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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

hot foil trick A minor conjuring trick, not commonly used, in which a scrap of aluminum foil is crumpled and placed in the spectator's hand, then the performer suggests that it will become very hot. It does, since a chemical (often a dangerously poisonous mercuric salt) has been surreptitiously rubbed onto it to induce rapid oxidation of the metal, an exothermic reaction producing much heat in a very short time.
      The trick is not in the repertoire of any reputable conjuror but has been used by psychics.

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