An original Maskelyne Séance Doll complete with wooden casket for safe storage


The Theatre of Souls (Dimensions - W – 500mm, D – 500mm, H – 400mm)


A selection of ‘toys’ including a brass bell, music box and a miniature doll’s house doll from the Maskelyne House of Dolls


DVD and supporting documentation


As with all Lebanon Circle products this effect encapsulates unparalleled craftsmanship and originality pushing the boundaries of séance magic and prop design.  This effect is part of the Inner Circle Range and is produced for you on a commissioned basis.  These effects are not available in shops and are only available directly from me.



From the twisted mind of Dan Baines comes Dolly Darko, the original séance doll.  Created between 1882 and 1915 by Dan’s past life alter ego, Joseph Hamish Maskelyne, these bizarre ‘spirit toys’ from a long forgotten corner of spiritualist history are now made available once more.


When Dolly in placed in her spirit cabinet and successful contact between the spirit world has been established she will ring bells in response to questions, play a music box and even move objects.  Your audience is told the story of the Maskelyne Séance Dolls, Dolly is placed inside the cabinet with a bell, music box and a selection of toys.  The séance begins…


Dolly Darko includes –


Inspired by the Stewart James ‘Sefalaljia’ close up one-man spirit cabinet routine (published in Jinx issue #69 in 1939 and then later in Annemann's Practical Mental Magic) the Theatre of Souls goes far beyond the original concept.


The Theatre of Souls has no physical walls, floor or top, only red velvet curtains.  Like an original full size spirit cabinet used by mediums the Theatre of Souls is a simple construction of a topless cabinet with curtains to conceal the medium, or in this case the doll, within.  The solid wood frame can be disassembled for transport and storage and can be erected in minutes.


All of the original Sefalaljia effects can be performed with the Theatre of Souls such as ‘Drinking the Milk’, ‘The Knotted Hankerchief’ and the classic ‘Ball in Glass’.  The ‘Ball in Glass’ routine has been adapted and the ball has been substituted for a small neglected doll’s house doll.  When asked politely Dolly can be asked to take the small doll which is seen to be dragged under the curtain into the cabinet!  On opening the curtains the small doll is sat in Dolly’s lap! You place a drinking glass inside the cabinet.  The curtains are drawn once more and you ask her to place the doll in a glass.  When the curtain is opened again the small doll has moved from Dolly’s lap to inside the glass!


The Theatre of Souls has ten ‘control points’ which can be used to move object around the cabinet, make the curtains move and even throw objects back out into the audience!


Combined with a séance Dolly Darko and the Theatre of Souls has enough material for you to create a terrifying 45 – 60 minute show.  



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Dolly Darko is custom built to order.


Completion time from receipt of payment is 4-5 weeks.

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