We Remember The Magic Caf We Remember
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » Why "Zombie" Ball? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
RealDeal JU
View Profile
Veteran user
New Jersey
375 Posts

Profile of RealDeal JU
Where did the zombie ball get its name? Why is it called the Zombie ball?

Jim
"Challenge yourself to come up with your own

material, rather than buying into the idea that

you have to do the same thing that everyone

else is doing to be a good magician."
DanielCoyne
View Profile
Special user
Western Massachussetts
544 Posts

Profile of DanielCoyne
I'm sure you'll get more definitive answers, but I just assumed that it refers to the animation of an object by a supernatural or magical force, just as a zombie is a reanimated dead body.

Looking forward to the onslaught of official responses that are sure to follow.
: )

-Daniel
ricker
View Profile
Special user
Tampa, FL
914 Posts

Profile of ricker
On page 118 of the book "beyond zombie" by Mike Rose, he says the orginal instructions came with a patter story about zombies and the animation of the dead.
RandyStewart
View Profile
Inner circle
Texas (USA)
1989 Posts

Profile of RandyStewart
Jim,

I can't refer you to concrete historical information but much folklore or superstition allows for the possession of inanimate objects by the spirit world. Although I've never seen the 'Zombie' presented with a story line, if the audience were told the ball was referred to here as 'The Zombie' then a story line regarding a spiritual presence within the ball would strengthen the effect and it's name.

With such a storyline/belief system, real or not, it makes sense for this otherwise, solid sphere to be floating around as it be PO-ssessed!

As you know, presented well as Wonder and Losander do, it'll please any audience and you may even hear an audience member say "That boy ain't right...."
magic4u02
View Profile
Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15110 Posts

Profile of magic4u02
This is a wonderful thread and I am enjoying a lot of what is being expressed and shared here. I myself do not know the origins of the term "Zombie" ball, but would think that Ricker and Randy are on the right tracks with the reasoning.

It would appear that the name would be derived from the idea of an inanimate object becoming possessed in some way by a super natural power that has a mind of its own. This power is what causes the ball to move and it is the magician who then is in control to tame this power.

When one thinks about it, this actually makes a great idea of theme for a different presentation for the effect. Thanks for sharing guys.

kyle
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

Join Our Facebook Fan Page at

http://facebook.com/perondesign
RealDeal JU
View Profile
Veteran user
New Jersey
375 Posts

Profile of RealDeal JU
Guys, great info so far. I'm glad I decided to post this. At first I was afraid someone would be snappy about it and tell me to "go look it up". I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't know where the name originated from. Thanks everyone, and keep it coming!!

Jim
"Challenge yourself to come up with your own

material, rather than buying into the idea that

you have to do the same thing that everyone

else is doing to be a good magician."
magic4u02
View Profile
Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15110 Posts

Profile of magic4u02
Jim: You are most welcome. I will be the first to admit I have no idea where the name originated from but can only tell you what I think may be the reasining behind the name. It just seems that it would make sense that any ball that is possessed in some stange way to have a mind of its own, be called something that is spooky as well.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

Join Our Facebook Fan Page at

http://facebook.com/perondesign
RandyStewart
View Profile
Inner circle
Texas (USA)
1989 Posts

Profile of RandyStewart
Slightly off topic from the magic effect in question, zombification has in fact been achieved using the neurotoxin Tetrodotoxin (found in the puffer fish) in Haiti. Some underground clubs eat the fish for the chemical high from the toxin. Those who've eaten properly prepared puffer fish are no strangers to the tingling sensation in the fingers and toes. Repeatedly boiled puffer fish liver is also used but not everyone playing the game survives. Members eating commonly experience other effects of Tetrodotoxin to include temporary but complete paralysis, undetectable heartbeat and respiration, and many recorded cases of being diagnosed as DEAD. Those who've returned from such a condition, have reported being completely conscious and aware of all that was was going on and being said.

We have many documented cases of Haitian Witch Doctors who prepared a combination of the puffer, toads, and human remains (the main and affecting ingredient being the puffer fish toxin) to create 'human zombies'.

