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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Everything old is new again » » Sefalalgia "Bewitched Force Field" (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

silverking
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Has anybody ever used a "Bewitched Force Field" effect?
It's a Sefalalgia/Deans Box/Sheishin no Cabinet/Automated Sefalalgia type of effect.

The only one I've seen for sale is at Stevens magic, and it has the CW moniker which usually means "Collectors Workshop" as the manufacturer. (this seems a bit odd though as Collectors have their "Sheishin no Cabinet" as well).
http://www.stevensmagic.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=6683

This effect uses a small tri-fold wooden screen insted of a box. This caught me by surprise when I saw it on the Stevens site, I have been investigating various Sefalalgia type effects prior to purchasing one, and had not seen this one anywhere in my few months of looking at all the various iterations.

I wonder if anybody knows of any more books or writings on the history Sefalalgia effect and any more of the various marketed versions that I may have missed?
I have much of the Stewart James stuff, but am on the lookout for more.

One of the things I'm currently looking into is the number of Sefalalgia type effects that might be additionally incorporated into Dean's Box (requiring some modifications to the box), starting with the "hopping ball" effect from the original Sefalalgia routine. Has anybody done modifications to their Dean's Box to incorporate further effects?
Spellbinder
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The "Sefalaljia Revisited" material from The Wizards' Journal #10 (on my site) contains a reprint of the Stewart James original routine as published in The Jinx in December of 1939 so you can see where we got the routine from and what the history of it is. However, we use a Dollar Store plastic crate to perform all the miracles in, so you may be a little disappointed not to be paying $175 for what is essentially a series of rope tricks, ring penetrations, and various spiritualist tricks. But if money is no object, $5 seems about right for a great routine that works from the largest stage, or out on the street surrounded by strangers.

The Steward James' Encyclopedia of Rope Magic has other Sefalaljia rope effects that James collected from various sources, but if you think of the cabinet (or screen or crate) as a spirit box, you can combine many old spirit effects with it. For example, you could even toss in a rapping hand, or an Elevator Box (WJ #11) for a ghostly "summoning" of relics from the dead, etc.
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

http://www.magicnook.com

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
silverking
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Perhaps if I'd spelled it correctly I'd have had more hits when searching!
It should be with a "j" not a "g".

I've had your Wizards Journal #10 for a while now Professor, and it's a great reference to this effect!
The "relics from the dead" idea with your elevator box is a great thought.

I'm looking at other various effects to use with the box, like Joe Porpers "Just a Key" and some other marketed effects which might work well in a "spirit box" type of effect like Sefalaljia.
Spellbinder
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Silverking! I didn't recognize you by that name! Thanks for being a loyal customer!

Sefalaljia effects "work" because they are considered "poltergeist phenemona" rather than the result of contact with specific departed spirits.

For the sake of plot, let us assume there are two types of spirits; poltergesists who are just mischievous spirits that can be "played with" and who somewhat gullibly do whatever the magician/medium requests of them, and spirits of departed humans who feel some need to contact living humans with some kind of message or warning. Let us also assume that as magicians/mediums we will not play the role John Edward and other fraudulent mediums play in taking advantage of the bereaved relatives of those who have died.

That gives us the possibility of dividing a Sefalaljia routine into two parts; one part with a playful poltergeist, and one part receiving messages or warnings from fretful human spirits. In that case, you need a transition point at which the poltergeist leaves the cabinet and a new force (or forces) enters and takes over the "seance." That was basically the idea behind my Sefalaljia routine in the Wizards' Journal #10, which ends with "Bell, Book and Candle" and a message is received from the "beyond."

In adding to either routine, you need to keep this plot and the two distinct types of "hauntings" in mind. Do you want effects for the poltergeist, or effects that relate directly to some human spirit seeking to make contact?
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

http://www.magicnook.com

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
Socalesq
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I believe Stewart James's First Fifty Years includes a detailed description of Sefalaljia as well.
icuryy
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