The folks a the Ellusionist blog invited discussion of what a list of the ten most dangerous effects in magic might include. I am pleased to add my vast knowledge of magic to this area of inquiry. My list of ten most dangerous magic effects (in no particular order) would include:

  1. Straight Jacket Plummet. The magician is fastened into a straight jacket and dropped from an airplane at 30,000 feet, aimed straight at a platform covered in steel spikes. The magician must escape from the straight jacket and capture a parachute (that was dropped from the airplane at the same time the magician was) to have any hope of surviving.
  2. Hitchcock Bird Production: The magician, dressed in evening clothes, produces copious ravenous, homicidal doves from thin air.
  3. Sawing a Gang Leader’s Woman in Half. One mistake, and the magician is 187!
  4. Plunger. Three Styrofoam cups are arranged on a table upside down by an audience member while the magician looks away. After turning around, the magician instantly smashes two of the cups. What makes this exciting is that two of the cups are empty, while the third hides a plunger connected to explosives which will destroy the entire building if activated.
  5. Matrix. The magician places four coins on a close-up pad and covers them with four playing cards. The magician must try to secretly assemble all of the coins beneath one of the cards, even though his physical body has been enslaved by a race of robots and his mind is living in a computer simulation.
  6. Cement Endurance. More of a stunt than a real magic effect, the magician is lowered into a dumpster which is then filled with concrete. Once the concrete dries, the magician must carefully manage what air exists while escaping with only the use of a few dental tools.
  7. Great White. The magician attempts to locate a spectator’s selected card while being eaten by a shark.
  8. Heavy Water Torture Cell. Like Houdini’s Chinese Water Torture Cell, but radioactive (great for nighttime performances).
  9. Pullet Catch. A chicken cannon — used to test the ability of an airplane window to survive bird impacts — is loaded with a chicken that has been previously marked by a spectator. The hapless bird is fired at supersonic speed at the magician, who catches it. The effect is sometimes made even more deadly by using a frozen chicken.
  10. Performing Card Tricks for Teenage Boys. Don’t even attempt this one; you will be driven insane.