Knife thru Cloth Napkin Magic Trick :
You cover your left fist with a napkin, and try to push a knife into your fist, but it obviously cannot penetrate the napkin. You perform some magical gesture, and the knife goes right through! Yet the napkin remains entirely unharmed.
The knife does not really go through the napkin.
Heres the whole key to the trick: if the audience naturally thinks that the knife does not really go through the napkin, even though they do not know the exact details, the deception is weakened. Therefore, the challenges are not only about how to do the secret move. The main challenge is: how to strengthen the illusion of penetration
In our three-dimensional world, physical objects cannot pass through each other without breaking one or the other. With magic, I can sometimes create a temporary four-dimension realm. Please witness this experiment. You can come up with your own fancy patter to set the mood. It is important to convey a sense of importance in what you are about to perform. For example, the word witness sounds more serious than hey check this out. Words like sometimes and experiment suggest uncertainty. Uncertainly usually stimulates interest and builds suspense.
Hold a loose fist with your left hand, palm facing right. Cover it with a napkin. With you right index finger, tuck the center of the napkin into your left fist, leaving the four corners dangling. You tuck again, only this time, your middle finger comes into play. The index and middle fingers act like chopsticks and pinch the part of the napkin closer to you into the fist. The audience in front cannot see this move.
Now, you really have two passages into your fist. The one that has been created first legitimately is blocked by the napkin half way down. Let’s call it Passage A. The newly created one, which is closer to you, goes all the way through. Let’s call it Passage B.
Insert the knife into Passage A. It cannot go through. When it hits the napkin, the corners are dragged in a little, creating the impression that the knife is trying to go through the center.
Hmm it is not working yet. Can you try? Push lightly please. This is not my napkin. You get a spectator to push the knife. Therefore everybody is 100% certain the knife has been poking the center.
Ask the spectator, When you touch the knife, didn’t you have a cold, tingling feeling in your finger? The audiences attention turns to the spectator for his answer. His answer is not very important. (Of course, if he answers positively, so much better). In the moment when the audience is misdirected, casually adjust the knife into Passage B.
Wave your right hand over the left fist. Loosen your left fist just enough for the knife to fall a little, as if it is slowly penetrating the napkin. In a low, excited tone, say Look! It’s happening. Whats happening? The audience has to interpret for themselves. Their eyes are telling them that the knife is going through the napkin. Do not state the obvious, such as the knife is going through the napkin, for saying so usually arouse suspicion. Let the audience tells that to themselves.
If the knife does not fall all the way, push it through. After the knife has gone through, slowly open up the napkin to show there is no hole in it.
Unless you are very sure of what you are doing, do not use a sharp knife. You might cut yourself.