The Box of Astaroth July 29 2015
I was recently asked to create my own interpretation of the classic Astro Ball Cabinet for a private commission and here's the result – The Box of Astaroth!
All of the components are antique and pre 1890. Rather than spending hours ageing wood and distressing metal I spent the valuable time sourcing the parts to create something completely unique and undeniably old.
As well as the standard 'ball to glass' routine I have added a spirit bell. The bell can be substituted for any item that makes a noise such as a music box or tambourine, even whispers or the faint sound of a child singing!
The mechanics of the box mean you can move almost 'anything to anything' so rather than the standard 'ball to glass' you could move a voodoo doll to a box or something a little more eerie. I have used the concept of a pseudopod to give the routine that extra 'creep' factor. For those unfamiliar with a pseudopod they are plaster casts of spirit hands that had materialised during séance.
The idea was simple but effective. The medium was invited to materialise the ectoplasmic hand of the spirit in a bowl of mercolised wax which was placed in the centre of the table. When the séance was complete a cast of the hand could be created in plaster using the wax mould so that investigators could examine this 'hand from nowhere'. These pseudopods could then be sold for 5 guineas a piece to potentially over 130 spirit investigation societies. A nice little earner and side business for the budding medium!
So for my Box of Astaroth routine I invite the child spirit to select a previously signed card from the middle of a deck. I know, card tricks and spirit performance might be a big no-no for some performers but to the public who have never seen something like this it makes perfect sense. You could force a word with Oculus, place a pencil in the box with the hand and then ask the spirit to write the selected word on a card inside the box. When the box has opened the pencil is in the hand and the card has the chosen word written on it. Same method, different execution.
Combining the child pseudopod with the music box you could essentially place the music box next to the hand, close the door, invoke the spirit of a child who plays the music box and on opening the door find that the music box in in the child's hand. A nice twist and not a single red sponge ball in sight! Like all magic, once you have great mechanics the only limit is your imagination.
Since I posted the images and demo video on my Facebook page I have had a multitude of requests for 'The Box of Astaroth' and a waiting list has already started to form! As each box is unique and individually source I will add them to the Lebanon Circle site as they are built and I will offer them to members of the list in order of who joined first. If they don't like that particular design I will offer it to the next person on the list and so on.
If you'd like to join the 'Box of Astaroth' waiting list please contact me here and I will offer the boxes as they become available.