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Axel Hellstrom

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Axel Hellstrom
BornAxel Vogt
December 22, 1893
DiedJuly 22, 1933 (age 39)

Axel Hellstrom (December 22, 1893 - July 22, 1933), born Axel Vogt, was a German mentalist who invented and perfected numerous stage hypnotism methods.

Biography

He taught his nephew, Anton Vogt (born 1921), who also went by the stage name Axel Hellstrom II, but specialized in manipulations with canes, thimbles and rope.

Axel Hellstrom lived in Germany and fought in World War I where he watched a man perform an act of muscle reading. At the time, Germany did not allow mind reading unless it had a plausible explanation. The only type of mind reading allowed was muscle reading, and so Axel took advantage of it. He studied it carefully and taught himself everything. He entertained his fellow soldiers and became quite good at this old technique.

After the war, he and his wife moved to America where he knew his art form would be accepted by many - especially the magic audiences. Soon he was performing for professional magic audiences and amazed many people. After a short while, mind readers, and even fellow Hellstromists were questioning his ability.

During his live performances, his manager spoke for him because his English vocabulary was limited. Hellstrom would successfully complete many different challenges such as locating hidden items, performing actions that others were thinking of and determining which object someone had selected out of many options. The accuracy of his results was astonishing and he was soon known throughout the United States. He was well-respected by his peers in the stage magic community, and other performers paid hundreds of dollars to learn the secrets behind his technique.

Modern practitioners of Hellstromisnm include the magicians Banachek and Kreskin.


Books

  • Hellstromism Manuscript (1935)
  • Hellstronism (published by Robert Nelson) (1936)

References

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  • Linking Ring, Vol. 13, No. 7, September 1933, page 500 - Obituary.
  • Linking Ring, Vol. 27, No. 3, May 1947 page 93 - mention of nephew in Robert Nelson's Column Mentalists