Charles Wesley Cameron has often been called the Godfather of Bizarre Magic. He was born on Halloween, 1927, and was one of the founder members of the Edinburgh Magic Circle. He performed on the club circuit with his own magic shows, cabaret spots at home and abroad, tarot readings, TV shows, newspaper and magazine features and numerous interviews. He had a regular slot on Radio Forth offering daily predictions and ghost stories.
Charles was made Curator of the Edinburgh Wax Museum in 1976. For several years in the late 1980s the top floor of the museum became the Castle Dracula Theatre. Charles performed as Count Dracula presenting mind-reading and ghostly seances. His book Castle Dracula Mentalism was published by Martin Breese in 1997.
I first met Charles when he was guest of honour at Keith Hart’s ‘Meeting of the Mages’ (Britain’s first bizarre magic convention) in 1996. I remember him as a charming, modest gentleman with a fund of fascinating stories. He died in January 2001. A plaque commemorating Charles Cameron’s life and work can be found by the entrance passageway to the former site of the Wax Museum on Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile.
The cover design uses elements from the original covers of The Cauldron and were drawn by George Cameron, as were some of the cartoons and other illustrations.
- DEDICATION “Dedicated to those kindred spirits who also tread the paths of strange and unearthly magick! This weird concoction known as Witches’ Brew is offered to necromancers, sorcerers and to all those nighthawks who dabble in the strange and the mysterious. Long may your midnight oil burn and your candles splutter in your pursuit of the Forbidden Arts.”
- THE POWER OF THE PENTAGRAM Simon de Bofray’s 300-year-old prediction reveals a spectator’s choice.
- OUT OF THE BODY A strange potion enables you to release your astral body and freely move through time and space.
- TEN TALONS OF TAZ You invoke Taz, Keeper of Ancient Mysteries, half man, half demon, to answer a spectator’s question.
- POWER OF THE MUMMY A strip of grave cloth possesses strange properties, when freed from the Bolt Of Solomon which imprisoned it, it vanishes in a flash and a whiff of, dare we say, brimstone.
- RITUAL OF EL SHAITAN A convincing and frightening demonstration of ‘Psychic Forces’. NOT to be performed for those of a nervous disposition!
- OLD MOTHER LONG NOSE A hank of matted hair and scalp from a 17th century Edinburgh witch eerily reveals a spectator’s choice before returning to her grave.
- PAGES FROM THE BOOK OF THOTH A wax doll and a few Tarot cards used in a rite of divination.
- MIRROR OF FATE Tai Zung’s mirror, set in a curiously ornamented frame, enables you to open one of Seven Mystic Gateways to the Beyond.
- DIAL H…! for HELL You prove you have a direct hot-line to hell.
- CATCH ME A DEMON During a dark seance a Screaming Demon rushes around the room then disappears.
- THE WHISPERING SKULL Two small skulls and a piece of parchment enable you to reveal a spectator’s innermost thoughts.
- ALCHEMISTS NIGHTMARE “Lead or Silver into Gold, Magick Recipe of Old…” You have the formula, but something goes wrong!
- CONCLUSION Notes on the presentation of Bizarre Magick.
2nd edition, 1978. 35 pages wire-stitched paperback. Out of print. Limited quantity available.