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The Curator
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Paradise Lost is my latest and ultimate version of Pact.
The text has been translated by Carl Gibson and I publish it here to thank those who helped me finding the objects I needed.
I don't publish any explanation on an open forum but you must know that there are some variation with my original Pact routine.
Have fun.

Image


Photos by Anne-Laure Jacquart.

Paradise Lost
The Big Easy Pact

“At 9 o'clock, or thereabouts, the flare of torchlights shattered the darkness of Magazine and Julia Streets, bands burst into symphony, and the Mistick Krewe stood revealed—a company of demons, rich and realistic, moving in a procession that seemed to blaze from some secret chamber of the earth. They came! Led by the festive Comus, high on his royal seat, and Satan, high on a hill, far blazing as a mount, with pyramids and towers from diamond quarries hewn, and rocks of gold; the palace of great Lucifer. The demon actors in Milton's Paradise Lost. The first torchlit scenic procession in New Orleans, a revolution in street pageantry, a revelation in artistic effects.”
The Mistick Krewe: Chronicles of Comus and his Kin
(Carnival Press, 1931), by Perry Young


"Have you ever forgotten a relative’s name? It happened to me once. No matter how hard I tried I simply could not remember the name of one of my cousins. Even worse, other members of my family couldn't remember it either. And yet he was only a bit older than me and we used to play together when we were kids. I can picture his face perfectly and I still clearly remember a story about him."

Mardi Gras was in full swing in New Orleans’ historic French Quarter.
Of course, it can’t compare to Carnival in Rio, but the city streets were bustling with richly coloured floats organised by the multitude of 'Krewes' and lit up by gaudily sequined costumes.
And then there was the jazz... It spilled into the streets, blending with the chaotic and joyous atmosphere.
That was the day my cousin decided to go on one of those mystery, ghost and cemetery tours that tourists typically take. 'Mardi Gras Special: $15' said the brochure. Why not?
No reservation needed. Meet at Flanagan's pub 20 minutes before the tour starts.
Not many people showed up at the meeting place that sunny afternoon, just a handful of French holidaymakers bedecked in Mardi Gras necklaces, all sitting around a prominent fellow. A 6'6" mulatto dressed up as Mephistopheles; he turned out to be the tour guide in full Mardi Gras get-up. The costume suited him perfectly. You would have sworn that the horns were actually growing out of his impish skull. My cousin asked if the tour was going to go ahead with so few customers, to which the guide replied that it would and pocketed the fee.

"Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Comus, lord of disorder and demon of mischief", he began. "I am a member of the Krewe of Satan, a grand connoisseur of the mysteries and devilry of this fine city. I invite you to follow me on this, the most unusual tour of the French Quarter during this festive period."

The tour lasted about two and a half hours and the guide really knew his stuff. He was a true historian of the bizarre. At Saint Louis cemetery no. 1, the veves and crosses were more reminiscent of Baron Samedi than Jesus Christ. The white tomb of Marie Laveau, the famous mambo, made quite an impact on my cousin. This was followed by a visit to the Lalaurie Mansion, the city's most haunted house, owned by murderess Delphine Lalaurie. Next came the story of the Witch of the French Opera - whose ghost killed her husband and his mistress - and the ghost of the quadroon mistress, a nude young lady who appears on chilly December nights not far from the ghost of her card-playing lover.
The tour was fantastic value for money and the storyteller had a rapier wit and easy, devilish eloquence.
At the end of the tour, the enchanted participants pressed tips on the guide, who, in return gave them each a Mardi Gras gift: a toy Rex (king of the carnival), necklaces of coloured 'voodoo beads', packets of candy and a slice of King’s Cake. Just for a laugh, my cousin tipped the guide with a Mardi Gras ‘doubloon’, one of those shiny fake coins used during Mardi Gras.
The guide gave him a weak smile and thanked him in return with a small package of playing cards and a strange token.

