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Balnagown By Black Hart

PostPosted: Mar 26th, '08, 12:29
by Stephen Ward

The Effect

They say:

Balnagown in another Black Artefacts effect based on a true historical incident - the Balnagown witch trials in Edinburgh in 1589.

Your guest is given an antique hand-made steel nail to hold, which is said to be from the coffin of the witch in question, as you tell the story and demonstrate that the power of the witch has not diminished over the centuries!

They get the choice of where to cut the list of names of the witches on trial and find that they have cut right through the name of the very witch named on the death warrant. They have a free choice of where to make the cut and they do not see the names until afterwards. Everything can be examined afterwards and nothing is added or taken away. No sleight of hand is required as the props supplied do everything for you.

I say:

This is EXACTLY what happens. NO forces



(1=easy to do, 2=No sleights, but not so easy, 3=Some sleights used,
4=Advanced sleights used, 5=Suitable for experienced magicians only)

1 Just needs confidence


I got this a while ago but i like to use the effects for a while before reviewing. This is a very clever idea that to be honest when i first saw it i thought it was too simple! However when you use this in the real world you soon begin to see how real people react to this. The booklet is well printed with a nice routine you can adapt and very clear instructions. The nail can be aged if you wish and the scroll is very nice when opened. The working of the effect is very easy to do and you could (but should not!) perform this straight away. What i really like about this is that the story is really true and can be checked out by people. Reset is easy and nearly instant. You could do this as a static effect, table-hopping or even mix & mingle. Having a Witchcraft story this is the kind of thing that grabs people's attention. Unlike some magic effects people know that you are telling a true story. Nearly everyone has some knowledge of the witch trials so you can perform as an educational piece as well!


10/10 Because of the quailty props, routine and the reactions it gets.

PostPosted: Mar 26th, '08, 15:11
by TargetZero
I bought this a couple of weeks ago but not yet performed it. The props are excellent.

As mentioned above you can age the nail which I think I will attempt. I am also thinking of expanding the "list" involved in the effect. Would this have more have an impact do you think Stephenmagic?

PostPosted: Mar 26th, '08, 15:13
by Stephen Ward
i agree (call me Stephen!) isn't it strange when you first get it and think "no! this is way to simple" but it works like a dream.

PostPosted: Mar 26th, '08, 16:35
by TargetZero
Thank you

PostPosted: Mar 26th, '08, 23:41
by black hart
I am also thinking of expanding the "list" involved in the effect.

The list is the length it is because they were the people who were involved in the incident! You could expand it but then it wouldn't be true to the real events.

The Black Artefacts effect 'Culloden' is also based on true events. I enjoy developing these and am inspired by stories from up here in the Scottish Highlands. I've a few more stories about true events that I'm waiting to write effects for.

Keith Hart

PostPosted: Mar 27th, '08, 10:21
by TargetZero
Thank you for the info Keith - I'll certainly have a rethink now.

Re: Balnagown By Black Hart

PostPosted: May 6th, '15, 11:32
by black hart
Greetings from The Black Hart

Following the complete redesign of the Black Artefacts' website Balnagown can now be found at:

The catalogue is now a stand alone website and should be much easier to navigate.

Keith Hart