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Jeff Haas
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Since Halloween is coming up, I figured I'd start a thread about Halloween tricks for kids.

Usually, when Halloween shows are discussed among magicians, we end up talking about voodoo, ghosts, fake blood, and how to scare the bleep out of the audience. This is all fine, but when you're asked to do a Halloween show for kids and a family audience, I don't think they're interested in seeing you run a needle through your arm. Smile

So, here's a basic contribution I read somewhere a few years ago: Build a square circle out of a plastic Halloween Jack-O-Lantern. Then pull out various appropriate items...and finishing up with a giant rubber bat (instead of a dove.)

Any other ideas that won't get you run out of town by the PTA?

Jeff
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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David Ginn puts out a book, Magic and Monsters which is excellent for developing a magic show with a halloween theme.

Head Choppers and Arm Choppers are excellent for this season. Lets not get into the right/wrong "ness" of this with kids shows, that discussion is elsewhere. You're job is to be spooky and scarey using magic. "Bump in the Night" is a good illusion.
Dennis Michael
Jewls
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I have a silly routine, using a dove pan, flash paper, snack pack of pumpkin seeds and a sponge pumpkin that I hollowed out so it would compress better. It has a goofy face, eyes rolling with tongue sticking out.
I tell the kids that I am all ready for Halloween; I have everything ready but my pumpkin for my Jack O lantern. But that's okay as I have pumpkin seeds, and my magic garden (Dove Pan) all I have to do is plant them.
The kids are happy to tell me that they are the wrong kind of seeds. And it's to late to plant them. I sprinkle the seeds in the pan, and say all we need is some magic sunshine I use a match pull to light the flash paper then grab the lid and TA DA a goofy Jack O Lantern. Silly but fun!
Payne
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Seattle
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Try the "Little Round Pumpkin" by the late great Gene Poinc available here http://thelearnedpig.com.pa/magos/poinc/trick21.html
It's a lot of fun and incredibly twisted, but then so was Gene.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Steven Steele
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Hesperia, California USA
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Forgetful Frankie is a great children's routine for Halloween.

P&A Silks also puts out a Halloween themed 20th Century that is good. The "ghost" vanishes and reappears.

Supreme produced an effect long ago called "Eddie's Ghost House" that was published in Genii. A fun effect.

I don't try and scare the children...just show how much fun they can have.


For schools I talk about accepting people for what they are no matter how they may look (monsters). It's one of my most requested shows.

Good luck in your search. Smile
Jeff Dial
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Kent, WA
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If you are doing close up don't forget Glorpy.

Also the Haunted Deck. Mike Close's use of the witch's hand is very creepy.

I do a platform routine based on The Hanging by Tom Craven. (can be found in Fulves -- Self Working Rope Tricks) A murder mystery with a noose used in a trial by ordeal to find the guilty party. It is more suspensful than scary.
"Think our brains must be too highly trained, Majikthise" HHGG
lyndonwebb
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I do bizarre mostly (and conventional close-up but i have just been asked to do some stuff for kidz in a hospital, i already have a version of the haunted deck that is suitable for kidz and also the glorpy,
and a levitation straight out of harry potter(i am themeing it as if i have just came from hogwarts) but i feel a bit lost as to what else i could do
any more ideas?
thanx
Jeff Haas
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A friend pointed out just the kind of routine I'm looking for: MAGIC, March 2001, in David Kaye's column is a routine by Mike Bent. It uses spring snakes and a giant rubber spider that eventually ends up on your back.

It's funny, silly, and has creepy stuff that you associate with Halloween in it.

