The contents of this section are dangerous. Misuse of the material can cheapen an art form or at the very least make you look stupid. More importantly, misuse of this information may result in jail time or death. Do not attempt any of these tricks without the direct supervision of a responsible professional.




Sword Swallowing

This is a fine example of how bodies can be altered, and how you can trick the natural order. Sword swallowers tickle their gag reflexes seven times a day for three years until they stop gagging.  Once the reflex no longer responds, they can shove a sword down the esophagus into the stomach effortlessly.


To tickle the reflex they typically start by sticking a finger down their throat, until they just about throw up. They do it repeatedly until they can slide their finger down with no response. After that, they use a dull fencing sword, pushing it down as far as they can, gradually getting it down farther and farther.  After years the body is modified, and once it stops responding to foreign intruders such as swords, the skill is achieved.


Unfortunately some people buy fake swords that collapse when theyíre pushed in. Widespread use of this trick dims the lustre of the true masters.


Hold a Man Overhead with One Hand

This one will sure bring a round of applause. Tell your audience that you can hold someone over your head with just one hand.


Pick someone and make him stand up on a chair.  Attach a belt or a strong rope securely under his arms at his armpits. With your right hand, grab the belt in the middle of the chest area. While raising your arm straight, bend your knees and turn your back to him at the same time. Now straighten your legs and lift the person off the chair. Let his body rest on your back. When walking around, you carry  him on your back more than with your arm. But since your legs are stronger than your arms, theyíre really what lift the person. Do not allow your arm to bend at any time.


To do this stunt successfully, start by lifting a lightweight person. Practice for a while, and soon you will be able to dance around while holding the person with one hand.


Magical Weight Gain

Even a small person cannot be lifted by a strong man if she puts pressure to the side of his neck with her right forefinger, and pressure on top of his right wrist with her left hand.


Suspended Animation

Among the Todas tribe in the Nilgiri Hills of South India, a spectacular stunt is performed. They pack both nostrils and mouth with cotton, then on top of all this pour sand. Yet they remain this way for hours and still live!


Secret: When putting cotton in the mouth the tongue is curved back and thus prevents the complete blocking of the throat. The nostrils are only lightly packed with cotton and breathing is lightly done through the nose since the subject is supposed to enter into a trance. Little air is needed and thus obtained. The sand is packed only into the mouth.


Hold Fire with Your Hands

While holding a fire eating dinner torch, pass your hand over it and squeeze it carefully between your fingers. Some of the flaming fluid will drip in your hand giving an illusion that youíre holding fire in the palm. To cut the chances of getting burned, hold your arm straight out with the palm up and flat. Remember to keep the fingers together.  The flame will extinguish as soon as the fluid evaporates.


Eating Red Hot Pepper

Before working this effect, oil your mouth and tongue well with pure olive oil. The rest is simple. You can hold the hottest pepper on your tongue with no ill effect. You can eat pepper like ice cream.


Note: It is interesting to note here that a recent news report told of a child dying because his mother forced him to eat pepper for misbehaving. Child died of asphyxiation. Mother thought the punishment would be mild.


Walking on Hot Coals

Certain self-help groups have been using this feat as the ultimate confidence booster. Fact is, this is one of the easiest of all the Hindu, yogi and fakir stunts. Just let the coals heat up so only the cores are burning and

there is a lot of ashes around them. They are measured out, so it takes five steps or less to get across them. Coal walkers must move rapidly and be off the coals within seven seconds or the heat will register.


A cheater alternative: some use volcanic rock, which doesnít retain as much heat as coals and actually looks more impressive to the uninitiated.


Human Bench

This stunt is not for the weak, but anybody who has a strong body can do it.


Sit on the floor, place your arms straight behind you and raise your knees. Then lift your body so that it is supported by your hands and feet which are flat on the floor. Make sure that your body is parallel to the floor and that your arms and legs are perpendicular to it.


Hold this position firmly. Then have an assistant balance a long flat board across the knees. Ask six people to sit on the piece of wood, three on each

side. Once it is done, ask them to lift their feet from the floor so that the whole weight is supported by only your body.


Eating a Glass Light Bulb

Light bulb glass is usually very thin, although Iíve been in some countries where itís quite thick, which causes a bit of a problem and indigestion. Glass eaters chew softly to avoid the glass from popping on their gums and tongue, creating cuts. They also eat a banana before and after the stunt to ameliorate the effect of digesting Edisonís invention.  After chewing the shards gently down to small fragments, the glass eater chews with more authority.  The goal is to try to reduce the glass back into sand. Once the shards are particle-sized, he swallows with little danger.