"Appearances can be deceiving", said the guide. "These cards may not look like much but they can make you rich. They're used in a game called Paradise Lost, which is played with a group of cards that are all the same: the 6 of Spades. On the back of each card is a little angel.
In some traditions, the number 6 is linked to the devil, especially when it appears in triplicate.
You lay all the 6 of Spades down in two rows. The cards in this row are face up, showing the 6s. This is the Hell row. The cards in the other row are face down, so that we can see the angels. This is the Heaven row. There is a seventh card that is different from the rest; it is blank on the front. This is the soul card, sometimes called the ghost card. In fact, it is said that the devil himself invented this game in order to collect souls. Here is how the game is played: You trap the soul card between the three face-up Hell cards and place the coin on one of the face-down Heaven cards. Then you have to bet on where you think the soul card is. Is it with the Hell cards or has it escaped the clutches of the Devil and may its way underneath the coin?
In this game, you can be sure that your ‘mark’ will always bet wrong because the cards are bewitched and the soul card escapes invisibly."
The Hell cards now contain four 6 of Spades and the soul card is underneath the doubloon.
"However, if you accept this game from me, then you must comply with three strict rules:
- The game must be played only at night, between sundown and sunrise. If you play it any other time, you will lose.
- The cards will eventually wear out. Feel free to replace them as necessary, but you must never lose the doubloon, for that is where the magic lies.
- And the third and most important rule: you may play no more than three times per night. If you play once too often, then you forfeit your soul... to me. After all, am I not the Devil?

My cousin took the cards and started to examine them: "You're having me on. This is the kind of trick they sell to tourists in joke shops."
Incredulous, he tried the game and - amazingly - the soul card escaped invisibly from the cards in his hand and appeared underneath the doubloon.
No matter how hard he looked, he couldn't find any kind of trap door or mirror or any other secret mechanism in the soul card. And it was impossible to rub away the ink on the other cards.
The game actually worked as described. Not hesitating for a second, he accepted the gift.

He played the game every day, like clockwork, for nearly two years – 666 days to be exact. Everything was fine, until the six hundred and sixty-sixth night …

That evening, he was sitting in the Old Absinthe House, located at the intersection of Bourbon Street and Bienville. He had already played twice earlier in the evening, but nobody else had come by for the third and final round. Seated at a table with a nearly empty glass of absinthe, he played nervously with his cards, waiting for a final punter to show up. After a while, it became clear that the night was winding down and the bar was going to close. He picked up his cards but, right as he was about to put the doubloon away, a punter approached and asked him what he was playing. He seemed a bit tipsy and loaded with cash.
As usual, my cousin explained the game. As usual, the punter lost and as usual my cousin pocketed the bet. Seeing that he had played for the third and final time, he started putting his things away so he could go home and hit the sack.
The dumbfounded punter loudly claimed that the game was rigged and demanded to play again. My cousin showed him the cards and asked him to come back the next night, when he would be happy to let him play again.
But the punter insisted that he wanted to play now and offered to bet $10,000 dollars. "I've got more cash that I'm willing to bet here and now than you've seen in the last 6 months. Are you going to let some old superstition stop you from winning this money?"
What would you have done?
Eyeing the cash, my cousin agreed to play one last time.
But at that very moment, the punter smiled sardonically and said: "Look at your cards now, my boy, because it seems you're the loser now…"
Every last card was blank, including the ones that had already been played.
Right then, my cousin started to feel that he had lost much, much more than the ink from some playing cards or a harmless game. He could feel something more intangible and much deeper slipping away …
And the punter said: "When you make a pact with the Devil - even a Mardi Gras devil - you had better keep it!"
Then he clapped his hands and my cousin was never seen again. In fact, I can't even remember his name.

Image
askernas
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A lovely story and chillling at that Smile

Where can I get the original version of Pact? Where have you published it?
Micke Askernäs
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Harlequin
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I believe one of the versions is in Capricornian Tales. The story and handling are different of course. I really enjoy this version.
Dr Spektor
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Me too.... Askernas - you must get a copy of CT... it is a bizarrist classic.

(I still do the wonderful 666 steamboat effect every chance I can present it without being chased out by villagers with torches)
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
The Curator
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Yep, the original version is in CT.
A second more dramatic version is published in French in Legendes Urbaines.
A third version adapted for Renaissance fairs hasn't been published but is included someway in this latest version. This version is a bit different from the original, I like the idea of the devil as a Mardi gras charachter.
mota
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Just a bizarre thought...

It was mentioned earlier how God threw the Devil out.

Remember...history is written by the winner. This is the war on good and evil from God's point of view.

