Abbotts Halloween Special

SPOOKSTERS OF MAGIC PAST AND PRESENT

Virgils Den of Living Nightmares

by MS Mahendra

Superior, Wisonsin: The town is full of billing for VIRGIL and his "Den of Living Nightmares" as he calls it, which is a modern and new idea of the midnight spook show. Virgil is appearing two days in most towns at the regular shows and then gives the midnight spook show the last night.

On arriving in Two Harbors to play there, we find that Virgil is also to play two days at the opposition theatre. And as we are in Two Harbors a week we anxiously await his arrival, to see his show and for a gab fest. Here is a brief outline of his regular show: Gloves to Pigeons; Passe Passe Bottle; Twentieth Century Handkerchief; Dyeing Tube; Walking Thru Ribbon; Sword Basket; (This is a flat Hindu basket and makes a weird effect); Anna Eva Fay Cotton Bandage Test and Spirit Cabinet, (Mrs. Virgil performs in the cabinet); Guillotine; and the Substitution Trunk. I may have missed a few smaller tricks but those listed were most outstanding.

At the midnight show he does not repeat anything in the regular show, however, as these theatres had very limited, and one almost no stage at all, he tells me that his programs are very much disarranged and theyhad to cut out many of the best effects. At the midnight show which I saw, he did several magic effects including Rising Cards; Glass Thru the Hat; Dancing Handkerchief and Cabinet; Floating Table; (And by the way, Virgil has a "new-to-me" finish on the table); Spirit Paintings; and then the appearance of spirit forms, spiders, and serpents in the audience.

So far Virgil has the best spook show I have seen to date. His presentation of the Guillotine and Substitution Trunk are out of the ordinary and all of his show is well presented. He tells me that many of their illusions they cannot use and do not even unpack them, such as the Levitation, etc. Personally Virgil is TOPS, you will enjoy meeting him so if he comes your way, look him up, for you will not regret the time spent in going to see his show, even though it may be out of your way.

We find that a "midnight spook show" whose name I shall not mention is also playing this territory and has spoiled business for Virgil as well as other legitimate shows. He had no dress clothes, manager had to get them for him at last minute, and he disappointed people. A very bad show according to manager, he tried to do mind reading effects, copied questions on floor of stage in front of footlights, the audience on going out side exits passed alongside of stage and saw same written in large chalk letters. Why will some so-called performers persist in trying to present effects they know nothing about?



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