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October 26, 2000 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-10-26

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16B -e:Mjchigan .Daily YW~~~ i--TuyOctober,'0, 2000 A

ROADTRIP TO THE MAGIC CAPITAL OF THE WORLD

By Gabe Fajuri
Daily Arts Editor

- Believe it or not, Lansing isn't the
only capital in the state of Michigan.
And around Halloween, there's only one
capital in the state that matters.
Inconspicuously nestled in southern
Michigan is the town of Colon, which,
since 1935 has been known not as the
magic capital of Michigan, but the
"Magic Capital of the World."
One-time home of famous magician
Harry Blackstone Sr., Colon serves as
tbe headquarters of Abbott's Magic
Company, one of the world's largest
manufacturers of professional magic
tricks.
Gordon Miller, an Abbott employee,
said that around the Halloween season,
customers ask for items that the compa-

ny doesn't even stock. "We do have
some strange requests," he said. "Some
people ask for crystal balls and expect to
get instructions on how to use them."
Miller said. "All we sell them is a glass
ball and a stand."
But the list of Halloween-ish requests
doesn't end there. "We've had people ask
us for the evil eve" Miller said. "They
want to know how to put spells on their
enemies with it'
Though Abbott's doesn't stock any
such contrivances, its business is dealing
in the strange. To the general public, that
is. For magicians, Abbott products are
nothing out of the ordinary.
The company has been in business
since 1934, building tricks with names
that make the skin crawl.
One of the company's specialties is

building illusions and props with an
especially grisly theme. The Abbott cata-
log, which weighs in at over two pounds,
includes entries for items like the "Giant
Guillotine" (priced at S3,500), the
"Sacrificial Cremation" (where the flesh
of an audience member's head gets
burned off by the magician) and the
"Talking Skull," a perfect model of the
real thing that answers questions asked
of it by audience members. Though the
magician never comes near it, when
asked a simple question, the skull's jaw
clicks ominously - once for yes and
twice for no.
Miller said that tricks involving blades
and saws can be especially popular
around Halloween. "Even the sawing in
half can be worked into a Halloween
magic show," he said.

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