Seance books?

All beginners in magic should address their questions here.

Postby Umpa Duze » 01/23/05 06:55 PM

I have a friend whose B-day is coming up and wondered if anyone could recommend a good book on staging a seance.
Thanks,
Eric
Cheers,
Umpa Duze
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Postby Guest » 01/24/05 08:52 AM

Depends on how much you like this friend. Many of the best books go for $100+ on eBay right now. If you're looking for an affordable, quickly available book, then check out:

$1000 Secret Seance by Docc Hilford
The Lizzie Borden Seance Portfolio by Larry White and Al Manson
Manifestations by Lee Earle, which would make a lovely gift

You also might want to do a search on the board for seance discussions.
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Postby Steve Bryant » 01/24/05 10:04 AM

You can probably do best looking over kid books on Halloween. Here's a more complete list I compiled back in 1996:

* Spirit Theater (Eugene Burger) -- So beautifully and relevantly designed by Richard Kaufman that this book even looks scary. If you can afford only one book on spirit magic, or only one book by Eugene on any subject, this is the one to buy.
* Practical Mental Effects (Annemann) -- One of the two best books on mentalism ever written, and containing many spooky effects. Try Arthur Monroe's "Voodoo" on your friends some dark night.
* 13 Steps to Mentalism (Corinda) -- The second of the two best books on mentalism. Also contains spooky effects throughout, but especially check Step 9, "Mediumistic Stunts."
* Mind, Myth & Magick (T.A. Waters) -- A monster collection of great material by Waters. I particularly enjoy the section called "Grymwyr."
* Ghost Book of Dark Secrets (Bob Nelson) -- My first book on the subject and therefore one of my favorites. The teaser at the top of the Seance review was written for this book. Hands down the best title for any of these books.
* Encyclopedia of Mentalism (Bob Nelson) -- Along with the above book, this one served as my early introduction to the field, with chapters on "Spiritualistic Table Lifting," "Office Clairvoyance," "The Seance Room," and "Midnight Ghost Shows."
* Capricornian Tales (Christian Chelman) -- Creepy and baffling routines. One of my favorites is a fortunetelling effect in which you proceed to tell a spectator when she will die. (And don't worry -- the effect ends happily.)
* Max Maven's Book of Fortunetelling (Max Maven) -- A thorough resource on this popular topic. Telling someone's fortune is often the scariest thing you can do for them.
* Making Manifestations (Lee Earle) -- Subtitled "Building the Commercial Seance," a generous text on how to actually conduct seances for profit.
* Ghostmasters (Mark Walker) -- A hardcover and vastly expanded version of Walker's earlier Spook Shows on Parade. A complete history of American midnight ghost shows. Contains numerous ideas you could resurrect and frighten people with.
* Algonquin McDuff's Spirit Cloth Book (Rhett Bryson, Jr., and Dexter Cleveland) -- A small but information-packed treatise on the full-light seance cloth.
* The Phoenix (Bruce Elliott/Jay Marshall) -- Back issues of this magazine offer many hours of reading pleasure, and hardcover reprints are very reasonably priced. For seance type material, check the excellent items by Don Tanner.
* The Pallbearers Review (Karl Fulves) -- Numerous effects in the ten-year run of this magazine are excellent for seance work. To cite only one, check Stanley Jaks' "Dim the Lights," on p. 316.
* Geek Magic (Dr. Doom) -- A sick little pamphlet, not for the squeamish. Check out the Splatter Puppet Show, in which Ken and Barbie go to Crystal Lake.
* King of the Cold Readers (Basom Jones) -- Excellent Herb Dewey material on this subject. One of a trilogy.
* Willard the Wizard (Bev Bergeron) -- Details on the famous Willard spirit cabinet.
* Bob Blau's World of Magic and the Secret of the Spirit Cabinet and Spirits on Stage (Bob Blau) -- Nice work on the Dr. Q slates and on the spirit cabinet.
* Bizarre (Tony Doc' Shiels) -- Strange routines, but be warned: some of the props will have to come from your local butcher shop.
* The Cantrip Codex (Tony Doc' Shiels) -- More strange routines from this bizarre Scot. Also contains stunning nude photos of his daughter. This is not the kind of stuff you'll find in The Linking Ring.
* The Magic of Alan Wakeling (Jim Steinmeyer) -- Check "Psychic Blackjack, " an awesome mental routine, and the illusions "The Mark Wilson Spirit Cabinet," "The Spirits Return," and "The Seance Post."
* How to Operate a Financially Successful Haunted House (Philip Morris and Dennis Phillips) -- Complete details on setting up and running an elaborate Halloween haunted house.
* How to Haunt a House (Dan Witkowski) -- Written for kids but full of useful ideas. Probably available now in the children's department of your nearest mega-bookstore.
* Tales from the Talking Board (Jim Magus) -- Subtitled "A Treatise on the Ouija Board." Full of performance routines with a Ouija board.
* Seance (Scott Moore-Davis) -- This is Scott's magnum opus, the complete run of his 12-issue quarterly magazine of the same title. A must for any practicioner of spooky entertainment.
* Medium Rare (Scott Davis and friends) -- I almost passed this by, thinking it was a reprint of the material in Seance. Not so. All new material consisting of interviews with the top seance workers. A great complement to Seance.
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Postby Steve Bryant » 01/24/05 10:27 AM

If you can get your hands on the January 2003 issue of Genii, Magic Castle medium Leo Kostka tips an excellent black art seance that would be fun to do.
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Postby Umpa Duze » 01/24/05 07:15 PM

Thanks for all the great information. He has been a great friend for thirty years. I met him when he was performing on the street in SF. He has been trapped inside the body of a responsible architect for the past twenty five years, but there is magician trying to get out. Hopefully he will enjoy the sceance materials and be encouraged to enjoy his magical side again.
Eric
Cheers,
Umpa Duze
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Posts: 183
Joined: 06/05/08 08:27 PM
Location: Humboldt County CA


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