Jeff
RayBanks
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I thought I would bring this one back to the top as Halloween is just about a month away.
Smile
-------------
Pick a card, any card...No. not THAT one...THIS one

Ray Banks
Drew from Spotlight
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NJ
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In my Halloween show I’ve made a variation of Mis-Made Flag. It is now a Mis-Made Pumpkin. I like the idea of the Pumpkin Square Circle – I’m making one right away.
MiNiM
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I'm just working on an idea for presenting a pom pom pole as a ghost trap (it's the ghost inside it that pulls the strings). Then the ghost stops working (either he's tired out or he's trying to fool me) so I break it open and he flies out. I get the kids to grab hands full of air to throw to me so, hopefully, I can catch him in the tube and quickly shut him in again. (Throw at the tube, not at me!) Have we got him? Let's test! Yes!

That's the gist of the idea. You're welcome to use it!

Cheers,

Bill
He asked me if I liked card tricks. I said "No." He did three. (W. Somerset Maugham)
repairman36
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My idea is to have a hollow collaspable,scary pumpkin filled with candy. My duck pan and an old spice rack supposedly filled with witchs brew items. Me the warlock and my wife as a witch(eegore) make apumpkin filled with candy. This is supposed to represent how candy came to be on holloween. It is a story that I'm telling . Adding things like ground mummys toungue, bat wings etc.Any other input from my fellow magicians would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Tony C
MAGICTOM
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The Web...
Perrfecct halloween trick.. for teens and up.
you can get away with it if you tell them this trick is too scary, I had better not perform it.. the curiosity gets to brewing,
and they cannot resist.. tell them its scary,
tell them they have to promise not to hit you or get mad at you.. and proceed like you are even scared to perform the effect..
Love it!

Tom Smile
No Man is his craft's master the first day!
J.B. Bobo
Cheshire Cat
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Wilmslow, UK
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You know, I feel that kids nowadays, despite horrific images in Playstation games, special effects in movies etc. - are not as tough as they used to be! I have a 3ft. hand carved skeleton marionette in a coffin that everyone loved years ago - would not even think about using it now. Same with wrist chopper, and daggers through head illusion. Also used spikes through arm years ago! Although we have never performed Punch and Judy many parents comment on the violence and ethics of this also! I would always however, use effects like Eddie's Ghost House (yes, I still have one in mint condition), then there was also Supreme's Harry the Happy Ghost sliding die effect made in metal - a wonderful effect. Trouble is, if people see you using more intimidating props. for either halloween or older children's parties they naturally assume you might do the same for their 4 year old daughter's birthday and thus you would become 'unsuitable'! We ask ourselves "where does the business lie these days"? the answer being with younger (4 to 6 year old) children, plus probably 10 girls birthdays to every 4 boys, therefore we exercise caution and restraint at all times! On a final note - don't know about you, but after seeing little witches and wizards all week at parties I could have done without them tricking and treating at my door every few minutes on Thursday night when all I wanted to do was watch a great programme on the life of the Duke of Wellington!!
p.b.jones
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Trouble is, if people see you using more intimidating props. for either halloween or older children's parties they naturally assume you might do the same for their 4 year old daughter's birthday and thus you would become 'unsuitable'! We ask ourselves "where does the business lie these days"? the answer being with younger (4 to 6 year old) children, plus probably 10 girls birthdays to every 4 boys, therefore we exercise caution and restraint at all times!


HI,
I think that these statistics depend on your
show.I got booked for a company (adult) christmas party just the other week on the strengh of the show for 4 @ 5 year olds the MD saw. This is not a one off occurance, but something that happens quite often.
Phillip
Cheshire Cat
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Yes, but you are Magic For All Philip, they see you do a good kids show they know you will do a good adult show. I'm talking about like for like here. - Tony. Smile
Andy Wonder
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Well Halloween has been and gone now. I just wanted to share what I had observed this time. I actually saw a girl trick-or-treating in my neighbourhood with an orange coloured goodie bag for collecting candies that had a jack-o-lantern pumpkin printed on it. What made me notice the bag was that it looked exactly like a change bad with the wooden handle. It is nice to see bags with handles have a use outside of magic shows.
If you like to use the coloring book in your kids act keep an eye out for the Monsters version from Funtime Magic. It kind of fits in with Halloween, even if the monsters are quite cute.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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Here is a list of items I draw from when developing a Halloween Show. It can be also a fundraising Scary Illusion Show:

