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X-Ray by Ben Harris and Steve Shufton - Book
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When I was young, my uncle Peter fooled me badly with a simple X-Ray Vision stunt. It played serious havoc with my developing mind. Pete had been using his X-Ray Vision to "see through" the table top in order to identify how many fingers I was holding aloft. He hit it time and time again. I was later crushed, when dad explained that he'd simply been coding the information, to my uncle, via surreptitious foot tapping. In due course it was I who was performing the demonstration, and I've been fascinated with the X-Ray Vision plot ever since.

My one man show, HELLucinations, is my core act-the one I fall back upon for all of my highly paid professional work. Purporting to replicate the demonstrations of the legendary Dr. Elmer William Bishop, the show commences with some direct and perplexing "card reading" and then quickly moves through a series of unbelievable-looking demonstrations of supposed X-Ray Vision. These, among other demonstrations, include "seeing through" a heavy iron box to reveal which card a spectator has reversed in the deck, AND IT'S EXACT POSITION in said deck. It is a demonstration repeated over and over, the conditions becoming more stringent every time.

The show, presented in all seriousness, can play for thirty minutes or an hour and a half. It leaves the audience completely convinced that I have the powers of X-Ray Vision-even with a full disclaimer. This, my friends, is real bread and butter stuff.

Secretly, I have always wanted a "casual" demonstration of these supposed powers-something that could be performed with any deck of cards, at any time!

And, that's exactly what we have here, in THE XRAY DECK. Steve has done a wonderful job, completely solving the problem-creating a practical, perform anywhere solution for the effect. He's then gone on to clearly and concisely detail every nuance of his clever and direct method.

The XRay effect
The performer removes a deck from the case and gives it a complete shuffle. He thumbs through the deck to demonstrate that all the cards are different, and the deck is complete. Placing the deck on the table, he instructs the spectator that he will leave the room. While the performer is gone, the spectator is to cut the deck anywhere with a simple cut, turn the card cut to face up, memorize the card, and put the cut off portion back on the deck, leaving the selection face up. The spectator is then to take the deck, put it in the case and seal the case, leave the cased deck on the table, and signal the magician to return to the room. The performer leaves the room, the spectator does as instructed and the performer returns.

The performer explains that he has developed an uncanny ability to see the hidden-almost a type of X-Ray vision. Without ever touching the case, the performer focuses an intense gaze on the boxed deck. Much to the astonishment of onlookers, he reveals the name of the card that has been inverted!

But now things get even crazier. He again focuses his gaze on the box, and finally calls out a number. Again, he never touches the box. He instructs the spectator to take the cards out of the box, and deal the cards one at a time onto the table face up, counting for each card dealt. Tension builds as the spectator nears the number called. When the number is reached, there is the spectator's face up card! Not only has the performer accurately perceived the chosen card in a deck sealed in a box, but he named the actual position of the card as well!


  • All can be examined-the deck is found to be normal in every way.
  • Once in the spectator's possession, the performer never touches the deck again.
  • The deck is complete with 52 different cards-no duplicates.
  • Any deck can be used, the effect can even be performed impromptu with a borrowed deck.
  • No stooges, confederates, peeks, electronics or mirrors.
  • No gaffs or gimmicks.
  • No prepared box, the deck and box are REAL.
  • Can be done one on one, or for a group of any size.
  • Astonishing, strong impact, mentalism at its finest!
    Once you fully understand Steve's approach, you'll be able to perform The X-Ray Deck anywhere.