Other recorded cases of zombification have verifiably used prepared and powdered forms of the fish toxin on subjects who were eventually buried and later exumed alive. Doctors have also documented cases in which people ingested tetrodotoxin and appeared dead but eventually made a complete recovery.

That's the folklore side of it.

For a scientific approach, from 'How Stuff Works':

In Japan, puffer fish is a delicacy called fugu. Served raw and prepared by a competent chef, it contains only enough tetrodotoxin to cause tingling and lightheadedness. If a chef makes a mistake while preparing the fugu, the result can be deadly.

But when people eat toxic servings of fugu and recover, they are poisoning victims -- not zombies. Davis's theory is that culture and belief cause some Haitians to believe that they are zombies after recovering from the powder's effects. Some bokor also describe feeding zombies a paste that includes Datura stramonium, locally known as "zombie's cucumber." Called jimson weed in the U.S., this plant causes fever, hallucinations and amnesia, potentially strengthening a victim's belief that a real transformation has taken place.

Feb 9th is National Fugu Day in Japan. In Japan, 100 annual human fatality due to ingestion of toxic puffer have been reported until 1960. In Japan 1974-1979, 60 cases were reported with 20 deaths. About 50% of fatal food poisonings in Japan each year are due to eating fugu with a death rate in these reports of upto 59.5% reported cases.


FUGU Anyone?







Anyone?......
kregg
View Profile
Inner circle
1958 Posts

Profile of kregg
Some of the first levitation's were sold with the story that ether made the subject lighter than air.
Joe and P. Abbott knew enough about sales to attach the story of a dead women who's spirit entered the orb giving it animation. This story was used to market the Zombie Ball. It would be hard to sell as the magic toilet float.
Neil Foster was a huge fan of the silent act (Cardini) and he took a the Zombie from a simple muse to a level only few have achieved since.
POOF!
RandyStewart
View Profile
Inner circle
Texas (USA)
1989 Posts

Profile of RandyStewart
Quote:
On 2006-04-09 15:11, kregg wrote:
Some of the first levitation's were sold with the story that ether made the subject lighter than air. Joe and P. Abbott knew enough about sales to attach the story of a dead women who's spirit entered the orb giving it animation. This story was used to market the Zombie Ball.


Well there ya go!


Quote:
On 2006-04-09 15:11, kregg wrote:
Some of the first levitation's were sold with the story that ether made the subject lighter than air.


Certainly understandable following Robert Houdin performing the first levitation in magic with his son, when he apparently had him breathe ether and asserted that it could make a man lighter.
magic4u02
View Profile
Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15110 Posts

Profile of magic4u02
Great stuff. What a great thread and good posts here. I am learning a ton and am glad you guys are sharing your information with us all. Thanks guys.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

Join Our Facebook Fan Page at

http://facebook.com/perondesign
RealDeal JU
View Profile
Veteran user
New Jersey
375 Posts

Profile of RealDeal JU
Any other theory any one would like to add so the thread doesn't die?

Jim
"Challenge yourself to come up with your own

material, rather than buying into the idea that

you have to do the same thing that everyone

else is doing to be a good magician."
Steven True
View Profile
Special user
Bonney Lake,WA
765 Posts

Profile of Steven True
I really like the zombie. I say a friend of mine do it way back in the late 70's and he was very brave with the finish. It is one of those effects that,IMO,magicians really don't get tired of doing. Again I will jump in and say I had no idea where the name started. It sounds logical,what is being stated by most here,that the ball is possesed or made to do what the performer wills it to do like the old zombie movies of the 30's and 40's. Makes me think about researching it myself. Love these posts here.

