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James Randi Educational Foundation

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

Introduction | "R" Reading | Curse of the Pharaoh | End-of-the-World Prophecies

Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Black Art principle In conjuring this principle is used——for one thing——to produce the illusion of floating objects. It is done by covering supports and personnel in black material and operating against a black backdrop. The idea is said to have been developed and first used by illusionist Max Auzinger about 1875. The luminous trumpets, tambourines, and other objects used by some spiritualists during dark séances similarly appear to be floating due to the same optical effect. Dealers in supplies for spirit mediums sell a variety of devices to be used with this method.
      See also Robert Nelson.

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Copyright (C) 1995-2007 James Randi.

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