me tell you a tale of strange occurrences.
little Inn was a safe haven, or so it appeared, on this dark stormy
night. I had received some strange looks from the inhabitants as I had
entered their little shelter from the ensuing storm. I ordered some fire
water from the proprietor and settled in front of the roaring log fire
in order to chase the chill from my bones. It was a strange little
place. The lights were very dim and the conversation was muted. The
shadows flickered and danced across the walls. The locals cast many a
dark glance in my direction. These were a dangerous people. I spent the
evening drawing them close to me through the influence of mystic powers
and enchantment. I told them many tales and and provided much of the
wine and gradually they began to trust me. Finally I began to ply my
can offer you much in this life" I said "You can have all that
desire. Fame, wealth and all the physical pleasures you wish, for the
rest of your life. If you will but consider my offer. In return for this
life of pleasure you must gamble with a soul. Not necessarily your own
soul of course, but a soul never-the-less. Should I win, the soul shall
belong to me and my master, for eternity. Should you win, you shall
receive the prize of earthly pleasure for a life time, and the payment
shall be forfeit."
knew that these fools would accept my wager. They were hard drinking
men. They lived hard and played hard with no thought or belief in the
human soul, or of eternity.
I gazed around the table at my five drunken companions. Their souls were
already lost. Soon I would claim them. You must nominate a soul as
payment for this pleasure. It may be your own soul or that of someone
else. There are five of you here. Each of you write down a name on
this piece of paper. The names you have written are your nominees (The
poor fools wrote down each others names).
they were writing. I removed from my traveling bag a battered and beaten
wooden box from which I removed an ancient looking altar cloth, of
course my altar, skulls and accoutrements. Also five miniature coffins
of intriguing design and laid them in a circle around the cloth. I
collected the cards with the nominees thereon. They were gathered
together and torn in half as I explained:
" Each nominated soul will take the risk of being destroyed, in
that you may enjoy earthly pleasure for a life time. Perhaps one of
these shall be given over to darkness, or depending on the outcome all
may go free. You however shall receive the pleasures of the flesh
throughout your life simply for having the courage to involve yourself
in our wager."
torn cards are split into two separate piles (sorry packets,
magicians don't have piles). The first packet is counted onto the table,
as they are you positioning of the cards are reversed, i.e. what was top
card now becomes the face card of the packet. The second packet is
counted but retained in the same order and then placed on to the table.
"We shall spell the words WHEN THE DEVIL CALLS and for each letter
we shall move one card from the top of a packet to the bottom of the
same packet, at each letter you can decide which packet we shall utilize.
When we have completed spelling a word we shall discard the top card of
each packet, and place them aside. Then we shall spell the next word and
so on until two portions of a card remain. We shall turn them face up
and if the two pieces of card bear the same signature (or halves
thereof), that soul shall be given to darkness in payment for your
This is done. As each word is spelt out the two discarded portions are
placed together at one side (you will end up with four packets of two
half cards plus the chosen half cards).
the chosen cards are turned up, they of course match i.e. they are the
"It appears that we have been successful. We have chosen a soul,
which shall be condemned to darkness and reside with the master in hell.
However my master is a greedy entity and one soul is never enough"
As you say this the discarded pairs are turned face up. Each is found to
be a matching pair.
"Five souls would be better, may you enjoy your life of pleasure and
your eternal stay in hell. You need not worry about the payment. it has
already been taken care of."
"Never gamble with the Devil".
This is followed by a Vincent price laugh, as each name is carefully
folded and placed in a coffin (one name to a coffin). Each coffin is
placed into the old wooden box and you wander off into the darkness with
My children love this presentation. It was inspired, of course by the
self working card trick (spit) 'Last two cards match' the set of coffins
which were available via Karl Bartoni, (but now only through The
House Of Secrets or Mary Tomich) although you do want five of them not
four, (It does not matter if one is a duplicate and I think these
outlets could provide the extra coffin box) and a routine by Brother
Shadow, 'Seven Deadly Sins'.
Best wishes from Father David (Father of the Craft),