The Big Headache

A great clip of The Great Virgil & Julie, performing the spirit cabinet routine in 1967.

I’m obsessed with spirit & devils cabinets at the moment and have been following Stewart James sized rabbit holes through my local library, various online forums and books to discover as many different possible effects and their working as I can. I’m trying to develop my own, very basic – small scale spirit cabinet routine (it’s somewhat of a BIG HEADACHE, if you catch my meaning). It’s still in it’s early stages of development, but I have designed and constructed a prototype from a painted shoe-box, which actually functions surprisingly well. I think when I’ve figured out some interesting patter to accompany the routine, I’ll try it out on a few people. Possibly even make a video performing the illusions.

I particularly like this clip of The Great Virgil & Julie’s spirit cabinet routine not least for it’s casual fetishistic undertones & drawn out, awkward un-edited nature. The patter is somewhat goofy, but the routine remains creepy not only because of the weird, silent hammering – but also because of the sheer skill at which Julie manages to pull off the illusions. Especially when the spirits put the spectator’s jacket onto Julie, it’s a really wonderful moment.


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