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Bizarre Magick

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Bizarre Magick (or the less mysterious spelling, Bizarre Magic) is a term that includes Wizard-style magic, Simulated Black Magic or Ritual Magic, Mediums or Spiritualists, Grotesque Magic, and Freak Show Magic. The purpose is to make audiences wonder if what they are seeing is "the real thing." A great deal of emphasis is placed on building up "atmosphere" and on story-telling.[1]

Bizarre Magick entertainers take stories of the odd, eccentric, or fantastic nature and tell it using magic as the visual kicker (providing "proof" that the story did in fact happen).

Some magazines dedicated to Bizarre Magick were The Cauldron (1967), Invocation (1974) and The Altar Flame (1993). The publication Vibrations frequently includes subjects related to Bizarre Magick.

Some performers include Tony Shiels, Charles W. Cameron, Tony Andruzzi, Eugene Poinc and Roni Shachnaey. Contemporary performers include Todd Landman, Iain Jay, Careena Fenton, Nick Brunger, Ashton Carter, Nik Taylor, Paul Voodini, Tracy Wise, Steve Drury, Mary Tomich, Jim Magus, Paul Prater, David Parr, Vince Wilson, Prof. BC, Joe Lantiere and Vlad (Don Deich).

Storytelling is also employed for a greater sense of theatrical authenticity. Techniques such as these are important factors in distinguishing Bizarre from other types of magic performance in that Bizarre “references a larger magical world beyond the boundaries of the performance.” [2]


Among many people, there is often the mistaken impression that bizarre magic must be ghoulish, ghostly, or ghastly. That is not necessarily true. Bizarre magic can be funny, comical, and downright slapstick. It can also be emotionally touching and philosophically provoking. A key feature is that it must touch the audience on a deeper emotional level than ordinary magic. That is done with a focus on the theatrical. It is often accomplished by simulating or re-enacting occult, pagan or shamanic magick, however unlike Gospel Magic, it is not designed with the promotion of religion but entertainment. As Bizarre Magic embraces horror and the supernatural as viable entertainment choices in addition to the standard commercial magic approaches of comedy and wonder. "Magic should be disturbing sometimes. It should make people uncomfortable. Of course, that's not an easy goal. It's not a commercial goal. The audience doesn't necessarily walk away smiling and admiring how clever and adroit you are. Instead they have a creepy feeling that what they've just experienced might have been real." [3] Another methodology employed in performance is the integration of storytelling enhanced by magic[4].

Presentational style

Bizarre Magic is often performed as close-up magic, for a few people at a time, but it can also be performed as a club show or even as a stage act, depending on the routine, the props, and the performer. More so than other forms of magic, the community of Bizarre Magic encourages the artistry of the individual and the creation of unique presentation pieces instead of mimicking performance styles or the performance of standard effects that is common in commercial magic.


The movement of the art of Bizarre Magic began in the late 60s with Charles Cameron and Tony "Doc" Shiels. Some of the significant artists since that time have been Tony Andruzzi (aka Maskelyn ye Mage), Jim Magus, Carl Herron (aka Brother Shadow), Tony Raven, Joe Lantiere, Eugene Burger, Eugene Poinc, Larry White, Christian Chelman, Robert Neale, Jeff McBride, Denomolos (Ed Solomon), Roni (Roni Shachnaey [5]), and Ulf Bolling (aka Borodin).

Most of the material on the subject is published privately within the Bizarre Magic community and is not readily available through normal distribution. And many of the important works were either hand-made and or published on a very limited basis. So despite being relatively recent publications, many have significant collectible values into the hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Annual events

There are a few annual events focused on Bizarre Magic. The first event was the now defunct "Invocational" which started a tradition of annual gatherings in honor of the Bizarre.

The current offerings:

See also

  • Negromicon of Maskelyn ye Mage - Andruzzi, Tony (1976)
  • Grimoire of the Mages - Andruzzi, Tony (1978)
  • Daemon's Diary - Andruzzi, Tony (1980)
  • Legendary Scroll of Maskelyn ye Mage - Andruzzi, Tony (1982)
  • Experience of Magic, The - Burger, Eugene (1989)
  • Strange Ceremonies - Burger, Eugene (1991)
  • Arcana of Bizarre Magick - Magus, Jim (1994)
  • Capricornian Tales - Chelman, Christian (1993)
  • Legendes Urbaines (French) - Chelman, Christian (1999)
  • Compendium Sortilegionis (French) - Chelman, Christian (2003)
  • Hauntiques - Chelman, Christian (2006)
  • Sheherazade - Borodin, Ulf (2003)
  • Final Curtain - Borodin, Ulf (2005)
  • Grymoire for Brother Bruce Volume 1 (2008)
  • Magic Tales One & Two (also as a one book collectors edition) - Leslie Melville (2013)
  • Video: Eugene Goes Bizarre - Burger, Eugene (1990)
  • Video: Bizarre! - Andruzzi, Tony (1988)


  1. Nigel Gordon, Making It Bizarre Vol 1, 1999, The Amagarion Press, Coalville, UK
  2. Maven, Max. Quoted in Burger, Eugene (1991). “Strange Ceremonies.” Published by Kaufman and Company, Washington D.C. (p, 38).
  3. David Parr, Genii 2000 October
  4. What is Bizarre? Nigel Gordon 1998, The Amagarion Press, Coalville UK
  5. Roni Shachnaey
  6. Society for Unusual Manifestations (SUM)
  7. Inner Circle of Bizarre Magick
  8. Bizarre Magick UK
  9. PSYCRETS : British Society of Mystery Entertainers 'Tabula Mentis'
  10. Bizarre Hauntings
  11. Mystic Menagerie
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