to make a party ghastly


I love a quirky show like Circus Bizarre. As the ad says, Circus Bizarre makes the Jim Rose Circus look like The Wiggles. Baby Hannibal eats live mice, lifts slabs of beer with his scrotum and lets Cruella nail his penis to a table. He also takes to Sexy Assistant Mimi’s bare bottom with an orbital sander making him the envy of every man in the audience.

castpanel_hannibal castpanel_mimi

But old fashioned magic acts have a special place in my heart. Wish I’d been around to watch Alexander Herrmann strut his stuff. He was generous with his advice to would be followers, revealing many of his secrets in Magic Black Art Fully Exposed


Scroll down to the bottom of that link above to learn how to make water into wine or restore burned handkerchiefs.

To make a party appear ghastly: This can only be done in a room. Take half a pint of spirits, and having warmed it, put a handful of salt with it into a basin, then set it on fire, and it will have the effect of making every person within its influence look hideous.


Hideous Metamorphosis: Take a few nut-galls, bruise them to a very fine powder, which strew nicely upon a towel; then put a little brown copperas into a basin of water; this will soon dissolve and leave the water perfectly transparent. After any person has washed in this water, and wiped with the towel on which the galls have been strewed, his hands and face will immediately become black; but in a few days by washing with soap they will again become clean. This trick is too mischievous for performance.

To Give a Person a Supernatural Appearance: Put one part of phosphorus into six of olive oil, and digest them in a sand heat. Rub this on the face (taking care to shut the eyes) and the appearance in the dark will be supernaturally frightful; all the parts which have been rubbed appearing to be covered by a luminous lambent flame of a bluish color, whilst the eyes and mouth appear like black spots. No danger whatever attends this experiment


image by Dominic Gili

Published in: on May 12, 2009 at 8:42 am  Comments (33)  

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33 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I bet the nailed-penis trick is just a clever application of an existing Prince Albert. Of course, that’s a liberal use of the word “just”.

    Any chance of Circus Bizarre doing an international tour?

    • I don’t know about Circus Bizarre’s plans, but the Jim Rose Circus travels a lot. They’re pretty good too

  2. I’ve never thought about taking to anyones buttocks with an orbital sander… until now.

  3. Alex, I went to see Circus Bizarre with my younger son a couple of years ago. I swear the man sitting across the aisle from us had an erection during that part of the act.

    I didn’t dare look in my son’s direction in case the same thing was happening in his lap. That girl has the hottest ass in show business

  4. I got down to the bit about Mimi’s bare bottom and then lost track ….. what’s the time ?

  5. …… tea and buns time?

  6. ….. oh look a butterfly …….


    • DaddyP, you should read the Magic Black Art book. There’s sure to be something in it to help with your goddesses’ behaviour

  8. How can a unicorn be dating Tritan?

  9. Thanks for the handy tips.

  10. a circus with no clowns! yay! the testicle nailing is just a bonus…

  11. Not to be picky but I think a belt sander would have been a more appropriate choice.

  12. If you really want to make a party ghastly, I can provide an appropriate guest list.

    • Yeah I bet you could Kyk 😉

  13. I cannot believe Circus Bizarre exists.

    Nevermind. I totally can.

  14. Another great read! The ad at the beginning reminds me of the stupid offers at the back of comic books I used to read as a kid, like the $1 X-Ray glasses and such!

  15. I wonder if the nailing penis thing could become more widespread. I’d sure like to see a lot of that.

  16. Does what with his scrotum and penis???

  17. I can’t get into nails through any body parts. I was traumatized in junior high school when a girl in home ec sewed her hand on a sewing machine. Needle right through it.

  18. Hey, you didn’t mention the midget with the viking helmet that stabs Baby Hannibal during his performance. And while Sexy Assistant Joy is hot, she can’t beat Mimi getting a belt sander to her ass.

  19. damn…and me having just run out of nut-galls… now how do i make my party ghastly?

  20. I performed most of these feats at this year’s office party. My favorite involved the sander. My employer was not suitably impressed, however. Neither were the authorities.

    Maybe next year?

  21. ha ha! This is my first visit here and it was an enjoyable visit! I’ll be back and it was very nice to make your “virtual” acquaintance! : )

    • Welcome to the gimcrack Ms. Twenty Four

  22. Jim Rose has a girl who angle-grinds herself, thereby producing a spectacular effect which redifines the term ‘golden shower’.

    The phosphorous trick mentioned above would possibly not only make you look ghastly, but feel ghastly as well, if you got in the habit of doing it. I am dubious about the guarantee that there is no danger involved – maybe not straight away, but you’d pay for it in time…

    I have several really good books on old magic, as you know. I recently read something you’d possibly like: The Glorious Deception:The Double Life of William Robinson, Aka Chung Ling Soo, the Marvelous Chinese Conjurer (not so much a title as a synopsis of the book…)

    Robinson adopted (arguably ‘stole’) the persona of a Chinese magician, and kept the illusion so closely guarded that he even appeared as Chung Ling Soo in his real life outside the theatre.* There is a reference to him in The Prestige.

    (*You have to speculate about what ‘real life’ means in this context!)

    • Did I see The Prestige with you?

      • Hmm. Not sure. Quite possibly.

  23. SOMEBODY needs to become a Party Planner

  24. Well, if you didn’t burn your fingers with the phosphorous before you got it into the oil, I’d be surprised. The one thing I remember from my high school chemistry is that phosphorous burns in air.

  25. It all sounds so appealing. I’ve always wanted to look supernatural.

  26. Does Circus Bizarre still exist, in the ‘dates’ section it mentions the 2006 Adelaide Fringe Festival…

    Are they all now residents of the Gimcrack perhaps?

    The King

    • I’d have more to write about if they were at the Gimcrack King Willy. Duc and CK would make a great addition to their act.

      I sent Hannibal an email to ask if Circus Bizarre is still going. Maybe he’ll write back.

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