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WR
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I use this in my "night of mystery and Imagination". It is one of my favorite effects. This is the first time I have ever shared it.



Edgar Allan Poe’s Tale Tale Heart

TRUE! — nervous — very, very dreadfully nervous I had been, and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses — not destroyed — not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Harken! and observe how healthily — how calmly I can tell you the whole story.
It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but, once conceived, it haunted me day and night. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! — yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture — a pale blue eye, with a film over it.(Produce eye) Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so, by degrees — very gradually — I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.

You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded — with what caution — with what foresight! I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him. And every night, about midnight, I turned the latch of his door and opened it — oh so gently! And then, when I had made an opening sufficient for my head, I first put in a dark lantern, all closed, closed, so that no light shone out, and then I thrust in my head. Oh, you would have laughed to see how cunningly I thrust it in! I moved it slowly — very, very slowly, so that I might not disturb the old man's sleep. It took me an hour to place my whole head within the opening so far that I could see the old man as he lay upon his bed. Ha! — would a madman have been so wise as this? And then, when my head was well in the room, I undid the lantern cautiously — oh, so cautiously (for the hinges creaked) — I undid it just so much that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye. And this I did for seven long nights — every night just at midnight — but I found the eye always closed; and so it was impossible to do the work; for it was not the old man who vexed me, but his Evil Eye. And every morning, when the day broke, I went boldly into his chamber, and spoke courageously to him, calling him by name in a hearty tone, and inquiring how he has passed the night.
Upon the eighth night I was more than usually cautious in opening the door. I had got my head in, and was about to open the lantern, when my thumb slipped upon the tin fastening, and the old man sprang up in bed, crying out — "Who's there?"
The old man's hour had come! With a loud yell, I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room. He shrieked once — once only. In an instant I dragged him to the floor, and pulled the heavy bed over him. I then sat upon the bed and smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done.I removed the bed and examined the corpse. Yes, he was stone, stone dead. The old man was stone dead. His eye would trouble me no more.
If, still, you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body. First of all I dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs.I then took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings. (Show the empty box) I then replaced the boards so cleverly, so cunningly, that no human eye — not even his — could have detected anything wrong. There was nothing to wash out — no stain of any kind — no blood-spot whatever. A tub had caught all — ha! ha!
It was four o'clock there came a knocking at the street door. I went down to open it with a light heart, — for what had I now to fear? There entered three men, who introduced themselves as officers of the police. A shriek had been heard by a neighbor during the night; suspicion of foul play had been aroused.
I smiled, — for what had I to fear? I bade the gentlemen welcome. The shriek, I said, was my own in a dream. The old man, I mentioned, was absent in the country. I took my visiters all over the house. I bade them search — search well.
The officers were satisfied. My manner had convinced them. I was singularly at ease. They sat, and, while I answered cheerily, they chatted of familiar things.
I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears:. The ringing became more distinct I talked more freely, to get rid of the feeling; but it continued and gained definiteness — until, at length, I found that the noise was not within my ears.
It was a low, dull, quick sound — much such a sound as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I gasped for breath — and yet the officers heard it not.
I foamed — I raved — I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had sat, and grated it upon the boards; — but the noise arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder — louder — louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly, and smiled.
They heard! — they suspected! — they knew! — they were making a mockery of my horror! — I felt that I must scream or die! — and now — again! — hark! louder! louder! louder! louder! —
"Villains!" I shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed! — tear up the planks! — here, here! — it is the beating of his hideous heart!" (Reach into box and pull out heart)

For this you will need:
an Eye
a lantern
A box: see below
A heart: see below

I use a flip over box. The pattren is in Mark Wilson’s book. Place the heart in the box. I use aone froma halloween store. The eye I got froma halloween store. It looks real. I had to paint it pale blue and put a film over it. The lantern is made of metal and looks old.
"Tell Em WR sent Ya."
JudgeBean
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WHAT a way to tell that STORY!

now tell me do you bar the exit so that way people wont run out away out of FEAR???


very strong very strong

Judge Bean
Peter Marucci
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Very powerful routine, indeed.
Poe would be proud!
drwilson
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WR,

That's great! This is a really creepy story without any props, but this way...you are going to give them nightmares!

