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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » spirit slates (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

petethecreeper
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N. California
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Could anyone suggest where I might obtain a well made set of spirit slates? Or, has anyone made an attempt at making some (and if so, was it very difficult)?

I've found small ones which can be palmed, and the smaller plastic ones...but (to me at least) these don't seem as ominous as the nice, large, wood slates.
Darrin Cook
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I think a possible problem with spirit slates is that they are obsolete, like playing a recorded prediction on an 8-track tape. You could either use a presentation that is intentionally evocative of the past, or you might make up something using a dry-erase board, which is contemporary.

Max Maven has a great routine involving slates and a box of chalk. Unfortunately, I forget the source.
Marduke Kurios
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Vancouver, Canada
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Hocus Pocus has them. I just received the mini magnetic set. Very nicely made. I believe they have a regular-sized set too. I have a set of 6 x 9 slates that are made of white erase board. I bought them through an auction, so the more 'modern' type are available too.
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Steve Hoffman
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The finest Spirit Slates are said to be maid by Owen Magic Supreme. You can see a description of them at Denny & Lee's Magic website: [outdated link]

I don't think Owen Magic Supreme usually sells through dealers; usually you'd buy directly from them at http://www.owenmagic.com/

The Owen slates are not cheap. But they are said to be the best.

I don't entirely agree with the notion that slates are too old-fashioned in the context of communing with spirits, especially if they're OLDER spirits.

But then again, there is no reason whatsoever that a "slate" could be constructed with a dry erase board, using the exact same gimmick as the classic slate.

In fact, perhaps Owen Magic would custom manufacture that upon request (and upon forking over of some serious $$)

I recently acquired a set of the Owen slates and I must say that although they are self-working, it strikes me that it's gonna take quite a bit of practice to get the self-working to work (i.e., to work 100% right all of the time).

Steve Hoffman
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petethecreeper
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N. California
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Thank you for your help.

To Steve Hoffman and Marduke Kurios: I will certainly look into your suggestions.

To Darrin Cook: I see what you mean. True, slates could be viewed as obsolete. But I have been surprised at what people (meaning the audience) judge as a "fresh" approach in an act. The act I'm working on (in which I would like to incorporate slates)is more of a period piece...plus it certainly never hurts to learn how our magical predecessors performed their tricks by doing them ourselves.

Do you think Max Maven would have published such a routine? I'd love to check it out. Would anyone else be familiar with it? Smile
DonB!
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Minnesota
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Another resource for spirit slates is Thaumysta Magic, here in Minnesota. Do a web search for Thaumysta Magic, and you'll find a connection to them.

Mary, the owner of Thaumysta, sells a nice set of pocket slates, with a great routine (I believe by Charles Pecor).

I realize these are still small slates, but the routine is great.

ALso, check out Bob Blau's book, Spirits on the Stage, as he has a slate routine there that is very creative.

DonB!
DonB!
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Darrin Cook
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Murphy's Magic Supplies has a new set of slates. You can't order from them, but you can check with your magic dealer.

Your act sounds interesting. The problem isn't with the slates per se, but with people who are unaware of their datedness. Stephen Minch has written in "Carneycopia" of magicians lighting candles with Bic lighters, oblivious to how incongruous the two are. I'm amazed at how items in my lifetime, like records, 8 tracks, leaded gas, dittos, chalkboards, and typewriters have become obsolete. I think that thoughtfully resurrecting items from the past is interesting, informative, and classy.

I agree that's it's a good idea to study mental masters from the past --it would be foolish to discard an Annemann, Fogel, or Jaks item just because it uses slates. For those not intentionally performing a nostalgic period piece, I think slate ideas could be applied to the more contemporary dry-erase board.

Good luck.
mystic1
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Slates may appear obsolete. But the idea of a spirit writing with chalk seems to have more credibility than someone long resident in the great beyond writing with a modern day marker.
Darrin Cook
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Pete (and others interested in slate routines),

Max Maven/Phil Goldstein published "Slade in the Spirit" in the December '94 issue of "The Linking Ring."

This routine ties in with Mystic1's issue, "How would a ghost write?" In the Maven routine, the slate is covered with a film of chalk. When the slates are separated, a finger has traced a message.
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