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“In 1340 the black death arrived on the shores of Italy and quickly spread across Europe.  By the time the plague was done a third of the world population was dead. when somebody would show symptoms of having the dreaded disease they were ushered into a room in the house and locked in, nobody ever left those rooms alive. It is believed that the souls in those rooms attached their spirits to the keys that locked them in.  A great many of these keys still exist, obviously this is one”

At least that is what I told the ladies in the antique store as the skeleton key I was buying rolled over in the open palm of my outstretched hand.

haunted key photo (003)

My wife and I were wandering through an antique mall just before it was closing.  In the back of the store I found a bunch of skeleton keys less than five dollars each.  One of my favorite effects from my magic days is a little something called the, Haunted Key.  A skeleton key is laid across my palm and all on its own it slowly turns as if it is in a lock.  It is an incredibly haunting effect that always gets a great response. The effect does not work with any skeleton key so once you know the secret you just have to keep trying them until you find one that does.  I always buy the keys when I find them because I am always losing them.

When we walked up to the cash there was one other customer in the shop.  I handed the cashier my prize. My wife pipes up,  “Aren’t you going to show them why you are buying that key?”  The cashier fell right in and said, “Yes, why are you buying this key?”

“Because it is haunted” I said offhandedly. Both the cashier and the other woman froze.  “I’ll show you” I took the key laid it on my palm and we all watched as the key ever so slowly turned in my hand.  After the very loud momentarily silence that followed the cashier asked, “Do all keys do that?”

“No, only the haunted ones”

“I want to test my keys at home, can you show me how you held it?”

I repeated the effect and again both watched intently.  “Are you serious? Is it really haunted?”

I didn’t even get a chance to reply as the other customer did that for me.  She said, “I think he is very serious” at which point I couldn’t help myself.  I had to bring home the effect and opened my mouth,

“In 1340 the black death landed on the shores….”

Both women bought the story hook line and sinker.   On the drive home I said to my wife, “I probably should have told them I am a magician and it was a trick”

“No” my wife instantly responded, “It is not your job, they can believe what they wish” and we laughed all the way home.

In 1974 my father opened up Perfect Magic.  42 years later that shop still exits both brick and mortar and on the web with my parents at the helm.  Why not pay them a visit at PerfectMagic.com and if you want the Haunted Key which they still carry, tell them Brian sent you.

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Last Thursday night I really had trouble going to sleep. Every time I would get even close to a light doze our hooligan cats would start running around, jumping off of furniture hissing and snarling at each other. It was one of those rare occasions where I could not wait for morning to arrive.

Finally it was time to get up, my wife got up to take her shower after a moment I heard some sort of muted scream, seconds later she crawled back into bed. She looked at me and said, “I can’t deal with it, you have too.” With great trepidation and sinking heart I headed into the bathroom and found nothing out of the ordinary. I pulled back the shower curtain, evidently at some point during the night a full blown slaughter had taken place. The first thing I noticed was the mouse butt and back feet, the front of the mouse was missing. Over in the corner I found part of the head, under the shower seat there was another chunk, amongst the cat puke I noticed some other mouse parts.

I did manage to clean up the mess without puking, but I came awfully close, I did spend the next 2 hours in deep focused concentration reciting the mantra in my head, ‘do not throw up, do not throw up,’ For the next day and a half every time thought about the mouse parts I had to concentrate on not throwing up. Even now three days later I still feel a little nauseous in this retelling of the tale.

This is our prime suspect.

Saturday night we decided to pick up some pizza. We took the dog and as usual she jumped into the back of our SUV I leaned in the side door and secured her into the back. We do this so she does not become a projectile should we get into some sort of accident. Everything looking good I jumped behind the wheel and backed out of the garage. CRRUUNNCH! My wife and I look at each other, WTF?

Neither my wife nor I closed the back of the car. When the back hatch is up it won’t clear the lip of the garage door. While the hatch was bent out of shape, we could open and close it but the door simply would not stay shut. It took us half an hour to figure out how to secure the bloody door so we could still drive the car. The inside of the door is smooth as is the outside, no holes, no latches nothing to secure a rope too. Eventually we were able to pry the back panel up just enough to spot a hole on either side of the door, I fit a bungee cord into each hole and I hooked the other end onto the mounts for the child safety seat. Worked like a charm. Now of course we have the bother of sorting things out with the insurance company and having the door either replaced or fixed. Not sure if they can fix it, and they are no longer making Saturn’s so it should be interesting.

This evening we had some errands that we had to run. Once again I made sure the back of the car wouldn’t spring open and off we went. Upon arrival back home I unlocked the front door, and as I was pulling my key out of the lock the key somehow slipped off the key ring and fell through the less than the quarter inch gap in the boards of our deck.

My key is down there.

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