Steampunk Magic

The Mesmertron

I’ve always been fascinated by those old black and white films where the hypnotist uses a spinning disk to put someone into a trance. A couple of years ago whilst watching the series “Ratched”, I spotted a hypnodisk that inspired this device. It’s constructed of wood and copper and runs on electricity. The device is big with its own case.

I use it in a pseudo hypnosis performance routine. I devised a book test to go with the routine using a pegasus principle to make for a powerful reveal at the end. The device is also built in such a way as to accommodate other devices capable of “writing” a prediction in real-time. Once that wheel starts turning…anything can happen.

The Photomorphic Resonator

In 2020 I purchased “A Death in the Family” by Alchemy Moon from one of my favourite bizarre creators, Paul Prater.  The “photomorphic plates” were beautifully aged and came in this lovely wooden box. I was fascinated by the script and backstory and thought it’d be amazing if I could introduce a “photomorphic resonance camera” to the collection of props. I decided to make my own.

Taking photographs of spirits and other paranormal manifestations can only be done using one of Dr Coopers special cameras. The one you see above is really an elaborate “switching” device with a bright flashbulb. Does it really take photos of spirits? Put a plate in the cartridge drawer and see for yourself. Regardless, it’s a perfect accoutrement to “A Death in the Family”.

The Hieronymus Machine

Thomas Hieronymus was a scientist and wrote extensively about radionics and psionics. In his book he described the patented Hieronymus Machine,  a device that he claimed was able to enhance and focus the power of the mind, channelling it with incredible results.

The performer uses the Hieronymus Hat to focus the mental energy of a spectator onto the die held within the glass box. The experiment is deemed to be a success when the die in the glass box flips over mysteriously to match the selection made by the spectator earlier.

The Convulsor

This ensemble developed over time. I have a collection of antique “electro-shock” therapy devices and when I purchased one that fitted snugly into one of Tim Wisseman’s creations, I knew that there was potential for some serious storytelling and mind blowing magic. The aged props with some appropriate literary works, really set the scene.

I use inkblot cards (by Card Shark) in the demonstration above but the routine actually works really well with photo’s and a vintage Invisible Deck. The device doesn’t emit any shock therapy but the bell and the lightbulb are under the performers control to create a mental shoc, if you get my meaning…