Note ye ed's email address:

Killer magic.

Return to our January 2020 issue to visit Magi-fest 2020 and to consider Pepe Carroll's 52 Lovers Through the Looking Glass plus decades of news about the Magic Castle.

February 2020

Hello, goodbye to February. Even though we have an extra day, it's still a short month. Nevertheless, I apologize for the tardiness and skimpiness of this issue. I had hoped to say a few words about the new Steve Forte books, but I was too far back in the queue, and mine aren't scheduled to arrive until March 2. Also I have been working hard on a different sort of magic contribution that I hope you will like. Stay tuned.

What we do have is a look at a super creepy voodoo effect from Penguin and a fond farewell to and good memories of E. Raymond Carlyle.

Finally we close with a yellowing but still elegant four-page brochure of a noted magician in the 1960s. Any guesses who? Answer next month!

And of course, we hope you had a great Valentine's day.

PRACTICAL MAGIC -- Virtually every day, I get an online ad from Penguin Magic. Each is accompanied by glowing testimonials, often from magicians I know and/or respect. About 10 percent of the ime, I go ahead and watch the video. Far more rarely, I actually purchase the item. I am a book guy, not a trick guy, hence my reticence to buy says more about me than about Penguin. Recently, an ad popped up with Max Maven supplying the testimonial, touting the trick as the only item he purchased at Blackpool. "It's that good!" Given that the item was a download for only $14.95, and given Max's endorsement, I knew I would buy it even before watching the vid. But wow, the video made the thing even more intriguing. Just not possible, especially given "no threads or magnets."

A voodoo moment.

The item is Voodoo Needle, from Peter Eggink and Aeon Sun. Said product is one of those rare combinations of practical method and sensational effect that come along once a decade or so, such as Mac King's Fork in the Eye or Anders Moden's Healed and Sealed Soda. (And unlike those two favorites, it won't get you wet.)


So what is the effect? In its simplest incarnation, you draw a voodoo doll on a pad of paper, such as a college ruled notebook. The spectator draws an X on the doll, and you stick a straight pin into the X. Elsewhere On the pad, you draw a letter or a geometric figure, whatever your premise dictates. As you do so, the pin moves in lock step with your pencil strokes. This is truly uncanny. You can move the pin to another spot and repeat this animation. You may isolate the pin under a glass, and it still moves. The spectator can remove the pin, and you can tear off the sheet and give it to him as a souvenir. You are now clean.

I suggest that you buy this right away and freak out your friends, before some rat bastard exposes the method on YouTube. What you receive is about a 10-minute download with all you need to know, plus some additional presentational ideas, such as an ESP test and a book test. I really like the ESP test, which exploits another facet of the method that I am not mentioning. What fun. I agree with Max: It's that good. Available immediately from

A NIGHT OF GHOSTS -- Dustin Stinett, on the Genii forum, posted the sad news that E. Raymond Carlyle, aka Ed Fowler, died this month. Mr. Fowler shared the same birthday, date and year, as Milt Larsen: April 9, 1931.

E. Raymond Carlyle.

As most know, Fowler in his E. Raymond Carlyle guise performed as the first medium in the Magic Castle's Houdini Seance room. My wife and I attended one of his seances back in the 1960s, when the seance dinner was cooked table side in the room itself. (Milt later wrote that the food tasted better when they moved the cooking back to the kitchen.) His opening demonstration, predicting the amount of change in someone's pocket, so freaked one of our party that she left the room immediately and refused to return. Hanging on to secrets? He similarly impressed me with some personal information about my childhood. I suspect inside information, but no one has admitted to that in 50 years. The spooky mentalism, a floating table, and the the glow-in-the-dark visage of Houdini made for a lovely evening.

Souvenir ashtray.

Later, E. Raymond Carlyle became one of my favorite contributors to Seance magazine. The accompanying caricature is from The Magic Castle Walls of Fame (Nielsen Magic), and the souvenir ashtray sits behind glass in my office, a daily reminder of a rendezvous with the spirits, long, long ago.

Aloha, E. Raymond Carlyle.


Mystery manipulator.




It's the month of Mardi Gras. Stick a pin in someone's effigy.



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Little Egypt Magic is the erratically updated web site of Steve Bryant, spawned (the site, not Steve) by a former internet magazine known as The Little Egypt Gazette/for magicians only.

Steve Bryant is an obscure magician and writer who generates this site from an iMac in Bloomington, Indiana. He used to frequently journey to and perform magic in Little Egypt, the local name for extreme southern Illinois, where the towns bear such names as Cairo, Thebes, and Karnak.

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