Suppose the devil had won...who would we be thinking is evil now?
askernas
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As Terry Pratchett writes someplace in his novel "Eric" (paraphrased)
"The demon stood there immortally afraid of something wonderful happening to him."
Footnote: "Demons have a twisted sense of view" Smile
Micke Askernäs
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doctorrigormorto
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For the past 15 years I have played the 'Devil' on stage as the owner of a Circus Sideshow.
His name is Nikolai Diablo and he owns Carnival Diablo The Ultimate Sideshow!



My approach has been of a refined gentleman that has NO consideration for his performers or audience members. He is a complete Narcissist. He is knowledgeable in the ALL of the Dark Arts and is great at manipulating people to do his will. The audience is very aware that he is a villain... but I don't play him off to be a Snidely Whiplash type of character, but instead more of a Leland Gaunt and Darryl Van Horn. (allthough, I have been doing the character many years before 'Needful Things' or 'The Witches of Eastwick' came out.)

He is the character that instigates the pain and punishment to his Minions in his show. My handeling of audience members never embarrasses them, but instead keeps them off balance. He is very aware of his roll in the everyday life of the masses and exploits his Human Marvels and Freaks with relish, always the 'Puppet Master'.

He is charming, worldly, dark and prone to BAD Mood swings... (he has never been heckled in the 15 years of being on stage) (thats power)

He is , as is his Marvels, immortal. The Human Marvels are constantly being put through the 7 stages of HELL during the show. He is relentless in his pursuit to inflict as much pain and suffering as possible, to his own delight.

A false GOD, Nikolai promises Greatness... but for his performers at what price? They DO Star in the Show...
but No-One in their right mind would want to be involved in the lurid Production that he creates. The performers are destined to play out the most painful of feats for an eternity because of the pact they have made with Nikolai Diablo.

I have had Christians picket my show in the early days... and used it to my full advantage in the Press.
I have had the chance to play in many Horror films because of my character in the show and also have been welcomed into closed circles because of my knowledge of the Dark side of humanity.

Druids, Free-Masons and Wicca's frequent my production because it offers up some rather thought provoking fare. My character is not taken seriousely, but my Knowledge as that of the 'Curators' is constantly in demand.

If you are going to play 'The Devil', and be credible, you must have a strong knowledge of the Dark Arts and be prepared for a mental sparring match with any good reporter. I have made a career playing 'Ol Nick and have enjoyed a certain noteriety because of it. Smile

My production is very large and plays in 1500 seat auditoriums... we sell out all the time!
Check out http://www.carnivaldiablo.com to see the world that I have created.




Scott McClelland
Carnival Diablo Productions

Click here to view attached image.
Silvertongue
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Thanks for that Curator, anything by the Curator is worthy of attention from all magicians...
For as long as space exists,
And living beings remain in cyclic existence,
For that long, may I too remain,
to dispel the sufferings of the world.
-Shantideva

Engaging in the Conduct of a Bodhisattva
billyboy1957
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An obscure English occult magazine called Aquarian Arrow featured an amusing article in most issues called 'Diary of Satanist' and featuring a satanist called Hugo L'Strange. Much of this would be thought-provoking material for bizarre workers I think. The author is intending to publish these in a book and I shall let you all know as and when this happens.

Years ago the author came and spoke at a meeting I attended at a castle in Austria. On the last day we had a party in the courtyard of the castle, which was one of Ershebeth Bathory's by the way. He dressed up as one of his characters from the Diary called Shree Bapa Reebop and started blessing people in a way we all took to be a bit of fun. However, a group of German visitors were attending a feast in the castle. When they emerged one of them approached and offered him the equivalent of 1000 dollars American to give him a blessing. After I translated this, my friend went to a lot of trouble to point out he was having a bit of fun. The situation started to get out of hand because they didn't believe him (by now a crowd had gathered). The upshot was he had to take the money to avoid probable bloodshed. It was then I realised how easily people can be fooled and the germ of an idea of how this happens was seeded. Food for thought.

Ian
John Nesbit
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Quote:
On 2007-07-05 12:05, doctorrigormorto wrote:
For the past 15 years I have played the 'Devil' on stage as the owner of a Circus Sideshow.
His name is Nikolai Diablo and he owns Carnival Diablo The Ultimate Sideshow!



