Friday, January 29, 2010

The Real Ghost


Quick Note: The contest for the free GUM DVD is almost over - it ends Jan. 31st. Get your entries in soon.:) email to:

On to a new review...

I'm reviewing Real Ghost, which allows users to perform a seemingly hands off, real-time (as in no dual reality) version of PK Touches, where a spec feels you touch them even though you only touch a person several feet away. The demo video shows creator Christopher Taylor telling two spectators, seated several feet apart, eyes closed, to stand at the exact moment they feel a touch. At that point, he taps one spec on the shoulder and yet both stand.

The Real Ghost is also advertised as being useful for creating a spirit bell effect, among other things.

It's available at Hocus Pocus for $299.95, so follow this link:

Without giving too much away, this is an electronic device with a remote control which means you can stand very far away. On to specifics...

INSTRUCTIONS: When you buy this, you're provided with a link to go online to download the video instructions. This really bugged me. Three hundred bucks for a product and you don't receive a DVD? Appalling. I know that it wouldn't cost more than a dollar to provide a physical DVD because I enclose one with every promo package I send out for shows...and I don't get paid for the package, until if/when I get hired.

The instructions (once you get them) do a fair job of explaining the effects possible with this device.

ANGLES: If you're using this as a stage piece, angles aren't much of a problem. If someone is behind the spectator who feels the touch and close up, they'll see the device trigger, but if you're in an auditoriurm setting, and lighting is to your advantage, you should be OK.

MARKET: This is intended for older teens and adults, as young kids would have a hard time keeping their eyes shut (at least the ones I work with - LOL) and most wouldn't care too much about a touching effect...and this would be considered inappropriate in today's PC world.

MY THOUGHTS: I love the original PK effect. It can be done anytime, anywhere. If you're smooth, you can do it surrounded, at a moment's notice. It saved my butt at a hypnosis show. Everyone was too drunk to be hypnotized so I busted out PK Touches and a few other things and saved my show...and paycheck.

Real Ghost is like PK Touches but with more set-up and VERY unreliable.

It's difficult to get into my exact reasons for not liking this effect without giving anything away, so this will be cryptic.

Essentially, the 'touch' the person feels is because "something" is attached to them. It's attached using a sticky "something." The sticky "somethings" are far too sticky out of the box, as in, when they're new, they will not de-stick when the device is triggered. With me so far?

Christopher Taylor says that since the stickies are too sticky, you must partially de-stickify the things so they don't stick as much. But you can't de-stickify the thingies too much or the person won't feel the touch as the thingie is unstuck. Make sense?

The end result is this: the "touch" is so delicate (which it needs to be in order to accomplish the effect) that not everyone can feel it. I know this because after devoting 18 months of my life to this thing, I found it to be unreliable. I would trigger the device and from my vantage point, I could see the device do it's thing...but the person just sits there.

"Did you feel something?"



Then I do the original PK touches to 'save' the effect.

Taylor, in his handling, tells you to stress to the person that they may feel something "here" and you indicate where, and that she/he must be aware of this delicate touch.

Nevertheless, when I stressed this, people still wouldn't feel it. I attribute it to the fact that the person is in front of a group with eyes closed. They're disoriented, and embarrassed. They don't know what this weird magic guy is going to do to you. Therefore, they're not aware of the touch.

As an NLP Master Practitioner, I can tell you that some people process information differently and some people simply are not as in tune with kinesthetic (sense of touch) as others. With this effect, it's a problem.

I've been doing the original PK touches for years and even though I jab the person fairly hard twice, some people still maintain they only feel one touch. I attribute this to the disorientation I mentioned.

In my opinion, Real Ghost is a lovely idea in theory - a solution to an effect that didn't need one.

Also, the remote control button has a lot of play in it. This means that the button is sort of joystick-like: it will shift from side to side unless it's pressed straight down...,meaning sometimes the device doesn't trigger.

The Spirit bell effect didn't get much of a reaction because the handling uses a metal washer and the sound is exactly that - of a metal washer clanging inside a bell. The device would also get hung up, making this unreliable.

I know there's other stuff possible, but after 18 months, I just got tired of it.

I'm told Real Ghost 2 allows two touches, but I don't see this being worth the investment.

Before I reveal my score, I want to state that I'm used to spending a year or more polishing a routine, such as my Billiard Ball routine, my dove act, linking coathangers...and I use plenty of electronic effects, too - a ton of Sean Bogunia's products, Pro Viper, etc. So I'm used to WORKING on an effect.

I'm giving this a 2 out of 10. There's possibilities, but as advertised, I found this to be frustrating, unreliable and for me, far too finicky. I hated this and do not recommend it. After 18 months of work, I got nothing out of it.

Until next time...


1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with you. I purchased a Real Ghost around when it first came out. I never had a problem of someone feeling the touch but i have had the sticky problem and the battery problem. The device can only stay one for about five minutes. Then the batteries will either die or the darn thing just wont fire.