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Topic: Darkest routines ever...
Message: Posted by: topherhester (Dec 19, 2019 12:35PM)
So I was talking with my brother who is not a magician but he said ďI know you perform some dark material sometimes but whatís the darkest routine you perform or have ever seen?Ē

That got me to thinking..

Because I do paid shows open to the public, I usually keep things on the edge of dark but I never perform things that I think would be truly unsettling or that are so heavy there is no release or entertainment factor to it.

So now Iím curious. Whatís the darkest routines you perform or have seen in person? I mean dark as emotionally dark, emotionally disturbing, thematically dark, etc.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Dec 19, 2019 01:21PM)
Darkest ever or darkest I regularly perform?

I've done a psychic surgery routine based around Sin Eating. Some have called that dark. I also currently have a routine based around the idea of voodoo dolls, which I don't think is dark personally, but some might.

I think the 'darkest' was probably a routine I did for a Satanist's Devil's Night ritual, though. I am not going to go into specifics but it involved three volunteers and some needles.
Message: Posted by: topherhester (Dec 19, 2019 01:36PM)
I think the darkest I have done for a public show was a variation of Eugene burgers Retribution. I changed quite a few things and didnít use tarot cards. Instead I used a voodoo doll. I didnít really play it tongue in cheek like Eugene did so it was heavier than my other routines. And ending with the razor really drives people over the edge. Not in a good way lol. Have to be careful too as some people are cutters in real life or have lost people to suicide so I made sure it was the right audience.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Dec 19, 2019 03:21PM)
True. It's always important to know the audience. For me ritual performance was explicitly described as being dark, involving blood, etc. No worries about offending anyone.
Message: Posted by: balzar (Dec 19, 2019 05:26PM)
Probably more in the geek vein (so to speak), I did Pen and Tellers cut and restored live snake. It is a great effect, but one loses about a quarter of the audience as soon as you introduce the snake, and another third when you sever it and the blood hits the ceiling.
The restoration plays well for the fraction of the audience remaining.
Message: Posted by: Lo Pan (Dec 20, 2019 12:29AM)
I love this thread! My favorite is Cuss Cards
Message: Posted by: Lo Pan (Dec 20, 2019 12:35AM)
The darkest routine Iíve ever seen was at a Blackstone and Family show. For tie finally they used a logging saw to cut a girl about half way through her abdomen and left her there on the table with her intestines hanging out for the audience to walk past and view close up. The illusion was presented in ceremonial style and the fact that they just left her body out there for viewing was so Bizarre - I will never forget it.
Message: Posted by: Lo Pan (Dec 20, 2019 12:56AM)
The show was in the 80s and I was in my early teens...
Message: Posted by: topherhester (Dec 20, 2019 07:28AM)
That sounds awesome!
Message: Posted by: The Curator (Dec 20, 2019 11:07AM)
Relic may be the darkest I ever performed.
But my wn Krampus version isn't light either.
Message: Posted by: gothicmagic (Dec 20, 2019 11:14AM)
Hmm My Death Card routine where the selected audience member has died in their sleep and must win back their chance at life, Fallen Angels By Paul prater (about a fire at an orphanage) Inferno about a Circus fire
;) 99% of all my material is Dark

and we do have cookies
Message: Posted by: docdazzal (Dec 20, 2019 12:19PM)
Hi All...

Although I don't perform this at all my presentations...I have a routine where I use DarkSpell in conjunction with Cuss Cards. I also use DarkSpell with my Sin Eater Presentation in conjunction with the Seven Sins.

