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ufo
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Phoenix, Arizona
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Hi!
Anyone have any experience with the chain and board act that Abbotts has listed under the name "Ghost Walks"? Its the outline of the skeleton on a coffin shaped board and the spectators thread the chain through numbered holes in the back and then the chained performer escapes from the board visually.
I understand the premise at work here but having never seen it, Im not sure what this is going to look like. Any references, experiences, etc would be welcome.
"What's your drug?" she asked. "Hope" he said, "The most addicting one of all."
Steve_Mollett
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I used to perform it.
It's simply Abbott's version of Palhinha's Torture Crib.
While the Abbott's ad description makes it sound like a penetration illusion, such is not the case.
The performer can either escape quickly while spectators hold up a sheet to screen him, or he can slowly and painfully (?) slip out of the chains in full view (the usual presentation).
One performer I know was planning to escape while a strobe light flashed on the scene, to create the partial illusion of his 'passing through' the chains like a ghost. He never carried through, so I don't know if the strobe idea would have worked.
John Novak discusses this prop in his Art of Escape volume: The Bohemian Torture Escape.
Author of: GARROTE ESCAPES
The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
- Albert Camus
Cliffg37
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Long Beach, CA
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I have not performed it myself, but I am seriously considering it having read about it in the aforementioned Novak book. My plan was to contort and demonstrate facial and physical discomfort as I wriggled out from under the chains, but I like the idea of the sheet and strobe. I think it will lend a high tech touch of mystery. Not too hard to build either.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
ufo
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Thanks gentlemen,
I was following the same idea as you both mentioned.
"What's your drug?" she asked. "Hope" he said, "The most addicting one of all."
Ms. Morgan
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The Garden State
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I have one and I do like it, I like the look of the whole thing. What I don't like is that it takes way to long to thread all that chain. I've not been able to come up with some way to get thru the time it takes and I feel it gets to the point of "get on with it already". And the chain has to pass thru the holes in order so the holes are numbered..makes the whole thing a bit cheeky. Still, you can't beat it for looking great sitting on your stage during a show and it is a cool effect. I just haven't made my peace with it just yet.

Ms.M
World Magic Award's "Escape Artist of the Year"
www.EscapeChick.com
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ufo
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Ms. M
Thanks for the insight. Do you perform it full view struggle mode or covered, obscured mystery mode??
"What's your drug?" she asked. "Hope" he said, "The most addicting one of all."
Steve_Mollett
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I prefer a 'torture board' with large eye-bolts affixed to the face, rather than re-inforced holes through the board; easier to build and easier to thread up. It's best to have an assistant who can quickly guide the spectator's actions.
An embellishment shown in McLaury's Encyclopedia of Escapes is a chain passing over the face at eye level (eyes covered with a blindfold). Mike Andreshak (aka Shak) has this feature on his "Malaysian Torture Board."
Author of: GARROTE ESCAPES
The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
- Albert Camus
Cliffg37
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Good idea Steve, thanks for the tip. I think I may do mine that way. Any idea what guage of chain would be used and the size of the eye-bolt to go with them?
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
Steve_Mollett
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Use hefty chain (heftier than what Abbott's uses for the Ghost Walks).

Eyeball the chain at your hardware store and select something that looks massive and impressive, but not ridiculously huge (keep in mind that all objects look smaller from the audience perspective).

The size of the eyebolts will be determined by the size of the chains, natch.
Hitching rings can be used in place of eyebolts, if necessary:

http://www.tractorsupply.com/webapp/wcs/......&cFlag=1
Author of: GARROTE ESCAPES
The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
- Albert Camus
x-treem
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Plated zinc chain looks massive but is insanly light weight.
A direct from text adaptation : The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Starring Mickey Rooney in his final role.
Kondini
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If you use a wood board construct it so your own wieght supports the board (Have seen them topple and wobble !!!

Used this effect for a season,,,made up from a large 1/4" steel sheet.

This added a noise factor, the chain ran smoother but I ended up with a hernia !

An odd escape with no in built climax,,,once the initial struggle has taken place the whole lot flops and goes weak from there on.

Ken.
dave_matkin
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And what Ken doesn't know about it flopping and going weak is not worth mentioning!

Dang I keep revealing his secrets!
Cliffg37
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Ken, your point would suggest that perhaps the cover and strobe will make it look better.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
gsidhe
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Michigan
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Quote:
On 2009-07-07 12:08, Kondini wrote:
If you use a wood board construct it so your own wieght supports the board (Have seen them topple and wobble !!!

Used this effect for a season,,,made up from a large 1/4" steel sheet.

This added a noise factor, the chain ran smoother but I ended up with a hernia !

An odd escape with no in built climax,,,once the initial struggle has taken place the whole lot flops and goes weak from there on.

Ken.

This is something I have been looking at doing for a couple of years now...And it is the ending that makes me hesitate. Once you have started to snake out it all goes loose, the struggle is over. You have another 30 seconds of just looping the chains off.
If I can work out a way around this, then I might consider it.
Time for me to re-evaluate the effect.
G
Steve_Mollett
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McLaury suggested that having the board laying flat (the performer lying on his back), would make the gyrations of a full-view escape more 'mysterious,' since the arrangement can be seen less clearly.
This would especially apply if the board is in the form of a raised table.

Norm Bigelow's Doors of Death used a combination of chains, straps, ropes and handcuffs, making any one arrangement 'hard to follow' with the eyes.
Author of: GARROTE ESCAPES
The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
- Albert Camus
Doc Allgood
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I have to admit that when I first read the title, I immediately thought of "The Phantom".
gsidhe
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I like the table idea in theory...It just seems so difficult to transport.
Will think on it though.
Thanks,
G
Steve_Mollett
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Quote:
On 2009-07-15 12:59, gsidhe wrote:
I like the table idea in theory...It just seems so difficult to transport.
Will think on it though.
Thanks,
G

Fold-in legs and a couple bolt-&-wing-nut-fastened braces...not too bad.
Author of: GARROTE ESCAPES
The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
- Albert Camus
David Waldorf
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Minnesota
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If you are at all handy with tools, buy the plans. It's not hard to build, and you will save a lot. Then you can alter the prop as much as you like, perhaps using some of the above ideas.

For someone even more skilled in woodworking than I am, how about turning it into an actual coffin with a lid? Solves the slack chain problem without using the sheet, and could be WAY more spooky.

Just some thoughts.
Didn't your mother ever tell you not to believe anything you hear and only half of what you see?


From a Roy Rogers movie
Moxahalla
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Los Angeles
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Hey, Midnight---let's find "Markini" and get his electrified point-of-view!
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