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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » GH*ST (6 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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minty
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I recently received a parcel from Prof BC and Dan at Lebanon Circle. As an owner of Prof BC's PHANTOMS and DarkSpell, I thought I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. However, when I unwrapped the contents, I was pretty much blown away. The book purports to be a first edition of a famous collection of ghost stories. A quick Google suggests that it does indeed look pretty much identical to the original.

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minty
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The book is larger than either PHANTOMS or DarkSpell, and has a clothbound feel to it. The ageing is absolutely awesome, and the pages have a wonderful patina to them. It was difficult to believe that this was anything other than an antique.

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minty
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The parcel included an ambrotype with a portrait of the author M R James. Curious. There were no instructions in the parcel, so I just sat down and started reading the book. As I continued reading I became increasingly worried. I'd read a number of the stories before, and this book simply seemed to be a compilation of them. I had been hoping for something a little more. (PHANTOMS owners will note that the typeface used in GH*ST is substantially larger than that of its predecessor, and no doubt in keeping with the first edition).

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minty
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Having now had a chance to glance through Prof BC's 112-page Performance Manual, I have to say that there is much more to this book than meets the eye. I haven't yet had the opportunity to read through it all, and don't want to give too much away. However, my first impression is that the book features fewer hits than PHANTOMS (which is hardly surprising as PHANTOMS was crammed to the rafters with them), but is pretty much bombproof and features a real book which audiences may already be vaguely familiar with. The fact that I had already read a number of the stories previously, and still couldn't tip the method, shows how subtle the hits are.

The book and ambrotype are wonderful props, beautifully made. Equally impressive though, is Prof BC's Performance Manual. It suggests ideas for choosing pages within the book (absolutely no forces are necessary, as any full-text page can be chosen), as well as ideas for developing or riffing a whole routine and building to a climax. Where GH*ST has fewer hits per page than PHANTOMS, GH*ST allows you to extend the routine using numerous pages, developing a story as you go.

My journey with GH*ST is just beginning.

PHANTOMS, DarkSpell and (top right) GH*ST:

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minty
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It took me less than half an hour to memorise the workings of the book. To present a convincing performance will take longer. This isn't simply a b***t**t, and needs to be approached with more subtlety.

I love it. What it loses in the number of hits, it gains in the invisibility of its workings and the ability to keep jumping from page to page to page. Prof BC's Performance Manual (as always) contains loads of ideas and advice, and is a wonderful resource. I'm really looking forward to spending time working with GH*ST. If you missed out on PHANTOMS, you may want to grab this. Those who already own PHANTOMS or DarkSpell, know how good Prof BC's work is.

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Bedford
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I just ordered something from Dan, but didn't see this on his site. I also have Phantoms & Darkspell, wondering where this is available?
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I didn't see anything on Outlaw or Lebanon either?
so who put this interesting item out?
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The Prof showcased this at Doomsday. As a big M.R.james fan, I was utterly enthrawled. I am not sure about the methodology, as it was the Proff's first test of it. However, I did get a good look at the props and they are everything that everyone is saying, and the pictures here speak for themselves. The thing is simply stunning. I will be getting one myself as soon as I get the time. It's the sort of thing that you could use in a performance without actually doing any trick at all, the props the premise and the setting are simply interesting enough in their own right. I think Lebanon circle are putting this one out, although I am not sure. All I can say is that Dan had a box of them on his table at Doomsday.
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TH1
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Quote:
On 2012-05-27 16:53, Bedford wrote:
I just ordered something from Dan, but didn't see this on his site. I also have Phantoms & Darkspell, wondering where this is available?


Quote:
On 2012-05-27 18:02, gothicmagic wrote:
I didn't see anything on Outlaw or Lebanon either?
so who put this interesting item out?


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Quote:
On 2012-05-27 16:44, minty wrote:
It took me less than half an hour to memorise the workings of the book. To present a convincing performance will take longer. This isn't simply a b***t**t, and needs to be approached with more subtlety.