Looks on the Faces is Priceless...
Dr. Dan
Message: Posted by: GlennLawrence (Dec 20, 2019 12:19PM)
[quote]On Dec 20, 2019, Lo Pan wrote:
The darkest routine Iíve ever seen was at a Blackstone and Family show. For tie finally they used a logging saw to cut a girl about half way through her abdomen and left her there on the table with her intestines hanging out for the audience to walk past and view close up. The illusion was presented in ceremonial style and the fact that they just left her body out there for viewing was so Bizarre - I will never forget it. [/quote]

When this topic came up the first thing that came to my mind was Ricciardi's sawing. Same kind of thing, a lot of blood and innards hanging out, very graphic. If my memory is correct on this, he also used his own daughter as the victim which made it extra creepy and disturbing!
Message: Posted by: Todd Robbins (Dec 20, 2019 12:42PM)
Well, thereís this. https://youtu.be/OOLpMzNvyg4
Message: Posted by: docdazzal (Dec 20, 2019 01:22PM)
Hey Todd...

Very Cool Indeed...

Continued Success,
Dan
Message: Posted by: topherhester (Dec 20, 2019 03:53PM)
Todd, I greatly wanted to see Play Dead in its entirety. Considering the brilliant minds behind it, it had to be amazing. Howís everything going at the Mckittrick? Saw Cagigal was dropping in for Speakeasy this week.
Message: Posted by: Smoking Camel (Dec 20, 2019 04:21PM)
Demon summoning involving some sort of living sacrifice is always dark.
Message: Posted by: Nick Birch (Dec 20, 2019 06:52PM)
Depression era children selling their souls by paying the creepy clown to play ĎThe Kn0wing G@meí. Doesnít get much darker or unsettling than that.
Message: Posted by: weepinwil (Dec 20, 2019 07:44PM)
[quote]On Dec 20, 2019, Nick Birch wrote:
Depression era children selling their souls by paying the creepy clown to play ĎThe Kn0wing G@meí. Doesnít get much darker or unsettling than that. [/quote]

If played right, Witch Hazel can be pretty dark. Also ASH if you add a possessed doll like the drawing. Almost got the police called on me for that one.
Message: Posted by: Intrepid (Dec 20, 2019 08:52PM)
Todd, I was so glad I was able to see Play Dead when I was in NY years ago. Watching you eat glass goes up there with dark and disturbing. I hope you have since changed your diet to softer foods.
Message: Posted by: DrIlluminatus (Dec 20, 2019 10:32PM)
Stealing someones soul
Message: Posted by: Merlinsmagic (Dec 20, 2019 11:34PM)
Releasing a demon from Prof BC's Aes Goetia with all the lights out, pk touches & a spirit bell going off, darkest routine I can think of....
Message: Posted by: topherhester (Dec 21, 2019 10:17AM)
DrIlluminatus, you reminded of a routine I do where I tell of a story of someone who says ďI would do anything if someone would help meĒ and a mysterious man appears which they suspect is the devil. Itís loosely based on Wagers of Sin by Max Maven. I wrote up the contract before the show but only had tyvek paper laying around. I had bought it to make some practice sheets for doing bill changes with a TT. Anyways, the time came and after losing a really fair game in which they odds should be in their favor dramatically, I ask them to sign over their soul. Every time Iíve done this in a show, the participant actually signs as they think itís still part of the show. I conclude the routine and as I was sending the first person back to the seat I remember you canít tear tyvek. The light bulb went off and I said ďWait, I know this is for entertainment purposes but it really wouldnít sit well with me if I sent you with a signed contract giving your soul to the devil. Just so we can both rest tonight without any guilt, tear up that contract real quick and letís get rid of it.

Of course they try and try and canít. It just so happened that the first person who came up when I first performed this in a show was a big guy who used to powerlift in the 300+ weight classes. He couldnít tear it.... Once he starts struggling, everyone around started noticing and laughing. I ended with ďit seems these contracts are more binding than I anticipated.Ē
Message: Posted by: topherhester (Dec 21, 2019 10:47AM)
Will, I missed out on both Witch H@zel and The Kn0wing G@me! Iíll get them someday.
Message: Posted by: weepinwil (Dec 21, 2019 11:42AM)
[quote]On Dec 21, 2019, topherhester wrote:
Will, I missed out on both Witch H@zel and The Kn0wing G@me! Iíll get them someday. [/quote]