Steven
George Ledo
View Profile
Magic Café Columnist
SF Bay Area
2985 Posts

Profile of George Ledo
Buried somewhere in my collection is a first edition of a book on Zombie by Joe Karson (the originator). I seem to remember him saying that he did the effect for his wife with a whopper story about a zombie, and that she wouldn't be alone in the house with the ball after that. Smile

Another interesting bit about the book is that, right up front, it says something to the effect of, "For those who bought this book hoping to learn the secret, sorry, but I'm not going to reveal it." Smile Smile
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
kregg
View Profile
Inner circle
1958 Posts

Profile of kregg
Quote:
On 2006-04-14 10:06, George Ledo wrote:
Buried somewhere in my collection is a first edition of a book on Zombie by Joe Karson (the originator). I seem to remember him saying that he did the effect for his wife with a whopper story about a zombie, and that she wouldn't be alone in the house with the ball after that. Smile


That sounds like a fun book.

After seeing the film of Joe performing the Zombie with his wife assisting him, I'd say he was teasing her (or the other way around).

Kregg
POOF!
George Ledo
View Profile
Magic Café Columnist
SF Bay Area
2985 Posts

Profile of George Ledo
A film of Joe doing it? Where on earth did you find that?
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
Frank Simpson
View Profile
Special user
SW Montana
882 Posts

Profile of Frank Simpson
OK, just to be all nice and definitive, here's an excerpt from the book Further Tips on Zombie by Joe Karson and others, compiled by Neil Foster.
_________________
ZOMBIE

The Magician weaves a strange and fantastic story about Zombies. He tells about a mystic silver sphere that these Zombies must have about them day and night—about the ghostly and radiant power that this ball has locked within its self. And that this amazing sphere gives the Zombie another form of life after he or she is dead.

He tells the audience that should this ball come in contact with the performer or any member of the audience while it is radiating this mysterious influence that they too would become Zombies—and thus he will control it with a piece of cloth.

The ball is on his table, a silver ball, like a mirror it reflects the many lights about it. The shadows about the ball reflect like hollow depths.

The cloth is shown on both sides, and the ball is covered. The Magician holds two ends of it.

Slowly and unbelievably the form of the ball rises taking the cloth with it— it rises up— up, until it is clear of the table. Then it floats away from the table, under the cloth, and now it sinks down, out of sight leaving the cloth in the performer's hands— but wait, it now slowly floats up and into view—toward the performer; he steps back, then toward audience, taking the cloth with it, then again under the cloth and up— up, and still up until the cloth is almost out of the performer's reach. With his hands high, the performer may turn around showing all sides— and with a lot of apparent concentration he guides the ball down and down, and toward the table, and onto the base, its resting place. The cloth is removed, the ball is now inert.

___________________

I don't think the question can be answered any more directly than from the creator of the effect himself.

Cheers!
kregg
View Profile
Inner circle
1958 Posts

Profile of kregg
Further Tips on Zombie was done in 1963 and the first Zombies were first sold circa 1930-1940.
Every year that I went to the Abbott's Get Together I would ask Neil Questions about the Zombie. One year Neil told me that he was opening a branch of Chavez in Colon, Michigan. I scraped every penny I could come up with to attend Chavez. Neil helped me with my Zombie and shared great magic stories, as I'm sure he did with several of his students. Dr. Dale Salwak wrote a great, but short, account on Neil Foster in Magic magazine a few years back.
The film with Joe can be found on Tim Wright's Zombie DVD. It shows Joe casually performing with a red and white checkered (table like) cloth outside in Colon dated 1938. My only question to the dates are that the film is in color (16mm) and Joe looks a little older.
Also, on the tape, Neil is performing his signature Zombie with his large fan and foulard. This routine inspired many to rush to the showroom at conventions. Imagine young performer's like Lance Burton looking on and asking the experienced magician's what the name of the trick was! Zombie.
One word, for me that was all it took to buy my first - Zombie.
POOF!
Dmann
View Profile
Inner circle
Crossville, Tennessee
1683 Posts

Profile of Dmann
Interesting stuff guys. I am sure Neil would be proud.
ricker
View Profile
Special user
Tampa, FL
914 Posts

Profile of ricker
There was 16mm color in 1938. Most were cartoons, but I seem to remember reading or seeing somewhere that early experiments with color were done in the 1930's.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » Why "Zombie" Ball? (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2022 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.05 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL