(Investigator 94, 2004 January)
Four fake psychics pretending to have paranormal powers performed fifteen standard psychic feats for a studio audience that did not know they were being tricked.
The idea was to trick the audience and afterwards explain how the "psychic" feat was done.
This was the
theme of a TV
"Secrets of Psychics Revealed". In Adelaide it went to air on Channel
November 5, at 9.30pm.
TRICK 1. An audience member chose a card from the deck of cards spread, face down, on a table and after looking at it placed the chosen card in his pocket. The psychic performer then telephoned another "psychic". After contact was made the phone was handed to the audience member and the second psychic correctly told him which card was in his pocket.
were marked and therefore
the studio psychic knew which card was chosen. His introductory words
the phone to the second psychic were a code that conveyed the identity
of the card.
TRICK 2. Three audience members wrote numbers between 1 and 1,000 on a notepad. A fourth audience member added the numbers and wrote down the total. Another audience member then opened a previously sealed envelope and took out a paper with a number written on it. The fourth audience member then stated what total she had written down and her answer corresponded to the number taken from the envelope.
had identical front
and back covers. Before the performance the psychic wrote three
that would add up to the total in the envelope, on the first page of
notepad. The three audience members wrote theirs on the first page of
other side of the notepad. Before handing the fourth person the notepad
the psychic flipped it over so that the person added up the numbers the
psychic had written.
TRICK 3. The psychic broke a glass from a distance by mental energy.
with a pointed tip
was joined to a spring under the table. The rod, operating somewhat
a mouse trap, struck the glass from between two of the planks that
TRICK 4. A spoon, held between thumb and first finger, bent and then broke in half.
almost all the way through. Pressure of the thumb and finger then broke
it. By slowly releasing the pressure, the two halves of the spoon moved
down on either side of the thumb and thus appeared to bend. With
release of pressure the two halves dropped to the floor.
TRICK 5. An audience member drew three simple pictures on card-board without the psychic seeing. The psychic, by mind power, told the audience what was drawn.
was an accomplice of the psychic. The accomplice had a hidden
and the psychic had a listening device. The accomplice merely whispered
TRICK 6. The psychic conveyed information to three clients from the spirits.
merely did a "cold
reading" using a standard script that anyone could relate to like, "I
some financial concerns." All three clients heard the same words yet
them as specific and correct.
TRICK 7. With the psychic's back turned an audience member inserted the handle of a sharp dagger into one of three slots on a table. The dagger thus pointed upwards. The audience member then placed three cardboard cups over the three slots. The psychic turned around and, after reading the person's mind, slammed his hand down and squashed the two safe cups.
a mechanism such
that when the dagger was inserted into the slot a small peg slid out on
the psychic's side of the table and therefore he knew which cup covered
TRICK 8. The psychic claiming to have "remote viewing" described an audience member's home.
earlier an accomplice
identified audience members from ticket sales and visited several, and
even gained entry, under the guise of asking for directions.
TRICK 9. The psychic pushed a knitting needle, or thin pointed rod, through his forearm and drew blood. The wound then healed instantaneously.
were previously painted on the forearm. With the forearm turned away
the audience the psychic turned a flap of skin over the rod and stuck
onto the adjacent skin. This gave a tunnel through which the rod was
back and forth. The rod was partly hollow and released fake blood.
the psychic withdrew the rod he separated the stuck-together skin.
TRICK 10. An audience member selected a card, and handed it to a blindfolded psychic whose hands were behind his back. Using telepathy the psychic identified the card.
cloth had two
stiff pieces of cardboard inside it so that a gap along the nose gave a
line of sight down to the floor. A small mirror slid out from the sole
of his shoe and in this the psychic could see the reflection of the
TRICK 11. A match stood up in the psychic's hand.
been drilled out
lengthwise and a thin nail inserted. Attached to the underside of the
was a powerful magnet.
TRICK 12. Spirits of the dead made a client's ring levitate along the length of a pencil. They then wrote on a black slate a message meaningful to the client.
EXPLANATION: A fine hair was attached one end to the pencil and the other end to a crystal ball. Moving the pencil made the ring slide up or down.
While this was
eavesdropped on the talk between the client and psychic and wrote
meaningful on a slate. Only then did the psychic produce the slates –
of them stacked together – and opened them. The accomplice's writing
at this stage concealed by a black cover. The psychic closed the
flipped them over so that the black cover fell down onto the lower
Separating the slates – after pretending to contact the spirits –
TRICK 13. Using mind-power the psychic made a black steel coil glow red-hot.
coil was previously
painted red on one side. The psychic merely turned it slowly and showed
the audience the red side.
TRICK 14. A dollar bill lying flat on the palm of the psychic folded itself.
with a thin fishing
line attached to the dollar bill zigzag fashion and running from it up
the psychic's sleeve and across his back to his other hand so that the
other hand folded the bill.
TRICK 15. The psychic channelled personal information to audience members from dead relatives.
approached and grilled
audience members outside the studio prior to the performance. The
was written down and the psychic selected and used the best items.