Witch Hazel is pretty reasonable still but TKG will cost you dearly as far as I can tell. Maybe a lung or kidney plus some cash. lol
Message: Posted by: Lo Pan (Dec 21, 2019 12:55PM)
[quote]On Dec 21, 2019, topherhester wrote:
DrIlluminatus, you reminded of a routine I do where I tell of a story of someone who says ďI would do anything if someone would help meĒ and a mysterious man appears which they suspect is the devil. Itís loosely based on Wagers of Sin by Max Maven. I wrote up the contract before the show but only had tyvek paper laying around. I had bought it to make some practice sheets for doing bill changes with a TT. Anyways, the time came and after losing a really fair game in which they odds should be in their favor dramatically, I ask them to sign over their soul. Every time Iíve done this in a show, the participant actually signs as they think itís still part of the show. I conclude the routine and as I was sending the first person back to the seat I remember you canít tear tyvek. The light bulb went off and I said ďWait, I know this is for entertainment purposes but it really wouldnít sit well with me if I sent you with a signed contract giving your soul to the devil. Just so we can both rest tonight without any guilt, tear up that contract real quick and letís get rid of it.

Of course they try and try and canít. It just so happened that the first person who came up when I first performed this in a show was a big guy who used to powerlift in the 300+ weight classes. He couldnít tear it.... Once he starts struggling, everyone around started noticing and laughing. I ended with ďit seems these contracts are more binding than I anticipated.Ē [/quote]

That is a great and first use of tyvek in a Bizarre routine that I have read about, a very dark routine indeed. What do you do to the tyvek to make it look like a actual paper document?
Message: Posted by: topherhester (Dec 21, 2019 01:18PM)
The tyvek I got is like paper. Itís really thin and pliable and the size I used was the size of common stationary paper. So I didnít do much to it. I just folded it and put it in a black envelope that I had sealed with wax and a pentagram seal.
Message: Posted by: Lo Pan (Dec 21, 2019 01:52PM)
Very cool - thanks!
Message: Posted by: Mad0hatter (Dec 22, 2019 06:07PM)
At an open mic night for the bar I worked at I did a version of Docc Hilford's Murder by Mail done without any acknowledgment of it being less than real black magic. And the fact is a very real person has died so the effect has a very real very finite realism to it.
Message: Posted by: Bogbadger (Dec 23, 2019 01:16AM)
[quote]On Dec 20, 2019, gothicmagic wrote:
Hmm My Death Card routine where the selected audience member has died in their sleep and must win back their chance at life, Fallen Angels By Paul prater (about a fire at an orphanage) Inferno about a Circus fire
;) 99% of all my material is Dark

and we do have cookies [/quote]

You have cookies? You actually give ordinary innocent people cookies? You sick *******!
Message: Posted by: Wizard of Oz (Dec 23, 2019 05:40PM)
This is my pick... https://www.geminiartifacts.com/products/vade-retro-satana

I own it. Love that I have it. And have yet to show it to anyone. It creeps me out that much.

Exorcism has always disturbed me. Perhaps due to my strict Catholic upbringing, or my questions regarding whether there is, or isn't an afterlife. Whatever. This effect is so powerful to me that I have yet summoned the strength to demonstrate it.
Message: Posted by: professortango (Dec 23, 2019 05:56PM)
A bullet catch that goes wrong and ends up with the blood/brains revealing the chosen card. Some performances I don't even bow, just lie there until the audience clears out.
Message: Posted by: Intrepid (Dec 23, 2019 08:10PM)
"Memories of Emily" is the one routine I own that is so dark and disturbing I will never perform it.
Message: Posted by: topherhester (Dec 23, 2019 08:58PM)
Iím not aware of that one. When I went to search for it to buy only Emily V2 is available. Sounds like itís been tamed a bit computed to V1. Bummer.
Message: Posted by: topherhester (Dec 24, 2019 06:57AM)
Compared to*
Message: Posted by: weepinwil (Dec 24, 2019 07:07AM)
[quote]On Dec 23, 2019, professortango wrote:
A bullet catch that goes wrong and ends up with the blood/brains revealing the chosen card. Some performances I don't even bow, just lie there until the audience clears out. [/quote]

I remember that one. The guy missed the catch and the .50 caliber round split his head wide open and he lay on the stage for over 12 hours before he died. But you didn't mention the failed impale trick where the guy was skewered with thousands of bamboo shards and was begging someone to kill him because he was in so much pain. Then that other guy who repelled from the flaming helicopter and missed the pond and splattered himself into a parked vehicle.....

