8 Magic Tricks That Went Horribly Wrong

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From swallowed razors to setting co-stars on fire, we look at 8 magic tricks that went horribly wrong.

  1. Razor Burn

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  • Amateurs should really leave magic to the professionals, even if they occasionally off themselves too.
  • One such amateur named Dr. Vivian Hensley was performing a trick of his very own for his son. The trick made it look as though he’d swallowed a razor, but he actually dropped them down his sleeve. But one fatal day, he fucked up and dropped it into his mouth and somehow swallowed it. He was rushed to hospital and operated on but intestines are long as shit and the doctors couldn’t find it. He died four days later.
  • You gotta feel for his kid though, maybe he hoped all the hubbub was part of the act too. Like, “Aww shucks Dad got me good, had me thinking he’d really swallowed a razor. Even faked his own death. Now he’s doing the ol’ get buried alive act, what a trooper.”
  1. Rollin’ in the Deep

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  • In 1990, Joseph Burrus tried to do a homage to Houdini on the anniversary of his death.
  • He would attempt to recreate the trick that very nearly cost Houdini his life; he would be buried alive. Where Houdini was buried in a casket under six feet of dirt, Burrus tried to one up his hero by opting for a mixture of dirt and cement. He chose a glass coffin so that the audience could see his genius in detail, but the coffin was crushed under the weight of nine tons of dirt and cement.
  • So the audience got a close up of squished magician instead of the ingeniousness he’d planned for. Crews attempted to reach Burrus in time but unfortunately failed. Moral of the story is; always shop around for your coffin, especially if you’re pouring fucking cement onto it.
  1. Milk Can’t

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  • The magician known as Genesta was also attempting one of Houdini’s tricks when tragedy struck.
  • In this trick one of the big metal milk canisters would be filled with water and the magician was dunked in wearing a straitjacket. He would escape the jacket and there was a hatch that automatically undid all the locks on the outside of the canister that were added for melodrama.
  • What they didn’t know was the hatch had been damaged in transport, so Genesta didn’t have enough room to remove the strait jacket, let alone pop out of the container. The magician’s assistants had given the keys to the locks to various audience members and so by the time they realized something had gone wrong, they had to start scrambling to get the keys back. It was utter mayhem and despite doctors reviving him at first, he died later that night.
  1. Bullet Catch

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  • Williams Ellsworth Robinson performed under the stage name Chung Ling Soo adopting the persona of Chinese mystic despite being white as fuck.
  • Throughout his career he spoke in a fake Chinese gibberish during all public appearances. He would perform the old bullet catching routine. The magic was in the gun; an audience member would load a real bullet in the chamber, but there was a second barrel that held a blank. That is until one day the accumulated gun powder caused the real bullet and the blank to fire at the same time, landing a slug in his lung.
  • But I like about this guy is that he was doing yellow face before it was uncool. He’s like the hipster of racism. And people were way more interested in Asian mysticism than when he spoke in his real accent. Sort of like if Russel Brand had an American accent and people finally realised that he’s a rambling lunatic.

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