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David Todd
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I already knew of Grant's "The Girl in the Little House" because it's in one of the illusion manuscripts by Grant that has been around for many years , called "Grant's Illusion Secrets" . I was curious about what improvements Devin Knight may have made to the effect , so I purchased the PDF from

Anyone who does not know the original should be aware that the description on leaves out some key points.

Here's the description of the effect given:

"Invite a lady from the audience, whom you have never met before and is totally unrehearsed to step behind the screen on the left side. Show a small toy house as seen in the photo and place it behind the screen on the left. The screens are well away from any curtains.

You tell the lady to squeeze herself into the little house while behind the screen. You reach behind the screen and pick up the little house. You ask the woman if she is inside and the audience hears her say, "Yes, I am inside here." You carry the small house over to the right screen and put it behind the screen. You ask the lady to force herself out of the house and come out. She steps out from behind the right screen, amidst the GASPS from the audience. Appears completely impossible!"

But this is not exactly what happens.

Here's the actual effect as it would be performed as described in the manuscript you purchase from :

The magician picks a man and woman out of the audience and asks them to step up to the stage to assist him. The magician asks them their names. For the sake of this description, let's assume the man is named John and the woman is named Mary.

There are two screens on stage about 10 - 15 ft. apart. The magician leads both John and Mary to the left screen. Both of them are asked to step behind the screen and stand there quietly and concealed so no one can see them.

Next, the magician shows the audience a large sheet tacked to a rod and tells the audience that they are now going to play a game of intuition. The game will be called “Where is John?” (or whatever the man’s name is). The magician holds up the cloth next to the screen and says he will move the cloth slowly across the stage to the opposite screen, as he instructs the couple behind the screen: “John and Mary, I want ONE of you to follow behind the cloth as I move it over to the other screen. This way the audience will not know which of you is behind which screen.”

The magician holds up the sheet by holding the rod from the front, telling the audience that he is holding it that way so that even he (the magician) will not know which of the people, John or Mary , is behind the left or right screen.

After the magician moves the sheet across from the left screen to the right screen he says: “Please step well behind this screen so no one, including me, will know which of you is over here.”

The audience is then invited to use their collective intuition to intuit which screen John is behind. They are asked to raise their hands to show how many think John is behind the left screen and how many think John is behind the right screen.

After the audience chooses which screen they believe John to be behind (in this case let’s say the majority of the audience chose the right screen) , the magician says aloud: “John, where are you? Show yourself." John steps out from behind the right screen, which leaves Mary still behind the left screen. The audience is told that their intuition was correct and to give themselves a round of applause for choosing correctly.

However, it’s not over yet … now the magician picks up a little toy house which has been sitting in plain view on a table the whole time and walks over to the left screen, placing the house on the floor behind the left screen as he asks Mary to squeeze herself into the little house. After a few moments, the magician reaches behind the screen and picks up the little house and walks forward with the little house , asking: “Mary, are you in there?” The audience hears a muffled reply from inside the house: “Yes, I am in here”.

Next, the magician carries the little house over to the right screen and sets it down behind the screen, asking Mary to remove herself from the little house and come out from behind the screen. A few moments later the audience will gasp in amazement as Mary steps out from behind the right screen , apparently having been carried over there inside of the little house. The magician then asks for the audience to give Mary and John a round of applause as they return to their seats.”

I think this could be an effective illusion if the performer has the personality to pull it off and has strong showmanship skills. Devin Knight's description of how to perform the effect (including his own presentation ideas) expands quite a bit on the original U.F. Grant idea . There's more to this than in Grant's original manuscript. However, I do think the description of the effect in the advertisement on the website should make it clear exactly what will be presented , instead of leaving out certain key details.

Of course the original ad for the Grant effect didn't mention these details either ! (ad from Vick Lawston's House of 1000 Mysteries catalog)

Click here to view attached image.
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