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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » The Departed performance manual (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

topherhester
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I picked up a Departed on the used market but it did not come with a manual. While it’s fairly self explanatory in it’s operation I was wondering if anyone has a pdf of the performance manual, if it originally came with any routines or backstories.
the Sponge
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I never got any.
Pascal974
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Made in 1903 by Josephus Hobbs for sale to fortune tellers and mediums.

A very simple cabinet with an old “musket ball” and an old bell hanging inside. Both the items are attached to pieces of hemp twine, and can be moved up and down, by grabbing the little wood stoppers on top of the box and pulling them up, showing the items are only attached to just the twine (true).

The Departed is a specially designed spirit cabinet. It was “rigged” to allow the “medium” to secretly cause a hanging ball to tap against the box signaling that a spirit had made contact.

The medium could also secretly “ring” the bell to answer questions posed to the spirit.
This was achieved by two long pieces of hemp twine that were attached to the bell and the ball twines inside the cabinet, coming out small holes in the back of the box , and tied to the foot of the “psychic”.
Something the spectator never saw.

By moving her feet she could ring the bell and make the ball rap against the wall of the cabinet.

That’s the story of The Departed cabinet, almost..

100 years later the box was found at an old farm house in up state New York by a young couple antique hunting. The long twines used to trick the spectators had worn away and the “gaffs” were no good anymore.

But a strange thing happened to the couple that found the box.

One night they heard a tapping sound coming from their bedroom closet. They thought it was a mouse.

When they opened the closet door, sitting up on a shelf was the cabinet, and the ball was moving.

It was knocking against the back of the box.

Well, they knew it was a spirit box of some sort. And they knew it was a fake. But they decided to try something anyway.
They asked “Is someone there?”
And the little bell rang…
topherhester
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Thank you. Exactly what I was looking for. Was curious what the original story was. Of course I will make it my own.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » The Departed performance manual (1 Likes)
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