As a young man, I had the good fortune to see Neff's show on many occasions. He had one piece of business which has stayed in my memory over the years. It involved the Burned Alive Illusion...you know, where the reclining female assistant is enclosed in a casket or surrounded by a box of some sort; a torch is touched to the contents and flames ensue. The sides of the box drop down at the climatic moment, and it is seen that the girl is gone. In her place, instead,is a smoldering skeleton.
In Neff's version, in the preliminary stages, the sudience side of the casket or box was open allowing full view of the right side of the "sleeping" assistant. As the sacrificial preparations were being readied, the unconcious girl's right arm would slip off the platform to dangle downward. One couldn't help but observe the ornate bracelet around her wrist. Neff would notice the movement and gently replace her arm on the platform by her side. As the preparations for the sacrifice continued, a minute or so later, the arm would slide off and dangle again. Neff never made a big deal of this. Rather, it was very underplayed. He simply would replace the arm with no comment. Maybe it happened a third time; I don't remember.
Anyway, the side of the box was closed up. The torch was applied to the now hidden girl. Flames and smoke engulfed the interior of the box. As the flames died out, all of the sides of the box/casket would suddenly fall open to reveal the transformation of the girl into a still smoldering skeleton. As the effect registered with the audience, the skeleton's right arm would slowly slide off of the platform to dangle beside the coffin. An observant spectator would notice that slight movement and note that on the skeleton's wrist was the exact, but charred, bracelet that he had seen before. No one called any attention to it, but a sharp, very observant guy would pick up on it. And maybe, if he was lucky, he would remember it forty years later!