Obsessed with how magic tricks are done?
This October on HISTORY, see famous magic tricks revealed by master magician Steve Cohen in Lost Magic Decoded. Illusions that have tricked people for hundreds of years are outlined in this History special. It is a perfectly creepy and entertaining special the chilly Autumn month that is home to Halloween.
Cohen is a member of the Inner Magic Circle. His show Chamber Magic is often explained as one of the best gems in New York. Some of his tricks include stopping his own pulse and the “Think-A-Drink” where a teapot psychically pours any drink an audience member thinks of. Both of these are shown in this special. Cohen is a true magician, charming and hypnotic. Though, he’s not giving up the secrets to any of his tricks.
The history of magic is fascinating. During the two hours of this special, Cohen explores tens of the most mystifying illusions ever. What’s not made clear by the title of the special is that Cohen decodes these tricks and performs them for us, but does not explain the method to the audience. So, they’re decoded – just not shared. And that’s how the specials’ title misleads us.
In LOST MAGIC DECODED, a new two-hour special premiering Thursday, October 18 at 9 pm ET on HISTORY, Cohen tracks down, decodes, and resurrects ten of the most thrilling and shocking magical illusions ever witnessed. He gains access to the ancient incantations, secret sorcery, and mysterious contraptions that have gripped audiences for centuries. As he explores these legendary effects, he uncovers how they were influenced by their times, and how the illusions themselves changed the course of history. And the more he discovers, the closer he becomes to taking the same death-defying risks that conjurors have been taking since magic began more than a 1,000 years ago for the sake of an illusion.
Intertwining the fascinating history of magic with the thrill of the highest caliber magic performance, LOST MAGIC DECODED is a unique roller coaster ride into the deepest crevices of history and back again to the present day, where Cohen proves that even the most mysterious lost magical effects can be performed and shock audiences hundreds of years later.
I watched an advance screener of this special. What I learned from Cohen is that magic is a lot about the power of suggestion – how even certain words will influence us. For those who understand psychology and the power of a placebo, this is not news. And the more confident a magician, the more easily they can convince you of anything. And in that way, many modern-day careers of those who are lawyers and salesman involve their own brand of magic. It’s all about making us believe something.
After watching this special, I felt inspired and stronger. Magic is accessible to us all.
Some of the most legendary illusions of all time are brought back to life in LOST MAGIC DECODED. They include:
- “The Turk,” a magical wooden chess player, who first appeared in the 1780s, and perplexed the greatest minds in the world including Ben Franklin, Napoleon, and Edgar Allan Poe. Only one man has ever fully cracked the code of “The Turk.” Cohen tracks him down in modern day Los Angeles to bring this mystifying illusion back to life.
- “The Light and Heavy Chest” was made famous by Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin, the father of modern magic, when the French government summoned him to put down an incipient revolt in the French colony of Algeria by demonstrating that he could easily achieve total control over the strongest rebelling warriors. Cohen must find his own method of turning a modern-day strongman from crushing bodybuilder into a weakling with the strength of a 3-year-old child.
- In “The Indian Rope Trick,” an Indian street magician, or fakir, levitates a rope out of a basket and sends his young son climbing up the rope until he disappears. The fakir then climbs up after the boy, dismembers him in the sky, and resurrects him before the stunned audience. Cohen travels to Northern India to track down the one man who is rumored to perform the effect today, hoping to find a way to bring this dazzling piece of lost magic back to life.
- At least 12 magicians have died in “The Bullet Catch” since its first recorded performance in the 15th century. Despite the advice of many magic experts and historians — and even a magician who survived the bullet catch — Cohen is determined to join the pantheon of magicians who have incomprehensibly caught a bullet and lived to tell the tale. In the shocking conclusion of LOST MAGIC DECODED, Cohen risks his life by attempting to catch a live bullet.
Watch Lost Magic Decoded YouTube Trailer
LOST MAGIC DECODED is produced for HISTORY by Sharp Entertainment. Executive Producers are Matt Sharp, Peter Greenberg, and Steve Cohen. Carl H. Lindahl is Executive Producer for HISTORY.
Lost Magic Decoded Premieres October 18 at 9 pm ET on the History Channel