The Science Behind The World’s Most Convincing Ghost Effect


Image: MOTHERBOARD.com
Image: MOTHERBOARD.com
Magic is defined by secrecy. A magician never performs the same trick twice and never reveals how he or she performed it. Even if audience members say they want to know how a trick was done, they may wish they hadn’t once they learn the solution.

By Kevin Wong | MOTHERBOARD

Why? Because the solution is rarely as impressive or as clever as the effect. The classic woman levitation trick, for instance, is accomplished via forklift behind a stage curtain. No matter how ingenious, solutions demystify. Take, for example, David Copperfield’s famous “flying” illusion, which was Nielsen ratings gold back in the 90’s.

The solution was revealed as a series of fanned cables by creator John Gaughan, who filed a US Patent in 1993. On one hand, one can appreciate the technical know-how to create such a dynamic effect. But at the end of the day, it’s just a set of wires. David Copperfield is more Cathy Rigby in Peter Pan than Harry Houdini.

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