12  on  Mon Jul 16, 2007  at  11:39 AM
you can see the head and sholders of the yoga woman who is the bottom part of the pulled woman (you can see on the skirt) right after they cut the video... dont know how you didnt see it.
its obviously 2 different persons.

look again and tell me...
Posted by ferdinando  in  brazil  on  Tue Jul 31, 2007  at  11:55 PM
The link to YouTube just gets the response:

This video has been removed due to terms of use violation.
Posted by Dark Avenger  on  Wed Aug 01, 2007  at  04:23 AM
You may type "women in half" in and you should be able to see it
Posted by Marc  in  Montreal  on  Sun Aug 05, 2007  at  02:57 AM for Rosemarie Siggins u'll find ur answers..:D
Posted by Hasan  in  Toronto  on  Wed Aug 15, 2007  at  04:04 AM
Posted by Hasan  in  Toronto  on  Wed Aug 15, 2007  at  04:06 AM
I want to say that I realy liked Criss Angel's videos smile
Posted by Veronica  in  East L.A.  on  Sun Sep 02, 2007  at  10:55 PM
The bottom half is most likely a contortionist bending forward till their head is in between their knees. hense the long skirt and not say a mini-skirt.
Posted by Orionsaint  on  Sun Oct 07, 2007  at  02:21 AM
upclose magicians usually pick someone first then say, no you're not right and then choose someone else. this simple presentation sells the trick even more. there's another trick where angel did this, where he took some girls front teeth out. first he was gonna do it to some random guy and he grabs his teeth and the guy chickens out. then angel chooses his stand in. a woman with denchers. this clip is on youtube.

There's a horrible trick angel does that's poorly done. where he puts his hand through a guys chest starting from the back. it's obvious that angel puts his arm in between the guys arm and hip which are hidden under the jacket. which has the empty sleeve tugged into the jackets pocket.
Posted by Ryan  on  Sun Oct 07, 2007  at  02:28 AM
oh and never ever believe angel when he says there's no cut aways. there's always edits. they're quick and fast and usually easy to catch, but usually the average person isn't paying attention. the episode where he flies from building to building was CGI removal of the wires holding him. its that simple. angel lies blunt face to the TV viewers. his way of honest way of speaking though sells the trick. you believe what he says.
Posted by Ryan  on  Sun Oct 07, 2007  at  02:31 AM
one thing I will say though, regardless of being fake. there's no denying what angel does is entertaining and in the end that's all anyone wants to be when watching a magician
Posted by Ryan  on  Sun Oct 07, 2007  at  02:33 AM
all he does is pull two short chicks apart.
Posted by destiney  in  bako  on  Mon Oct 15, 2007  at  11:33 PM
one chick (the top one)lost her legs in a freak accident, and the other is just plain short.
Posted by destiney  in  bako  on  Mon Oct 15, 2007  at  11:36 PM
Actors, editing, and video digital fx is all.
No different from Copperfield making the Statue of Liberty disappear in front of "an actual live audience" (bullshit - just actors). David Blane levitating while "unsuspecting people" on the street gawk in amazment (bullshit - just actors). Same with Chris Angel -- yet tv viewers still don't seem to get it. Amazing. That's the REAL people can be fooled by tv special fx and actors. Truly amazing.
Posted by CountChocula  in  atlanta  on  Mon Oct 29, 2007  at  01:15 AM
For those that think there was no editing and this was one contious film how do you explain that it was shot by two different camera men?

If you watch the first half the clip is shot from the back side of the bench and when the girl in Red lays down you can see the a camera man on the front side of the bench dressed in Black Shirt and Blue Jeans. After the second lady lays down, when Chris walks around to the back side of the bench, the camera angle switches to the camera man on the front side of the bench and you can now see the second camera man on the back side of the bench wearing a white t-shirt and dark pants.

For this to be a truly unedited clip it would have to be shot all from one camera in one continous take. What ever else is done (switching women, involving the crowd) one thing is 100% fact and that this film was cut and spliced together at least once!
Posted by Obvious Editing  in  Norhtern KY  on  Mon Oct 29, 2007  at  06:27 PM
it may be that there are actually 2 women that make up the woman who was pulled in half. The one woman who, in real life has no legs or thighs, and a midget. Look at the dress hem of the legs standing after the girl is pulled apart. All you see is the bottom of the legs and the feet. You do not see the knees! The height and proportion could be of a midget. Criss always stands in front of the camera around her mid section. WIth practice, the two women could pull off looking like one, err, standard sized woman.

Think about it.
Posted by hw  on  Wed Oct 31, 2007  at  08:11 AM
Yep, youre wrong!