My approach has been of a refined gentleman that has NO consideration for his performers or audience members. He is a complete Narcissist. He is knowledgeable in the ALL of the Dark Arts and is great at manipulating people to do his will. The audience is very aware that he is a villain... but I don't play him off to be a Snidely Whiplash type of character, but instead more of a Leland Gaunt and Darryl Van Horn. (allthough, I have been doing the character many years before 'Needful Things' or 'The Witches of Eastwick' came out.)

He is the character that instigates the pain and punishment to his Minions in his show. My handeling of audience members never embarrasses them, but instead keeps them off balance. He is very aware of his roll in the everyday life of the masses and exploits his Human Marvels and Freaks with relish, always the 'Puppet Master'.

He is charming, worldly, dark and prone to BAD Mood swings... (he has never been heckled in the 15 years of being on stage) (thats power)

He is , as is his Marvels, immortal. The Human Marvels are constantly being put through the 7 stages of HELL during the show. He is relentless in his pursuit to inflict as much pain and suffering as possible, to his own delight.

A false GOD, Nikolai promises Greatness... but for his performers at what price? They DO Star in the Show...
but No-One in their right mind would want to be involved in the lurid Production that he creates. The performers are destined to play out the most painful of feats for an eternity because of the pact they have made with Nikolai Diablo.

I have had Christians picket my show in the early days... and used it to my full advantage in the Press.
I have had the chance to play in many Horror films because of my character in the show and also have been welcomed into closed circles because of my knowledge of the Dark side of humanity.

Druids, Free-Masons and Wicca's frequent my production because it offers up some rather thought provoking fare. My character is not taken seriousely, but my Knowledge as that of the 'Curators' is constantly in demand.

If you are going to play 'The Devil', and be credible, you must have a strong knowledge of the Dark Arts and be prepared for a mental sparring match with any good reporter. I have made a career playing 'Ol Nick and have enjoyed a certain noteriety because of it. Smile

My production is very large and plays in 1500 seat auditoriums... we sell out all the time!
Check out http://www.carnivaldiablo.com to see the world that I have created.




Scott McClelland
Carnival Diablo Productions


Those are some very impressive reviews and references of television appearances on your website Scott. I would like to see Carnival Diablo as well.

John
magus
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A thought-
1.The Devil is a con man, trying to get the sucker to take advantage of him, and ultimately lose (Like the djinn stories, make a wish, and I'll see if I can turn your wish to something bad)
2. A sucker will mess up because he will go for the greed button because no one is looking. (Basic con stratagy- the con man is a bad guy trying to screw someone else, and he leaves an opportunity for the sucker to mess the con man over in return)
3. The spectator will take the high road on stage because everyone will be looking.
4. this will cause the devil to fail in his soul quest.
5. This makes the spectator look good in front of the audience. (This is a GOOD thing)
Now- wrap your story and effect around THAT premise.
crappy deium-



what a lousy day to be seized



thaumometer-



a device for measuring a magical field
Scott Alexander
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I am working on a cruise in Hawaii at present. I just got a "comment card" that said "If I wanted to see the devil, I would die and go to Hell." Im doing Windshear and Water Levitation. What the audience thinks is the devis's work may be more innocuious then we believe.

S
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acesover
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Just an afterthought.

Do you remember what the Devil's biggest dilema is"?

It is Convincing the world that he does not exist.
If I were to agree with you. Then we would both be wrong. As of Apr 5, 2015 10:26 pm I have 880 posts. Used to have over 1,000
Anabelle
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Quote:
On 2007-07-10 08:26, Scott Alexander wrote:
I am working on a cruise in Hawaii at present. I just got a "comment card" that said "If I wanted to see the devil, I would die and go to Hell." Im doing Windshear and Water Levitation. What the audience thinks is the devis's work may be more innocuious then we believe.

S


That's crazy but I get reactions like that every now and then. I perform mentalism and psychic entertainment casually and you'd be surprised how many people have seriously called me a witch and were spooked by me. I've had some ask if I could put curses on people or cure diseases. The more serious cases I have approached and told them I'm just entertaining, but even so I usually get, "yeah, right, whatever." Creepy.

Anabelle
Philemon Vanderbeck
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On the other hoof, I've had no problem getting people to sign their souls over to me... Smile
Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
That Creepy Magician
"I use my sixth sense to create the illusion of possessing the other five."
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