But why use half-measures? Get a real heart:

http://www.customcreaturetaxidermy.com/5jj.html

Pleasant dreams!

Yours,

Paul
enriqueenriquez
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Beautiful routine WR!

And that heart... Ouch!
WR
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Quote:
On 2004-05-06 07:24, drwilson wrote:
But why use half-measures? Get a real heart:

Pleasant dreams!

Yours,

Paul

I don't like getting my box slimy. Only reason.
WR

Quote:
On 2004-05-06 03:02, JudgeBean wrote:

now tell me do you bar the exit so that way people wont run out away out of FEAR???


Judge Bean

Lock the doors from the out side. For this effect I use or borrowed from a show Vincent Price called an evening with E.A.Poe. (I got the dvd at media play with the tomb of ligeia on the otherside) I do his..um...style while presenting this effect.
WR
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drwilson
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WR,

The heart I gave you the link to is very carefully preserved by a master taxidermist and is not slimy. It will last forever (well, longer than those carried by the living, anyway).

Yours,

Paul
Reis O'Brien
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Good Gravy! Is that a real heart! Oh my god, I want that for christmas!
Homo vult decipi; decipiatur

http://www.myspace.com/liar_4_hire
WR
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So if I do a show in San Fran. and forget the heart I could say "I left my heart in S.F."
Sorry could not resist.
WR
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Thetruthteller
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Quote:
On 2004-05-06 07:24, drwilson wrote:
WR,

That's great! This is a really creepy story without any props,



It should be creepy as all the text here was written by Mr. Poe.
Excerpts from one of his classics
WR
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Quote:
On 2004-05-06 13:41, Thetruthteller wrote:
[
It should be creepy as all the text here was written by Mr. Poe.
Excerpts from one of his classics

Why mess with the best. I have taken the best parts of his story and added the bizarre effect to it.
WR
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drwilson
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Firedice,

Real, yes; human, no. Ask Santa.

That reminds me. Did you hear of the dyslexic occultist who sold his soul to Santa?

Yours,

Paul
WR
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Quote:
On 2004-05-06 15:03, drwilson wrote:
Firedice,

Real, yes; human, no. Ask Santa.

That reminds me. Did you hear of the dyslexic occultist who sold his soul to Santa?

Yours,

Paul

Santa brings organs? Cool. I need some skulls, some bones, a liver...
WR
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enriqueenriquez
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I like that:

“be a good vampire kid and Santa will bring you a liver”...
Rob Johnston
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Great. Edgar Allen Poe is one of my absolute favorite authors/poets. Bringing in one of his stories is bringing in fear and mystery itself. Well done.
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
WR
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Thank you for your kind words.
WR
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Mystician
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I know this post is old, but I just stumbled upon it by accident.
Thank you !!! This is perfect for my Halloween shows !
Fantastic job ! I don't know how I could embellish it, but I'll try not to do a blind rip off.

BTW, the reference to Mark Wilson, is this the "Course in Magic" ?
I have that and didn't see a reference to a "flip box", unless known by a different name ? Or was it a different book ? Even google doesn't turn up very much.
Just hanging out with the rest of my fellow dregs.
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calexa
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Wow! What a cool story to tell!

Magixx
Optimists have more fun.....
Payne
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Nice use of Poe's classic text in a routine.

Here's one from my Poe Show that you might like

The Premature Burial
A macabre tale for the spirit lock and haunted key

You will need.
A Spirit Lock
A Ghost Key
An old looking Cardboard Box just big enough to hold the lock labeled “Dr. Stanyon’s Spirit Lock. Prevents Premature Burials.”
A length of Ribbon

The lock is placed unlocked and wrapped in tissue into the box. I have found that if you use Mylar tissue to wrap the lock in it helps cover the sound of the unlocking of the lock latter in the routine. The Key is threaded on the ribbon and placed into the box as well. I wrap the box in brown paper and place it into a convenient pocket.