Halloween Stage Magic

  • Altex Drawing Board- Frankinstein
  • Rope Through Body
  • 20th Century Ghost Silks
  • Dancing Cane
  • Dancing Handkerchief
  • Enchanted Treasure Chest
  • Bongo Hat
  • Snake Basket (Pro Viper II)
  • Disecto
  • Magic Monsters Coloring Book
  • Finger Guillotine
  • Spikes Through Arm
  • Arrowhead Box
  • Lota Bowl with Blood
  • Sword through Head
  • Spike/Sword through Neck
  • Seance Cloth- Quick Change into Monster Masks (Monstor Mash Music)
  • Square Circle-Pull Out Monster/Scary Stuff
  • Head Twister
  • Vanishing Ketchup Bottle-Blood
  • Fraidy Cat Rabbit (Boo)
  • Hippy Hop Rabbit use like Fraidy Cat Rabbit
  • Zombie Ball

Halloween Illusions

  • Head Chopper
  • Guillotine
  • Balloon Sword Box
  • Chest of Nefertari
  • Cutting In Sixths
  • Sawing In Half
  • Gorilla Cage
  • Fire Cage
  • Super X Suspension
  • Sword Suspension
  • Broom Suspension
  • Flying Carpet
  • Gamalo Levitation
  • 3-in-1 Levitation
  • Disembodied Princess
  • Cremation
  • Any Levitation or Suspension

Halloween Comedy Props

  • Spring Eyeball Glasses
  • Rat Trap- In Square Circle or Other Box
  • Large Rats, Crows, Vultures, etc.
  • Horror Masks
  • Spring Snakes
  • Spider Box Surprise
  • Rubber Snakes, Hands, Fingers
  • Comedy Light Bulb
  • Pumpkin with Rat Puppet
  • Rabid Rabbit
  • Hideous Mouth Finger Puppet
  • Thing Walking Hands (Stage Hands Joke)


Of course this list can be much longer, however, these items are in my collection. Several Shows can be created with this list.

By the way, the Seance Cloth and quick change into numerous different Halloween Masks really went over great. It worked well with the classic Rock-n-Roll song Monster Mash. The best time to buy these masks if right after Halloween when the prices drop at least 50-to 90 percent. Check out Spenser Gifts around November 1st to 10th for great sale pricing. Hocus Pocus has a nice hand for the cloth. Triple velvet works well as the cloth.

For Christmas Shows, I use the Seance Cloth for a Dancing and Singing Christmas Wreath, or Singing Christmas Tree. It can also be used for Sing/Dancing Frosty the Snow Man.

See www.gemmy.com for numerous seasonal animated props which enhance and add comedy to your shows. The products can be purchached at Wal-Mart, Echard and Rite-Aid Drug and other common locations.
Dennis Michael
Scott Ocheltree
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Wow Dennis! You certainly have the gear don't you?!

I met Jim Pace at a convention recently and bought The Web from him specifically for Halloween. I performed it for a number of trick-or-treaters at our door. I chose older children and teens to share this with (not my 4 year old neighbor dressed as Tinkerbell). It may have been my handling, but I found that the kids aged 9-11 were surprised but not disturbed by the spider, one glibly asked if it was real - not an arachniphobe I guess.
The strongest reactions I got were from two different 14 year old boys, both accompanied by a few friends. When they saw the spider on their hands they started jumping and yelling. Their friends of course absolutely loved this! My own feeling is that any 14 year old boy who is out trick-or-treating deserves a good halloween scare.
Smile
Jeff Haas
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Dennis, can you describe your Seance Cloth routine a bit more? i.e., how many masks, where you keep them (in a box in front of you?) etc.

Jeff
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