Available now from Magick:
MICHAEL DIAMOND’S ULTIMATE BOOK OF SHADOWS
This is a large-format (A4) hardback book with full-colour wrapper, designed and edited by Russell J. Hall with 121 pages, copious illustrations by Jake Smithies (who also designed the amazing cover), Tom Rigley and Bill Thompson. Published in a limited edition of 200 copies at £45, plus tracked shipping.
Here is what you’ll find within…
In Book One you play the part of psychic investigator who, while trying to remain an impartial observer, sometimes crosses the line between good and evil and is often drawn a little too far into the proceedings. In telling the story and presenting the evidence, things don’t always go quite to plan!
Return of the Highgate Vampire: A dark presentation involving the summoning and exorcism of a predatory wraith who possesses the dead in its eternal search for human blood, which it must consume to continue its cursed existence.
Ignis Fatuus: Those ghostly, flickering lights we see hovering around churchyards and forests have long had a grim reputation. Called Will-o’-the-Wisps, Corpse Candles and Ignis Fatuus (literally, Fool’s Lights) among other names this strange phenomenon has often been associated with the presence of the souls of the dead. Here you use the Tarot Major Arcana to invoke a dreadful portent… “The life-light has been snuffed out from another victim… a successful experiment!”
The Resurrection of Gustav von Shreck: An ill-advised ritual involving the mortal remains of the infamous Count von Shreck has unforeseen consequences for the performer… “He burns in hell! Yet the Count’s spirit is with us…!”
The Ghost Trap: To call on a spirit trapped by Druids in an ancient bottle is not without its risks. The experiment seems successful… but what has been freed to roam the earth after its cruel confinement?
Santa Sangre: “It was the strangest story that I ever investigated — the cult of the Santa Sangre — The Holy Blood!” The cult pronounced Carmen a saint of Santeria; the powerful Catholic Church disagreed… with tragic consequences. “What was the cause of the deaths? A mass conspiracy by the followers, or revenge from beyond the grave?” Your quest for the truth may conjure the answers you seek, but what accompanies them?
The Curse of the Monkey’s Skull: Based on W. W. Jacob’s classic ghost story, The Monkey’s Paw, this is a moving story of loss and redemption.
Book Two expands on the dark themes, beginning with:
Hoodoo Voodoo? in which you introduce a voodoo doll. Is it genuine? You propose to test its authenticity with a voodoo ritual, with the help of a spectator/participant. All should be well, however, as you have a special protective talisman which your volunteer will wear throughout the ritual… Michael plays this tongue-in-cheek, and recommends it as a little light relief between somewhat heavier routines.
The Faces of Death: “My pictures are all of people who have died an unnatural or violent death!” One of the ten photographs is selected. The subsequent revelation is both spectacular and very appropriate!
The Oracle: “Old hob! Commune with me! Tell me, are you with us?” The skull of Elizabeth Cross, the famous Devonshire witch provides a great, mysterious and ghostly way of revealing a choice.
The Philosopher’s Stone: You display a shard of stone, which some have claimed is a piece of Nicholas Flamel’s ‘Philosopher’s Stone’. What powers does it hold? An experiment is called for. Makes a great walkabout routine for wizards, or can be expanded into a feature presentation. “Quaerere in visceribus terrae; et invenies in ut proficies, quantum tibi occultatum lapis.”
Jack’s Back! An illustrated discourse on the infamous Whitechapel murders, in which an accused spirit makes its presence felt, culminating in an eerie message from beyond.
Thirteen After Midnight: A night at a haunted hotel. Effects and routines for a midnight séance or ‘ghost weekend’: haunted pictures, ghostly messages on bedroom mirrors, candle trickery, spirit lights and raps, a ghost at an attic window, and more…
Plus Bonus Routines not in the original two volumes:
The Telling Bone: An unusual presentation built around the properties of a native Australian ‘Pointing Bone’ which seeks out evil.
Visions of Life and Death: “Does the crystal really know all?” You show that a crystal ball has mystical powers… a gateway between this world and the next! This is a truly practical, utility technique which you can use to reveal symbols, dead names, runes, numbers, etc.
Psycho-Chopper: A gory twist on the classic arm-chopper… “The blade is embedded halfway into the magician’s arm!”
The Voodoo Box: Voodoo… Juju… Cemeteries and Coffins! An intriguing collection which could form a complete act in itself!
Interspersed between the routines are photographs and descriptions of some of the items from Michael’s ‘Strange but True Museum’. Two Appendices provide cut-out-and-use photographs for two of the routines in the book.