Oh wait! That wasn't a show, it was one of my day in my life in Vietnam 1966.... Darkest I know of. Sorry for the flashback but sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between the real surreal times and manufactured ones.
Message: Posted by: Lo Pan (Dec 24, 2019 06:46PM)
[quote]On Dec 24, 2019, weepinwil wrote:
[quote]On Dec 23, 2019, professortango wrote:
A bullet catch that goes wrong and ends up with the blood/brains revealing the chosen card. Some performances I don't even bow, just lie there until the audience clears out. [/quote]

I remember that one. The guy missed the catch and the .50 caliber round split his head wide open and he lay on the stage for over 12 hours before he died. But you didn't mention the failed impale trick where the guy was skewered with thousands of bamboo shards and was begging someone to kill him because he was in so much pain. Then that other guy who repelled from the flaming helicopter and missed the pond and splattered himself into a parked vehicle.....

Oh wait! That wasn't a show, it was one of my day in my life in Vietnam 1966.... Darkest I know of. Sorry for the flashback but sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between the real surreal times and manufactured ones. [/quote]

Whoa - Dark indeed - I hope your memories of this Holiday time are full of warmth, happiness, love, and a little Bizarre Magic.
Message: Posted by: weepinwil (Dec 24, 2019 07:32PM)
[quote]On Dec 24, 2019, Lo Pan wrote:
[quote]On Dec 24, 2019, weepinwil wrote:
[quote]On Dec 23, 2019, professortango wrote:
A bullet catch that goes wrong and ends up with the blood/brains revealing the chosen card. Some performances I don't even bow, just lie there until the audience clears out. [/quote]

I remember that one. The guy missed the catch and the .50 caliber round split his head wide open and he lay on the stage for over 12 hours before he died. But you didn't mention the failed impale trick where the guy was skewered with thousands of bamboo shards and was begging someone to kill him because he was in so much pain. Then that other guy who repelled from the flaming helicopter and missed the pond and splattered himself into a parked vehicle.....

Oh wait! That wasn't a show, it was one of my day in my life in Vietnam 1966.... Darkest I know of. Sorry for the flashback but sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between the real surreal times and manufactured ones. [/quote]

Whoa - Dark indeed - I hope your memories of this Holiday time are full of warmth, happiness, love, and a little Bizarre Magic. [/quote]

Thanks Lo Pan, yours as well.
Message: Posted by: Thesaintinscarlet (Jan 4, 2020 05:21PM)
Got to be my names routine.
We talk about the three kinds of names people possess.
Your given name, which is how people have power over you.
Your taken name, which is how you take control of your life.
And your true name which encapsulates the very soul of your being. It requires a lifetime of study to even comprehend. Let alone put into words.

Each phase of the routine focuses on one type of name and the power it holds. We finish on the true name. Which is hard to put into words.
Instead, we pull someone's soul out of their body and let them hold it so they might further understand what they are.

Sometimes I even let them have their soul back.
Message: Posted by: weepinwil (Jan 4, 2020 07:15PM)
[quote]On Jan 4, 2020, Thesaintinscarlet wrote:
Got to be my names routine.
We talk about the three kinds of names people possess.
Your given name, which is how people have power over you.
Your taken name, which is how you take control of your life.
And your true name which encapsulates the very soul of your being. It requires a lifetime of study to even comprehend. Let alone put into words.

Each phase of the routine focuses on one type of name and the power it holds. We finish on the true name. Which is hard to put into words.
Instead, we pull someone's soul out of their body and let them hold it so they might further understand what they are.