The Tale Begins

It was upon the occasion of my Thirteenth birthday that my somewhat odd uncle, a copy of “Tales of Mystery and Imagination” by Edgar Allan Poe. A rather curious choice for a gift as he knew at that time, I was not an avid reader.
At his urging I was persuaded to read one of the stories. By chance I chose The Pit and the Pendulum. Needless to say within the week I had read the book from cover to cover, twice.
As I soon became aware a reoccurring theme of Poe’s is that of entombment. Much has been written on Poe’s fascination with this most unsettling of topics. Theories abound, from suppressed prenatal memories to frustrated home renovator. I however tend to side with those who believe that Poe was playing upon the very real fear in the Victorian mind of being buried alive.
So strong was this belief that many devices were created to prevent its occurrence. Glass observation plates were installed in the tops of caskets so the movements of a, not quite as dead as we thought, loved one might be seen. Complex devices were fitted into graves which enabled those who found themselves awake in their final resting place to sound an alarm.
Of these inventions however the most curious of them all was this, the spirit lock.

>>Remove the parcel from your pocket and casually unwrap it as you continue.


A device making up in the imagination what it was lacking in the practical. How it was suppose to function of course was clearly impossible, relying entirely on the concept of sympathetic magic. It’s creator believed, most fervently no doubt, that if one locked the lock and then placed the key into the casket the recently revived would simply have to turn the key and the lock would suddenly spring open

>> Remove the lock and key from the box. Take the key off of the ribbon and lock the lock. Thread the ribbon through the now closed hasp of the lock and hold it suspended in the air. It is important to let the audience see that you do not touch the lock one it has been locked. With the lock hanging from the ribbon turn the key in your had several times, as if your opening an invisible lock and look expectantly at the lock as if your expecting it to spring open.

Clearly not the case. It appears another forty-seven fifty foolishly wasted on E-Bay. But then again, perhaps not. For belief can be very powerful force.

>>Still holding the lock by the ribbon lower it into the box and wrap it in the tissue triggering the release as you do so. Done correctly this should go completely unnoticed. Put the lid on the box leaving the ends of the ribbon dangling out of the top of it

If this were a tale by Poe, his character would be lamenting the recent passing of his beloved Lenore.
A tormented soul, alone in his rooms, there, by the fireplace, consuming a draught of Amontillado while vexatiously worrying a key.

>.Balance the key on the end of your finger in preparation of the turn.

His mind in turmoil as he castigates himself for being so foolish as to purchase one of the infernal devices, yet not foolish enough as to have placed the key by his betrothed’s side.
As he sits, in the gathering gloom, engaging in that pointless pastime of perhaps or what if, he sees something. Was it a trick of the firelight, or the effects of too much liquor, or did the key move? Surely it is not possible, yet there it is, as if held by an invisible hand the key, slowly turning. Is it a sign from his beloved Lenore? Has she returned from the grave with a message. He runs to the mantle, rips open the box and, to his horror, finds the lock open.

>>When the key turns halfway drop it ans you reach for the box. Remove the top and lift the lock up by the ribbon so all can see that it is now unlocked.

The story, of course, ends in madness, the body exhumed and revealed, by the desperate rendings, engraved in blood on the interior of the casket, to have been interred alive.

>>Hold the inside of the top of the box towards the audience so they can see the horrible red scratch marks you have drawn inside of it.

A dirge for her the doubly dead, low lies thy love, Lenore!
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Necromancer
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Very nice thinking, Payne. Thank you for sharing it!

Best,
Neil
Creator of The Xpert (20 PAGES of reviews!) and the Hands-Off Multiple ESP System ("Quality and design far exceed any ESP cards on the market"-Genii), and contributor to the ebook GOLD: When It HAS To Be Performance GOLD -- all at Penguin.
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