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Cannibal Cards

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Cannibal Cards is a classic plot in card magic developed by Lin Searles, marketed in 1959, where cards disappear when sandwiched between other cards (that is, they are "eaten" by the "cannibal" cards.) The original routine uses gimmicked cards, which eat various small objects (such as a paper clip) in addition to other cards.

Later, magicians began developing sleight of hand versions. The prototypical version first published with credit to Matt Corin in Kabbala Vol. 1 #2 (1971).

In a footnote within The Legendary Kabbala (1998), Racherbaumer cites that Corin learned this routine from Sam Schwartz, who at the time had not yet published it. Fulves eventually published it as "A.E.-I.O.U" in Epilogue #14 (March - 1972). Corin demonstrated it to Racherbaumer during the I.B.M. Convention in 1971 and it was subsequently published in Kabbala.

Wesley James, however, claims that he demonstrated his creation to Matt Corin before it was published in Kabbala. (See James' "The Magical Record and Thoughts" or Epilogue Special No. 4, 1976)

Roy Walton recognized that Alex Elmsley's Repulsive Aces could be used to perform Cannibal Cards. See page 229-233 in The Collected Works of Alex Elmsley, Vol. 1 (1991)


  • Cannibal Jacks (Lin Searles): Pallbearers Review, Folio No. 8 (Autumn 1973, pp. 669-670).
  • More Cannibals (Lin Searles): Pallbearers Review, Folio No. 8 (Autumn 1973, p. 673).
  • Cannibal Coin (Wesley James): Epilogue, Special No. 4 (1976, pp. 5-7).
    • Wesley James, Stop Fooling Us! (1990, pp. 14-17).
  • Captured (Karl Fulves): Epilogue, Special No. 4 (1976, pp. 14-15).
  • Cannibals - Cannibals (Ed Marlo): Ed Marlo, Marlo's Magazine, Vol. 2 (1977, pp. 6-10).
  • Pieces of Ate (E. T. Hollins): E. T. Hollins, Cardmagic Selfspoken (1980, pp. 32-40).
  • The Complete Walt Lees Cannibal Act, Walt Lees, 1981. Booklet.
  • Cannibalism (Stephen Tucker): Spell-Binder, Vol. 2 No. 14 (June 1982).
  • A Fourth For Dinner (David Britland): Spell-Binder, Vol. 2 No. 15 (July 1982, pp. 283-285).
    • Stephen Tucker, The Best of Spell-Binder Collection One (1987, p. 38).
  • Vitamin Cannibals (Ed Marlo): Magic Manuscript, Vol. 4 No. 2 (August-September 1982, pp. 21-23).
  • Cannibal Cards (Dan Fleshman): Dan Fleshman, Close Up With Dan Fleshman (1984, p. 10).
  • The Phantom Cannibal (J. K. Hartman): Justin Branch, Progressive Card Magic (1985, p. 35).
  • The Carnivor-ace Aces (Justin Higham): Justin Higham, All Hands on Deck! (1985).[1]
  • What's Eating You? (Dan Huffman): The Linking Ring, Vol. 67 No. 11 (November 1987, pp. 72-75).
    • Words and Music by Jack Daniels (Peter Marucci): The Linking Ring, Vol. 76 No. 8 (August 1996, pp. 105-106).
  • Cannibal Cards (Bill Goodwin): Bill Goodwin, Lecture 1988 (1988, pp. 1-3).
  • Cannibal Collectors (Justin Higham): Justin Higham, West End Card Session (1989).[2]
  • A CASE of Indigestion (Mike Powers): Mike Powers, Top Secret Stuff (1990, pp. 87-90).
  • Gio's Kannibal Kards (Giovanni Livera): Giovanni Livera, Confessions of an Italian Magician (1992).
    • Royal Man-Eaters (Giovanni Livera): MAGIC, Vol. 9 No. 6 (February 2000, pp. 74-76).
  • Guardian Angel (Jon Racherbaumer): Jon Racherbaumer, Pastiche II (1993, pp. 13-15).
  • The Cannibal Kings (Allan Ackerman): Allan Ackerman, Wednesday Nights (1994, pp. 28-32).
  • Cannibal Cards (Michael Ammar and Lin Searles): Michael Ammar, Easy to Master Card Miracles, Vol. 1 (1994, VHS).
    • The Secrets of Cannibal Cards (World's Greatest Magic) (2008, DVD).
  • Fast Food (Aldo Colombini): Aldo Colombini, The Close-up Magic of Aldo Colombini (1994, pp. 10-11).
  • The Eatery (Aldo Colombini): Aldo Colombini, What's Up Deck? (1995, pp. 52-53).
  • Cannibal Kings (Larry Jennings): Larry Jennings, Thoughts on Cards, Vol. 1 (1995, VHS).
    • The Secrets of Cannibal Cards (World's Greatest Magic) (2008, DVD).
  • Four Times Two Are Ate! (Melvin Lehair): Melvin Lehair, Five Two Four (1995, pp. 31-33).
  • Red and Blue Cannibals (Steve Bryant): Steve Bryant, The Little Egypt Gazette For Magicians Only: The Lecture '96 (1996).
  • Ediblector (Peter Duffie): Peter Duffie, With Cards (1997).
  • The Cannibals (Juan Tamariz): Juan Tamariz, Lessons in Magic, Vol. 2 (1997, VHS).
    • The Secrets of Cannibal Cards (World's Greatest Magic) (2008, DVD).
  • Cannibal Cards (Michael Skinner): Michael Skinner, Professional Close-Up Magic, Vol. 4 (1998, VHS).
    • The Secrets of Cannibal Cards (World's Greatest Magic) (2008, DVD).
  • Tweaked Cannibals (Rob James): EGO, Vol. 1 No. 3 (August 2001).
  • Cannibals (Eugene Burger), Eugene Burger, Magical Voyages, Vol. 3 (2001, DVD).
    • The Secrets of Cannibal Cards (World's Greatest Magic) (2008, DVD).
  • Cardeater (Pavel), Pavel, Creative Magic of Pavel, Vol. 4 (2002, DVD).
  • Cardivores (Jay Sankey): Jay Sankey, Revolutionary Card Magic (2004, DVD).
    • Jay Sankey, Sankey's Best Card Magic (2008, DVD).
  • Those Scary Cannibal Cards (Bill Malone): Bill Malone, Here I Go Again, Vol. 3 (2007, DVD).
    • The Secrets of Cannibal Cards (World's Greatest Magic) (2008, DVD).
  • They Are What They Eat (Cameron Francis): Cameron Francis, Packet Mania, Vol. 4 (2012, DVD).
  • Bone Appetite (Aldo Colombini): Aldo Colombini, Bone Appetite (2012, DVD).
  • Cannibals (Miguel Puga): Mago Migue, Allegro (2013, DVD).