The Vampire Block by Abbott Magic is one of those effects built specifically with Halloween in mind. Its a very nicely decorated box of coffin for the vampire but you will not be scaring too many people with these props. The vampire is a block of red wood with a hole through one side. It is ungimmicked and comes with a wooden stake which also is un-gimmicked. The magic happens in the box!
This is not meant to be a scary trick, but with a vampire theme and a few props thrown in you can create a real nice Halloween aura with this prop. And the effect is pretty good as well, a block which is impaled with a wooden stake visibly free's itself and drops into your waiting hand.
Things that can go wrong...I do this effect all the time in my parlor and bar act and so far it has worked very well for me. However it is one of those effects that you get that when you look at it you say "this is easy, no need to practice it" and that is a mistake. While practicing it several times I carelessly loaded the block "cocked" and it would not slide down into the box (this is a square block going down a square tube, simply drop it straight down and you will be fine). Also keep a fresh **** on the device (its something everyone has in their home and costs about a penny). Replace this each Halloween and you will be fine (takes about 20 seconds to replace). The most common mistake I made during early practice was after pushing the stake through the block while it was inside the coffin, turning it over and gravity pulling out the stake. Its an easy thing to do when beginning but after once or twice you will by habit put a finger up to support the stake as the coffin is turned (in the demo below when I turn the coffin over after stabbing the block you will notice.
Its strengths are its quickness and visual effectiveness. This is one of those ones you will do in front of a mirror to watch because it looks so cool. It is also very time flexible and can be worked into any act because you can control the length of this effect.
I would suggest adding props around it to enhance its Halloween decor and vampire theme. If you want to add one prop to your show to make it look spooky I do not think this is the one, although nicely decorated for Halloween, it is good for adding to an existing Halloween atmosphere, but not good at creating one. Have a skull, a small skeleton, maybe even a candle with this effect and you will get much more out of it.
Patter for this effect is easy, we also found some additional patter for this effect that is scheduled for Sept 24, 2011. Below is the ad for the Vampire Block....
A feature trick - made in full stage size with improvements for easier handling. A special patter story accompanies this effect which explains about vampires in general and one in particular. The block is dropped into the tube and is visible through the open front. A solid, wooden rod is passed through the tube and the block, thus holding the block securely. The tube is now inverted and, in accordance with the patter story, the audience sees the block pass visibly out of the tube, through the solid rod. This is a startling climax to a most entertaining feat of magic. The block is lacquered in bright red. The tube is yellow, with red and black highlights, covered with an eerie bat design. The rod is painted silver (a silver spike for the vampire!).