Sometimes I even let them have their soul back. [/quote]

I need a copy of that routine. Be my luck I'd have a spectator without a soul to snatch.
Message: Posted by: Gaunt (Jan 9, 2020 05:28PM)
It's a shame "Memories of Emily" has vanished because it sounded as though it would have been a very dark routine.
Message: Posted by: Docc Hilford (Jan 10, 2020 04:46PM)
Swamp Water - a play in itself.
😉
BTW Murder by Mail was banned in some states!
Jim Magus almost went to jail over it in Georgia!

Peace
Docc
Message: Posted by: Bernice (Jun 3, 2020 12:03PM)
I would love to read "Memories of Emily". I believe even in the most morbid and ghastly stories are an opportunity for catharsis and empathy...

[quote]BTW Murder by Mail was banned in some states![/quote]

...and fun! However, due to darned covid-19, I'm thinking how could I do "Murder by Mail" over the internet or telephone?

Robert Watkin's death date effect "Thanatos" in his "Positive/Negative" is a humdinger.
Message: Posted by: Skeleton (Oct 15, 2020 06:17AM)
One of the most gory/geeky performances I have seen so far (they even seem to be quite known in France, having appeared in magic magazines etc.) - watch their videos:

https://www.facebook.com/NECROPHAGE/
Message: Posted by: AceOfJokers (Nov 25, 2020 04:05PM)
VRS from Gemini is the most messed-up dark effect ever. I have expanded my set with a few additional items, including a priestís ring, some genuine ex-Vatican items, and an empty holy water bottle. Itís all wonderfully dark, but you need to gauge your audience. The Gemini props are exquisite.
Message: Posted by: Damian1031 (Apr 5, 2021 06:38PM)
From Hell by Dan Baines is certainly very very dark, mainly because it uses actual photos of murdered (horribly murdered) women. I performed it one time and there were some angry comments about using grotesque pictures of slaughtered women for entertainment purposes
Message: Posted by: weepinwil (Apr 5, 2021 07:46PM)
[quote]On Apr 5, 2021, Damian1031 wrote:
From Hell by Dan Baines is certainly very very dark, mainly because it uses actual photos of murdered (horribly murdered) women. I performed it one time and there were some angry comments about using grotesque pictures of slaughtered women for entertainment purposes [/quote]

Abberline's Repository really adds to the From Hell effect.
Message: Posted by: Merlinsmagic (Apr 5, 2021 09:24PM)
[quote]On Apr 5, 2021, Damian1031 wrote:
From Hell by Dan Baines is certainly very very dark, mainly because it uses actual photos of murdered (horribly murdered) women. I performed it one time and there were some angry comments about using grotesque pictures of slaughtered women for entertainment purposes [/quote]

Yes some of our effects & routines can be too edgy for some people, especially these type of effects with women & children, which there are several effects on these.....usually I make sure I know the people I would perform these types of effects for that are ok/can stomach....

We want to be respectful & entertain at the same time & it's a touchy balance. For some spectators I've found can be too powerful.
Message: Posted by: weepinwil (Apr 5, 2021 09:51PM)
[quote]On Apr 5, 2021, Merlinsmagic wrote:
[quote]On Apr 5, 2021, Damian1031 wrote:
From Hell by Dan Baines is certainly very very dark, mainly because it uses actual photos of murdered (horribly murdered) women. I performed it one time and there were some angry comments about using grotesque pictures of slaughtered women for entertainment purposes [/quote]

Yes some of our effects & routines can be too edgy for some people, especially these type of effects with women & children, which there are several effects on these.....usually I make sure I know the people I would perform these types of effects for that are ok/can stomach....

We want to be respectful & entertain at the same time & it's a touchy balance. For some spectators I've found can be too powerful. [/quote]

The same reason I don't offer everyone the opportunity to attend the embalming of their loved one. Some can handle it, some cannot. It is important to know your audience.
Message: Posted by: Merlinsmagic (Apr 5, 2021 10:32PM)
Yes & who can & can't handle they're embalming fluid liquor-