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Topic: Andino’s Hand vs Ultimate Spirit Bell
Message: Posted by: Ben G (Jun 30, 2006 02:55PM)
Hello all,

I need some help / advice. I looking to add to my seance a "telling device". I saw both Andino's hand from Hocus-Pocus and the Ultimate Spirit Bell from Stephen's magic.

I like the idea of the bell that looks ordinary versus a hand that can maybe be more obviously gimmicked. But on the other hand, the hand is quite creepy. I have'nt really thought of the impact of those from a spectator point of view and I would really like to hear you opinions on both device. Is the hand very strong or is the simpler bell more effective.

Thanks for your thought on this.

Message: Posted by: kaytracy (Jun 30, 2006 04:13PM)
Not having either of these items, my remarks may be taken as odd ramblings from me!
How many people are you seating, 12-13, or a larger group? consider visibility for the venue, and the ability for the guests to participate- like with a Ouija.
Are you wanting a continuous indicator, or a finale big bang sort of item? I could see the bell as a stand alone item, if placed strategically and lit carefully, it would be both a clear visual as well as audible response.
Message: Posted by: JAlenS (Jul 1, 2006 12:38AM)
I was thinking that Andino's hand could be used with PK Touches and all kinds of other effects. The price is waaaay steep but may be worth it.
Buy both!
Message: Posted by: chmara (Jul 1, 2006 03:49PM)
When the Spirit Bell was introduced there were some problems with the power -- but it is my u8nderstanding they have been licked.

It is MOST powerful because it brings a sense of sound into the Seance....and can work both dark AND light...

Tom,- who makes these -- is a master craftsman and a kinda perfectionist. Since it can be done under glass -- priceless.

However if you want an Olde Timey seance feel - Andino's hand does look likle that type of prop, IMHO.
Message: Posted by: braddevant (Jul 1, 2006 05:08PM)
If you can find one check out the Spirit Glass from Michael Fraughton. Totally examinable and very effective. His company is called Deja Vu, I don't know if he has a web site but I think Yendor's world of magic carries it. 440-585-2463
Message: Posted by: Bill Fienning (Jul 1, 2006 05:23PM)
On 2006-07-01 16:49, chmara wrote:
When the Spirit Bell was introduced there were some problems with the power -- but it is my understanding they have been licked.

I hope this is true, but in two instances that I know of (different performers' bells) the bell failed. It is a complex modern device that is inherently prone to possible failure. If you are dependent on the bell for your presentation, you need to purchase at least two so as to have a backup unit.

I much prefer to use Ed Fowler's idea. It is simply a bell handing from a thread. You can carry it into the audience. It is expecially effective for groups of up to, say, 20 people. You can contact Fowler to purchase instructions: carlyle@cox.net

Fowler, performing as Carlyle, originated the seance at the Magic Castle.

If you use a rapping hand, consider getting an old Thayer or similar. No electronics, threads, virtually nothing to go wrong.
Message: Posted by: Ben G (Jul 2, 2006 03:10AM)
Thanks for your all your thoughts.

For those who use a rapping hand, don't you have difficulties to have it pass as a medium's item and not just a gimmicked prop ? Isn't it too uncommon for people not to think too much about it and forget what we are trying to achieve ?

As for the bell, I think I'll pass on the ultimate spirit bell if it is like to fail and go for a simpler version with thread.
Message: Posted by: JAlenS (Jul 2, 2006 07:56AM)
Maybe you can get your spectators schnockered before the seance. Anything is possible in that state but you'll probably need a liquor license..;)
Message: Posted by: StrangeMagick (Jul 2, 2006 12:06PM)
The method of Ed Fowler's (Carlyle) spirit bell is the same as Michael Fraughton's. I believe Michael tips his method (not 100% sure), or at least his presentation in his newly released (and HIGHLY recommended) eBook called "The Dark Waltz" and avaiable from Lybrary.com.

The method is undetectable, but only good for a small number of sitters, as the "ring" isn't very loud. Also, it is easy to put together and will only take a little hunting at flea markets or antique stores and an investment of about $10 for all the materials.


Dave Birtwell
Message: Posted by: Ben G (Jul 2, 2006 01:16PM)
Thanks Dave,

I have just bought the Dark Waltz, which routine is the one with the spirit bell ?
Message: Posted by: StrangeMagick (Jul 3, 2006 10:01AM)

You can find it described under the "Light Seance" starting on page 35. There ARE details on how to make the bell as well.

