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Topic: Tweak On 'Haunted Key' Patter
Message: Posted by: Leland Stone (Feb 16, 2004 08:55PM)
Hiya, Magi:

I enjoy using the Haunted Key in my bizarre work, teaming it with Glorpy -- a pairing which I derived from Eugene Burger's work.

I like relating the Key to an haunted house theme, but "Hey, look at this key I got from a creepy ol' house" doesn't work well for me. Instead, I came up with this at my day job this morning (I'm a recovering contractor, so the carpentry theme fits nicely for me --adapt as needed):

"In an earlier phase of my life, I was a carpenter and had been hired to hang some doors in a vacant [name a nearby town] home. Arriving just before 7:00, I let myself in and set the key and my tape measure on the kitchen counter. As I started back to my truck for the rest of my gear, an elderly woman came in through the open garage door and demanded to know what I was doing.

"I figured I'd awakened one of the neighbours and tried to smooth her ruffled feathers. 'I've been hired to replace a few doors in this house. I'm sorry if I disturbed your rest.'"

"'Yes, you have, and I don't appreciate that at all. How did you get in here?'"

"'The owner gave me a key, Ma'am.'"

"'I'm the owner of this house, and I gave no one a key.'"

"By this time, the old woman looked really agitated and she probably thought I was burglar or a vandal or something. She was rather following me into the kitchen as I politely but firmly protested my innocent intentions. 'Ma'am, it really is okay, I'm supposed to be here,' I said to her while reaching for the key. But when I turned back around to show it to her...no one was there."

At that point, of course, go into the bit with the Key.

Happy Haunting!
Leland Edward Stone
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Feb 16, 2004 09:57PM)
In my most recent lecture notes—Bizarre, Too—I have a routine for the haunted key roughly relating it to a key from Borley Rectory, once called "the most haunted place in England".

The story tells the background of the place up until the fire than destroyed it during World War II and how, during the fire, a figure was seen in one of the rooms—even though the building was supposed to be empty. The figure was trapped in the room, behind a locked door, and the key—much like this one (show the key)—was still in the lock. And it is as if a dead and ghostly hand were trying to turn the key even now, to open the door (the key slowly turns as if opening a lock).

Very effective!

I use a large brass key about seven inches long for the effect.
Message: Posted by: Anabelle (Feb 17, 2004 06:25PM)
I don't use this key much, but I have one. Both of the ideas are great, thanks.

Message: Posted by: Reg Rozee (Feb 18, 2004 06:41AM)
When I display the key, I usually mention that I got the key from an architectural antiques store or something similar and not a specific haunted house. This suppresses the initial "yeah, right, and how did YOU get it?" reaction for me. I talk about how a key this old must have been turned thousands of times, and how that kind of use can leave a sort of psychic "imprint" on an object, to the point where the item almost has its own spirit and "remembers" what it used to do.

At this point I am usually displaying the key in the starting position, and act startled and say I thought I felt it move. Often this will bring a "yeah right, you're just trying to scare us".

"Well", I say, "let's wait and see." Key turns s-l-o-w-l-y, spectators go :wow: :eek:

-Reg {*}
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Feb 18, 2004 06:49AM)
Reg makes a good point: Never claim that the key (or anything else) is the ACTUAL one. Note that in my yarn about Borley Rectory, I say the key is "like" this one.

Also, I do a routine in my previous lecture about the Titanic. (It also appeared in MUM magazine this month.) It centres around a key and tag "similar" to the ones used on the Titanic.

In fact, I use Steamboat cards (the brand used on the Titanic) but go to great lengths to point out that these are NOT the cards from the great ship.

To do otherwise, means that you will be caught out someday—and that just isn't good!
Message: Posted by: Reg Rozee (Feb 18, 2004 04:58PM)
Great advice Peter. I think the effect is enhanced when you specifically dismiss an object as being from the source or site you are talking about, sort of initially disarming suspicion, and then the effect occurs anyway. I actually have objects from some rare sites (such as the ruins of Babylon in Iraq which I actually visited in 1988), and I am actually reluctant to tell the truth about them because of this! By the way Peter, I meant to ask you—where did you get a 7 inch brass key? That sounds fantastic! A lot easier to see for a larger group.

It seems to me one of the places they visited on a British TV show we watch called "Most Haunted" was Borley Rectory, but I can't recall for sure. Don't want to drift the topic too much but has anyone else seen this?

-Reg {*}
Message: Posted by: DanielGreenWolf (Feb 18, 2004 09:12PM)
Peter's effect in MUM is fantastic and, even though I cringe at the word "PATTER" in a subject, your story is very good indeed, Leland.

-Daniel GreenWolf
Message: Posted by: rcad (Feb 22, 2004 07:36PM)
Great scenarios guys! Now I have to buy a haunted key...

Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Feb 22, 2004 09:28PM)
Reg asks: "By the way Peter, I meant to ask you—where did you get a 7 inch brass key? That sounds fantastic! A lot easier to see for a larger group."

It was one of three (one longer, one shorter) on a large ring that was supposed to be a decoration.

I was playing around with the keys and found they were properly balanced to work as Haunted Keys.

And, yes, the main point was that it be big enough to see for a larger group than normal closeup.

So far, it works!

And Daniel, thanks for the kind words about the Titanic effect; it's one of my favorites.
(And sorry about the word "patter"! LOL1)
Message: Posted by: Leland Stone (Feb 23, 2004 09:12PM)
Hi, Peter:

Thanks for your comments re: The Haunted Key. Your use of analogy (this key is LIKE....) fits naturally in the working of this bit and will certainly come in handy with others!

Message: Posted by: jkvand (Mar 2, 2004 09:08PM)
I also have a large brass key, about 7 inches long. My brother was in the Florida Keys and found one in a souvenir shop. He bought it for me, thinking it might work for the spirit key effect, and it did! I think he only paid a couple bucks for it. So, if you're ever in Florida, check out the gift shops!