This stunt can pose a problem for those with cavities or sensitive teeth because it strips the enamel.



Half of this act is making the torches. Fire eaters take cotton strings off a mop, tighten them into a ball with copper wire, and affix the ball around the end of a coat hanger. The ball is then squirted with lighter fluid.


Once the torch is lit, fire eaters lick their lips to make sure the mouth is moist. They arch their head back as far as it can go, so that the flames brought towards their mouth are going upward. They never breathe in during this act.


The key is to breathe out slowly enough so as not to put the flames out. They continue breathing slowly out of their mouth as the fire is lowered past their lips and into their oral cavity. They give one last puff of air and close their lips extinguishing it in the process.


Flaming Banana

Pour a little alcohol in a bowl and light a match to it. Peel a banana and dip one end into the alcohol.  Bring the flaming banana to your mouth and eat it bit by bit.


*This stunt is done the same way as fire eating.  Wet your lips and mouth with saliva, hold your head back (at about 75 degrees) so that the fire doesnít burn the roof of your mouth. Exhale as you close your mouth on the banana.


Hammer a Nail with Your Hand

Wrap the top of a ten-penny nail very heavily with a handkerchief so that it forms a ball in the palm of your hand. The success depends on how the wrapping of the cloth is done. It gives you a better grip and will protect you from getting hurt. Position the nail very tight between the index and third finger.


Raise your hand and with all your strength, slam the nail straight into the board. The nail has to hit the board straight or youíll fail the feat. Start by using a thin board; as you succeed use a thicker one.  But always use soft wood. The audience wonít be able to tell the difference.


Canít Break Away

# 1: Fold your arms high on the chest and stand very straight with your feet steady and apart for balance.  A towel is attached to each upper-arm. Ask two men to take position on each side of you and tell them to separate your arms from your chest by pulling the towels. Youíll see they cannot do it.


Secret: To do this stunt, make sure they pull your upper arms steadily with no quick jerks, and they stay away from the elbows or you will lose your balance.


You can do the same stunt without the towels; instead have the men try to pull your upper arms apart.


# 2: Bend your arms in front of your chest in a way that the tips of both index fingers are touching. Ask a person to stand in front of you and to hold your right wrist with his left hand, and your left wrist with his right hand. Now challenge him to separate your fingers without quick jerks. No matter how much effort he uses, he wonít be able to pull them apart.


Secret: The secret lies in the fact that you can resist the pull better than him. The only way he can separate them is if he pulls one hand up and the other down.


Hot Coal Diet

Build a fire of charcoal, then add some soft pieces of pine that are the same size. Once blackened, put a fork in one of them (thatís how they will be recognized you canít put a fork through the burned charcoal). Moisten your mouth with saliva and put the burning piece on a very wet tongue. The burned pine wonít be as hot as burned charcoal. This can also be done by using burnt cotton balls that have been dipped in alcohol. You can also pick them up with a fork.


Light a Cigarette in Your Mouth

Use a non-filter cigarette. Place a lighted match underneath one end with the flame away from the end.


Toss your head back and bring the flaming match and cigarette inside your open mouth. A few seconds later, the flame is out, but the cigarette is lit.  Secret: When bringing the match and cigarette to the mouth, blow very gently toward the cigarette.  It will cause the flame to go toward the cigaretteís end and to light it.


Two Strong Fists

Ask a volunteer to place one of his fists on top of the other. Now you tell him that you can push them apart with only two index fingers. 


Secret: Stand in front of him with your hands closed but leaving both index fingers free. Simultaneously, strike his top fist with your right index finger, and the bottom one with your left index finger. It will work every time.


Now if someone challenges you with the same feat, be prepared to beat him. Secretly place the thumb of the bottom fist inside the upper fist. No matter how much force he uses to separate them with his index fingers, they will never be strong enough.


Five-Finger Discount

A heavy person can easily be lifted with five fingers. No devices are used for this feat. 


Place the volunteer in the middle of the room.


Have one person position his index under the volunteerís chin, a second puts one index under the right foot, a third puts one index under the left foot, a fourth and fifth put an index under each armpit. When ready, they lift the volunteer simultaneously which distributes the weight. If the volunteer is 150.


The contents of this section are dangerous. Misuse of the material can cheapen an art form or at the very least make you look stupid. More importantly, misuse of this information may result in jail time or death. Do not attempt any of these tricks without the direct supervision of a responsible professional.

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