Message: Posted by: Ben G (Jul 3, 2006 10:13AM)
Thanks Dave.
I also read his toughts on the rapping hand, very interesting.
Message: Posted by: doctorrigormorto (Jul 3, 2006 11:12PM)
A couple of months ago I made an AMAZING purchase from Lebanon Circle in the UK. It is called 'The Ghost in The Machine'. This is loosely based on Edison's Machine to Communicate with the Dead. It outshines a spirit Bell or a hand rapper in my opinion after putting it to the test in front of a decerning audience of Politicians at a impromptu Seance that I held a couple of months back.

Here is the story of how the night went from my BLOG.

2 nights ago I was given access to the old Train Station in St.Thomas, one of the largest and most important Stations in the early 20th Century. A relic from another time period. This station is now closed and boarded up. - *Sidenote- St.Thomas was the infamous town that Barnum and Baileys Incredible Gargauntuan Elephant 'JUMBO' was killed. Hit by an oncoming train! The Ironhorse Society has access to the Station and I decided that it would be a good idea to try an impromptu Seance on the site. They agreed with my idea and 13 people from the Society went with me at 11:30 pm to the Station. Now, there is an area at the very top floor of the building that was called the 'Black Porters Station Area', this was the area that the Black and Chinese workers slept during thier stay at the station. (not even Canada can escape historically from the old world segregation policies) I felt that this area would be ripe with energy and so I proceeded on setting up a table and chairs to commence a Full-Blown Seance. I had the forsight of bringing with me to St.Thomas a new device acquired from across the Atlantic in London. This device was invented by Thomas Edison (the inventor of the Lightbulb) and it was a machine to communicate with the dead. This machine was placed on the center of the table and the way that it works is, when Electro-magnetic Energy crosses between two copper poles it sets off an alarm (a buzzer). The only way that the buzzer will go off is if the two poles are breached. A brilliant piece of equipment for testing for Spirits. At midnight I began the Seance and at first had no real luck with the device..... but then after a few questions put forward to the Etherial World... success! The buzzer went off! Over time we divised a way of using a simple morse code with the entity and had it eventually answering questions. Its name was Ben. He died in 1912 and he did not go naturally... during the Seance we did some Telekenetic tests and actually had a penny move about 4 inchs and also an old Skelton Key started to rotate on its own accord. Everyone was holding hands in the circle, and there was no close contact by ANY of the spectators or myself. What we witnessed was a very successful test of Paranormal Activity!

Now understand that this BLOG entry was written for my fans, so I wrote it as an essay of the night for laye people. I make it sound like we were all working together to try and find a way to communicate with the spirit... but I was just baiting them with a psychological carrot to keep the Seance feeling as impromptu as possible.

All in all, I felt that the evening was a HUGE success and it was thanks to the Great effect from Lebanon Circle. If you have never heard of this effect, you can check it out at http://www.lebanoncircle.co.uk

I hope that this helps as an idea that sits just outside of the realm of Spirit hand or Bell routines, its nice because it is different from what people are used too, at least historically.

Scott McClelland
Carnival Diablo
Message: Posted by: doctorrigormorto (Jul 4, 2006 10:37AM)
Also, as a side note: I was not in character or make-up like my avatar.
Message: Posted by: JAlenS (Jul 4, 2006 01:20PM)
Nice post doctorrigormorto! Do you use a rapping hand or a spirit bell?
Message: Posted by: Prof. Pabodie (Jul 4, 2006 01:38PM)
Thanks for the post, Doc. This is very good news for me since I recently purchased one of these boxes myself, but have not as yet tried it out with spectators. I do, however, have a seance coming up in a room of an old building where many ghostly occurences have been reported. As for the rapping hand, there is an effect described in Borodin's book Sheherazade that uses a homemade rapping hand. I don't use it myself, but it seems like it would be effective. The book is definitely worth checking out.
Message: Posted by: Ben G (Jul 4, 2006 03:34PM)
Thanks a lot doctorrigormorto, great idea and great avatar too ! I love your website.
As for Borodin's book Sheherazade does anyone know where I can find it ?
Message: Posted by: doctorrigormorto (Jul 4, 2006 03:45PM)
Hi JAlens, I own a Rapping Hand and a Nodding Skull (1930 Thayer I think, from my grandfathers Seance Act) and for the longest time I wanted a Spirit Bell, but this effect is the most effective for parlour situations... and it CANNOT be detected.