I love it. What it loses in the number of hits, it gains in the invisibility of its workings and the ability to keep jumping from page to page to page. Prof BC's Performance Manual (as always) contains loads of ideas and advice, and is a wonderful resource. I'm really looking forward to spending time working with GH*ST. If you missed out on PHANTOMS, you may want to grab this. Those who already own PHANTOMS or DarkSpell, know how good Prof BC's work is.


Thank you, Minty, for the kind words.

Actually, there are potentially more hits in GH*ST than there were in PHANTOMS because of your ability to combine page hits together. PHANTOMS allows as many as 16-18 hits on a single page, but if you wanted to work your way completely through GH*ST there are actually a total of some 33 hits across the entire book. You won't want to use them all in a single performance, of course, because the premise of GH*ST is very different than PHANTOMS. Nevertheless, the combination of hits (mathematically something over 100,000 different combinations) guarantees that your performance will never be the same twice. Completely different messages & conversations will emerge with each show.

GH*ST is a nearly exact facsimile of the first edition of MRJ's 1904 Gh*st St*ries of an Antiqu*ry (from now on referred to as GSOAA to keep it google proof). Compare Minty's photos with this advert for a genuine first edition copy: http://www.rookebooks.com/product?prod_id=19813 (also note the price of an original--nearly 1,500 pounds sterling!) As you can see, you'll have a hard time telling GH*ST from the real thing even side-by-side.

The premise of GH*ST is that you own this (very rare) antique book (I used my own personal first edition copy for my model--and yes I paid a lot for it) and, with it and the equally rare ambrotype photo of the author, you can communicate with the spirit world. Page by page, hit by hit, a whole conversation evolves between the sitters and the spirit world. It is less a b**k t**t and more like a full-conversation Ouija board performance wherein you, the performer, receive messages through the ambrotype that are then confirmed in the book (being held by a spec across the room).

Moreover, your hits spin out into full phrases, sentences, and sometimes even an entire page may become relevant to the conversation you are holding with the other world.

GH*ST may also be played as a one-off b**k t**t (look at a page, I'll tell you a word), but it is meant to evolve into a full seance-style communication using a book that actually can be read cover-to-cover without tipping the method.

And, as Chris mentions, the props (antique book and glass photograph trimmed in aged copper) are items that you can use simply for atmosphere for your show.

Dan will be posting pictures and a full description of GH*ST on the Lebanon site soon. The first batch of 30 books is aged and ready to ship with no waiting.

GH*ST is (again) limited to a total of 100 copies and will never be reprinted or reissued once those have sold.

I'm happy to answer any questions you may have about GH*ST, and thank you again, Minty, for the kind words.

Best,
BC
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Eddie Garland
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I do love the concept of this antique ghost book! Fantastic work Professor!
Mind illusionist
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I too am a great admirer of your work Prof, and look forward to this release. Would also love to see how this plays out as a stand alone bizarre piece outside the seance room.
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CRAZY CRAZY. Fine work once again Prof.
Godzilla
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Looks Great,Prof BC!
If purchased,will it be sent from you in the states,or will it come from,Dan?

Gary
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Slim King
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Sounds like something very interesting. I've never purchased anything from LC but perhaps this would be a start.
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MagiChrisMitch
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Waiting for the ordering instructions..........

CHRIS
Slim King
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Will it be like $225 or something?
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Godzilla
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Hey Slim!,clean up your PM box! She is full...
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Mind illusionist
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Quote:
On 2012-05-27 23:06, Slim King wrote:
Will it be like $225 or something?


I would predict such a price as that. Perhaps maybe in british pounds converted.
afinemesh
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Quote:
On 2012-05-27 23:50, Mind illusionist wrote:
Quote:
On 2012-05-27 23:06, Slim King wrote:
Will it be like $225 or something?


I would predict such a price as that. Perhaps maybe in british pounds converted.


Wouldn't surprise me a bit, but I'd still get it. . .Prof BC's work is worth it!
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