    28 - Black and White - 8 1/2" x 11" - Saddle-Stitched

    Here's what some professional mentalists and scholars have said about THE XRAY DECK:

    "X-RAY is one of the most fantastic effects I have come across. I like simple, easy-to-perform effects that require subtlety and sleight of mind rather than sleight of hand. This is an effect that Al Koran would have been proud to have invented. I can not wait to perform it and I know it is going to become a magical classic."
    - Martin Breese

    "Not only did I immediately absorb every last detail and nuance employed in the development of the X-RAY routine, I was blown away by the number of well known and respected names I encountered that had a collaborative role in its construction. X-RAY is an extremely powerful and entertaining effect. Watching Steve Shufton and Ben Harris concoct a recipe for a satisfying and delicious mental effect is as sweet as the frosting on my cake. Do I like it? You bet I do. Highly recommended."
    - Larry Becker

    "A wonderfully clear cut plot. This is very powerful and appears utterly impossible."
    - Marc Paul

    "Great idea, great routine and great thinking! Another winner!"
    - Greg Arce

    "Waaa?!?! That is f[----]ing AWESOME!"
    - Jeremy Weiss

    "X-RAY is an amazing effect that also ENTERTAINS the audience. I know the professional performers, with dynamic personalities, will love X-RAY. However, I know X-ray will be a miracle, even when performed by average magicians, just for their friends."
    - Steve Dusheck
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    Customer Reviews (showing 1 - of 6)
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    X-Ray by B Harris and S Shufton Report this review
    Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on September 27th, 2010
    Ok here is my full review of X-Ray by Ben Harris and Steve Shufton.

    The technique is very well known in mentalism. I too already know the technique.

    However, this will not work 100% of the time. I always miss the card when I practice this at my room. The person who revealed your last trick is not suitable to perform this trick.

    For me I was disappoint by my purchased! I'll never use this.
    3 of 4 magicians found this helpful.
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    Killer Report this review
    Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on November 6th, 2010
    Fantastic effect - best $20 I have spent in a long time. I got this last night, took about 45 minutes to absorb. VERY easy to perform, simply impossible predictions made, and all while the cards are never handled by the Magician - beginning to end.

    You will be up and using this quickly, and it will be one of your regular favorites, and can be used with a borrowed deck too. No sleights needed, a small (very small) amount of brain work needed and you will be off to the races with this little beauty! Highest recommendation. Some have said this will only work 80% - 90% of time - Well I would say 90%+, much has to do with your skills in audience management and explaining what you want them to do.

    X-Ray is one of those rarities that will not just kill - it smashes the spectators to smithereens!
    2 of 2 magicians found this helpful.
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    Amazing! Report this review
    Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on August 5th, 2013
    This is one of my favorite tricks.
    There is a small chance that it will not work; Just keep your Invisible Deck handy for those rare occasions and you have a perfect out.
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    choose carefully Report this review
    Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 2nd, 2013
    I picked a guy who was really enjoying some of the other effects I did and told him to cut the deck and look at his card then replace the top half...all while I was in the washroom being watched. when he was ready I came back out put the card bow on the deck then mentioned that I have not nor could not see anything. I stared at him uncomfortably for some time then slowly revealed what I thought the card was bit by bit and his eyes got bigger with each revelation. they wanted a second performance so I said this time just cut about a third of the cards, again into the bathroom when I came out...I stared I said it's red, he was staring back as intense as he could and said no, I stuck with it and said are you sure he said yes but then another coworker said it is red so I repeated everytime I look at you I see red, he capitulates I then reveal the card and he was destroyed... he has been asking for me to help him with his future as if I could arrange it.
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    GUYZ U WANNA KNOW THE SECRET...? Report this review
    Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on November 15th, 2011
    u wanna know the secret.. ok il tell u...... Ben and Steve have x-ray vision :D
    No just kidding this is a great effect. And dont listen to the first review,this effect works 99% of the time!
    So BUY IT NOW!!!
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    Very good Report this review
    Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on November 10th, 2011
    This is a great trick. Let me beast this because I love the effect of how this works out. I use the 6 card version in this book rather than 5. You'll understand it if you pick up this book. Great reactions great trick. Does take up a full deck. Chances of hitting with this trick 90 percent if you do it right.
    Overall great and fun to do. I would say this my new closer to an effect that I can use. Loved it. Worth the buy!!!
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