He did do it woth out truing off the camere sjut had one strong midgit and one willing womnen wih no legs. See,Therre is a midget and a woden magne thing or sumthing that holds the girl on top to the wood board. So when hes taping u can hear like hes hitting wood or sumthing then when they pull she runs. The pulleed person is a real perosn with no legs.I forget her name, i think its like rose buts hes on a apge that shows ppl with diseases and disorerds and stuff and thats how they dio it!
Posted by Dillon  on  Fri Jan 04, 2008  at  12:12 PM
I simply freaked out when I watched the video clip. Being a "layman", I didn't notice any changing of camera pics, you know, cuts, but I really WANT to believe every rational theory about that "half a woman" as it truly scared me!
I always say "There's nothing to it, they're just playing tricks on us, everything can be explained" - but I didn't have any explanation. I'm glad there ARE several ones, so thanks a lot, folks wink.
Posted by Christina  in  Germany  on  Mon Feb 04, 2008  at  01:24 AM
Oh, and: I don't see how any disabled person would like to play a part in such a video. It's mediocre. What did they pay her??
Posted by Christina  in  Germany  on  Mon Feb 04, 2008  at  01:27 AM
What a bunch of cynics you are. Why not just try enjoying more of the world and it's people instead of coming up with ways of calling it lame.

He's entertaining and has inspired ideas - enough said.
Posted by Hm  on  Fri Mar 14, 2008  at  08:37 AM
The question truly is, and remains, was it a creative camera editing? Or truly real? Having watched the video numerous times, I find it hard to believe that the woman's fear wasn't real. Maybe she was a good actress, but not everoyne in that crowd could have been actors/actresses and they were convinceing enough. However, Criss Angel IS a known hypnotist along with many other thigns, is it possibel that during the time of the trick he had managed to hypnotise the people and then they edited the video? Oh the possibilities.
Posted by MJ  on  Fri Apr 04, 2008  at  12:45 PM
I just figured it out! It is editing, they switch the woman out when they focus on the man in the audience. When he first lays her down, the lady's shirt is UNTUCKED. After they focus on the man, her shirt is tucked into her skirt.
Also, the blonde woman is clearly a "plant" (and a terrible actress!)
Posted by modernsign  in  ca  on  Fri Jun 27, 2008  at  01:11 PM
Basically the immediate reflex of a person who had himself r herself cut would be stunned and crawl near the part of the body that is cut.. but the behaviour of the woman in the footage was different.. i think Chriss selected her purposely , a planted person..She was very limp at the starting of the footage her stance was very flat without any movement...
Posted by Arun Narayan  in  Indiana  on  Sun Aug 03, 2008  at  09:17 PM
i have seen the top half of the woman on a talk show before i think, and she only has the top half of her body ( i think she was born that way)
Posted by Aidan  on  Wed Aug 27, 2008  at  08:13 PM
Well, duh....!
Posted by KuntPhlapp  in  USA  on  Sat Oct 11, 2008  at  07:33 PM
what happened was the legless lady ( whose name is Rose, and can be read about here was positioned and secured on top of a contorsionist, which is the reason for a loose skirt so no one can identify a complete head and torso underneath it. At first i didnt really think this would be so because lying dow on top of the head would create a sort of bump and would be obvious, but when you think about it, well im not really sure if its the case for everyone, but my head and torso extends well beyond me knees. so the contosionist head is actually hanging off the bench. im also not sure if anyone else has figured this out, i havent read all the comments. usually criss angels actors are alot more horrible then that of the ones in this video, which eliminates foul play in the editing process, so i had to look into it. p.s. my dog is making the cutest face : ]
Posted by Kassi  in  LA  on  Fri Oct 31, 2008  at  11:29 PM
Posted by Delicious Monster  in  Orlando  on  Tue Dec 09, 2008  at  04:47 AM
No, It is all magic... He has made a pact with the devil for his special powers...
Posted by Joan Crackberry  in  BC, Canada  on  Wed Jan 21, 2009  at  07:18 AM
Dwarves have chubby limbs, the legs in this weren't chubby, they were slender. They were either from a contortionist, or they were fake.
Posted by Vek  in  Ontario, Canada  on  Thu Feb 12, 2009  at  08:35 PM
I want to know how the bottom half of "the woman" sat up after the top half was gone. No one's body bends that way, not even a yogi or a contortionist. If the person in the skirt was bent forward, they would have had to bend in an very odd way to make the bottom half of "the body" appear to sit up. I think it had to be a robotic prosthesis on the bottom. Watch as it sits up. It looked unnatural to me, aside from the fact that it was "torn in half."
Posted by Jamie  in  CA  on  Sun Feb 15, 2009  at  01:15 PM
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