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Impaled (or Impaling or The Impalement) is an adaption to the Sword Suspension illusion. While starting out like the suspension in which someone is balanced on top of a spike or sword, it penetrates their midsection, seemingly by accident.

Les Levante published a version in 1939, but the method most used today was invented by Ken Whitaker in the 1970s who originally created three version for Jones', Mark Kalin and Paul Daniels in England. [1][2]

A precursor was published in The Magician Annual (1908-9, 1908, p. 95) where the head of the performer is impaled on a spike.

Others known to have performed this effect or variations of it are The Pendragons, Malinda and Mark Wilson on the his "The Magic Circus" show.

There were several variations co-developed by Ken Whitaker & Craig Browning, which include;

  • The Water Fount Penetration
  • The Torch Penetration (exclusive to Joaquin Ayala)
  • Giant Sewing Needle
  • Neon Light Penetration


  1. Genii 1984 June
  2. The New Tops (Vol. 27 No. 4, Apr. 1987, p. 22)
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