by Jim Rose



The Human X-Ray Test


This simple yet effective experiment was first called to the attention of magicians by me, and while copied by others the true source of supply has been well hidden until now. The material cannot be obtained from drug stores as has been suggested, nor do many of the chemical supply houses carry the main ingredient. My source of supply was the Department of Organic Compounds of the Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, New York.


Yes, this is a chemical effect, but so little known that it is quite startling. The performer makes his skin transparent, an effect quite equally unknown to the public as well as to magicians. Required is a great deal of showmanship and a dramatic presentation.


Concealed on the inside of the fakir’s sleeve is a small container so hooked that it will be on the back side of the arm, away from the audience. The performer’s palm is held toward the spectators. The effect is greater on this side of the arm, due to the number of blood vessels under the skin there.


As the shirt sleeve is rolled up, the opposite hand makes contact with the container, and quickly and indetectibly empties it into the palm. The band is then rubbed briskly over the arm. The shirt sleeve is given an extra roll; this hides the container and the arm can then be shown freely both back and front.  Due to the distracting patter concerning his great power, the fakir will have time to indulge in the slight movement needed to empty the vial unnoticed. Even though this motion is simple, it requires showmanship.


By all means leave this effect alone if you think you can entertain merely by rushing over to a pail, dipping your arm in and yelling, ”Lookee!”


The chemical used is a mixture consisting of three parts salicylic methyl ester and one part benzyl benzoate.


Glowing Eyes


The performer asks a volunteer to sit on a chair.


He explains that when the lights in the room are turned off, the volunteer will be able to see two glowing eyes staring at him.


Secret: When the lights are turned off, the performer puts pressure on the volunteer’s closed eyelids with his thumbs and index fingers while explaining the feat, this will allow him to be more sensitive to vision in the dark. He keeps pressing on the lids for a while until the volunteer sees some fluorescent light on each corner of his eyes which is just an optic illusion caused by the pressure on the muscles and nerves. This is a subtle way to prepare him for the ”glowing vision.”


While the volunteer ’s eyes are still shut, the performer places two sticky fluorescent plastic rings to his own eyelids. Standing about five feet away from the volunteer, he closes his eyes and asks the volunteer to open his.


The volunteer is astonished to see two fluorescent eyes staring at him.  Before the volunteer gets used to the darkness, the lights are turned on and the performer quickly opens his eyes which hides the fluorescent rings in his raised lids.


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