Prof. Pabodie, have fun with the Box... it has Great potential!

Thanks Ben G for the compliment!

Scott McClelland
Carnival Diablo
Message: Posted by: Prof. Pabodie (Jul 5, 2006 12:51PM)
Here you go, Ben G: http://www.hanklee.org/xcart/product.php?productid=7103
Message: Posted by: JAlenS (Aug 6, 2006 02:47AM)
A word on Andino's Hand. The prop is exquisitely designed except for one HUGE thing. The click that you can hear on the video is very hard to cover. I'm finding it difficult to do so. Turning the music up loud enough to cover the click would let the sitters know something is up beside the music. Maybe a glass case with some sound damping material would work. Or, disregarding how much this sucker costs, mabe some IT will fix the click problem. If nothing else, Andino's Hand is a beautiful collector's item..:) (Same problem with the "Balsamo").
Message: Posted by: scolman (Aug 8, 2006 01:20PM)
I've got something new in the shop called "The Scribe" - an electronic spirit writing effect. There is a description here http://www.magicurios.com/scribe.html
The first two I made were sold within a couple of days to collectors but I'd like to get some feedback from those of you that actually perform in seance environments - is this something that appeals?
Obviously things like the rapping hand and spirit bell have been around for yonks (what's a yonk??) and are tried and tested - this could be a new angle.

Message: Posted by: JAlenS (Apr 25, 2007 12:45AM)
It's been a while but I thought I should pipe in now. I actually bought Andino's Hand and I have to say that when I look at it I smile at the possibilities...the possibility that someone..somewhere.. can whittle a hand out of wood and balance it...then with a little IT...I could have had the same thing for a grand or more LESS!!!!
The idea is nice and the method is pretty cool but after trying to deaden the darned clicking noise..I found that a little IT works BETTER!!!
I'm posting this for anyone else who wants to do a spirit hand effect but just can't justify, or hasn't justified yet, spending that kind of money. As always I won't give the 'method' away but PM me for details or if you know where I could find a genuine wooden spirit hand.
Message: Posted by: Sabrina (Apr 26, 2007 05:36PM)
I couldn't find Andino's hand on Hokus Pokus. Just curious what it looks like.
Message: Posted by: Bill Fienning (Apr 26, 2007 09:17PM)
Most of the rapping hands look like the hand from a department store mannequin. That is, they look too much like a magic trick in my opinion.

If you were to carve a hand (or have it carved for you), you might consider the Carreta de la Muerte. This is a Northern New Mexico (e.g., Taos) folk story. The cart (carreta) carries a wooden skeletal figure with a bow and arrow. It is pulled through the crowd during certain religious festivals to remind them of their eventual death. The skeleton is always rather crudely carved. Perhaps a story about the skeletal hand could be developed.

You can learn more by using Google on "Carreta de la Muerte"
Message: Posted by: KOTAH (Apr 26, 2007 09:27PM)
ONe might approach Doug Higley and see if he could make a more macbre hand for your needs.
Message: Posted by: Anverdi-museum (Sep 15, 2007 08:58PM)
Hi All, I own the Andino's Hand. It looks great and somewhat classy. Set up for this item can be fairly time consuming and should be tested in the performing area well before show time as 'balancing' problems for this to work properly are a main concern. The folks who have one of these know what I am talking about, I am not worried about the clicking noise as much as getting a nice movement out of this effect. To be honest, I am reluctant to use this unless I take the before set-up precautions mentioned above.


Chuck Caputo
Message: Posted by: KC Cameron (Sep 16, 2007 07:47AM)
I have an actual articulated hand & forearm that I hang from "table hook" (sorry, don't know what to call it - originally it held a hanging candle and I bought it at a import store). A little IT makes it swing and tap the stand. I am just looking for a "bell" jar large enough to cover it. Since it is real, it is not cheesy at all. You could make one of these for around $3-400. I was lucky and got the hand for $75, but on eBay they usually go for several hundred. Why use a fake when the real is so inexpensive?
Message: Posted by: David Parr (Sep 16, 2007 02:09PM)
The problem with performing a rapping hand or chattering skull and effects of that type is that they can easily be dismissed by modern audiences as working with electronics and remote control. That's the reality in which we live.


However, if the hand or skull is made of glass (or clear resin) and obviously contains no mechanism, then you have something.