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All Manner of Mysteries


Estimated Sometime in 2023


About a decade ago, Bruce Ballon AKA “Dr Spektor” in the theatrical magic world, started up an initiative called the “Carcosa Collection” to inspire fellow magi to collaborate and share their ideas for theatrical bizarre magic.  This developed into a regular contest of sorts, where Bruce would pick a topic/theme and people would share their concepts in the form of a written piece of theatrical magic.  Then he would award the winner with a magic prop he created related to the theme (usually everyone who actually did participate got a goodie).  As with all things, the vagaries of life resulted in the Carcosa Collection transitioning back into the shadows…“And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend. Legend became myth….” And for over a decade, all the wonderful submissions that had been accumulated “passed out of all knowledge.” 

Well, the stars are right and the portals to Carcosa have re-appeared!  In other words, Bruce has had the time to go sifting through old files on his computer and say “wow, these were great!!!  We got to release them again on the world!!!”  He reached out to those who submitted their amazing theatrical pieces to get their permission to re-release their materials in this project, “ALL MANNER OF MYSTERIES.”


Because the materials deal with all manner of mysteries!  From ghostly bells, survival after death, wendigos, extra-terrestrials, ancient mysteries, eldritch Lovecraftian horrors, quantum mechanics/chaos theory, Tibetan lore, and much more!   In addition to the submissions, the secrets of Bruce’s Carcosa Collection props will be shared as well.

Current Table of Contents

What is Bizarre Magic?

Well ask ten magicians what this is, and usually you’ll get 11 answers at least. My take (Bruce here!): This is a very interesting question!  In fact, I really don’t like the term Bizarre Magic as it’s not always bizarre… I always looked upon it as theatrical simulations of what people thought “magic” was i.e. replicating sorcery like Merlin, witchcraft like those performed by the 3 witches from Macbeth, recreations of seances, prop-heavy ghost hunting / haunts, and other simulations of mysterious things that try to evoke symbols of the human condition.  Unlike card magic which one can think “well, its sleight of hand” the magic here tries to make people ponder and think about the reality they live in and if what they are witnessing might be “real”.   It can employ mentalism, card effects, and almost anything from across the field of theatrical magic.  However, there is a real strong sense of trying to get the participants into engaging with the simulation, with many story-telling/narratives/atmosphere elements built in.   I’ve always employed this style of simulation to help create psychiatric simulations for people to have better insight, empathy and understanding for those who cannot fathom what it might be like to have mental health issues.  That being said, like all magic that can create various levels of immersion and stress, the materials in the book are for magicians who know how to use psychological safety and proper set-up to care and respect their audience.  It is not meant for charlatans or people who care more about wanting attention by any means necessary.  One thing I have noted from the people I have met with in the field of “bizarre” magic is that almost all of them are very caring people, charitable, and community based, despite what people might think of what a “bizarre magician” would be like! 

Yes, for a Good Cause! Actually Two!

All the profits after basic costs to produce the book will go to charitable causes as per usual.  It is planned that a Crowdfunding Campaign will help launch the book with a special collector’s edition copy, which also may help fund another Service Training Puppy for the National Service Dogs.  Then the regular book will be obtainable through Drivethru Cards where 95% of all proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders.


The Contributing Magi

Bruce Ballon

John Birleson

Walter Davis

Ronald Dayton

Chris Handa

Docc Hilford

Tony Iacoviello

Dave Janoskie

George F. Ledo

Darcy Logan

Jim Magus

Bill Montana

Steve Murray

Mark Rough

David Sacks

Jamie Salinas

Patrick Schlagel

Yitzhak Schlomo

Willem Stapelberg

Andreas Steverding

Luca Volpe

Bill Zuerner



Artist Will King

This project has been luckily enough to be championed by an amazing artist, William King. I am highly honoured he took an interest in this endeavour! Working with him is a pleasure and his art is sublime, surreal, and haunting.

Some information regarding the kind souls who have kindly shared their materials for this project…

You can just take a peek back at the ABOUT page on the menu to learn more about Bruce!

John Birleson works in IT by day, but by night… well he sleeps.  Since his teens he’s been fascinated by magic and the processes that go into creating both tricks and the routines that frame and give them meaning.  The bizarre and unusual are vehicles that can help bring magic to life and if done right, take a person out of the ordinary and ignite their imagination.  John hopes that whatever he has to contribute can provide some food for thought for others.  The opportunity to collaborate with others is always rewarding.  He can be reached at

We appreciate their contribution to this project.

Ronald John  Dayton. Born in Milwaukee Wisconsin March  10, 1945. Graduated from Port Washington Highschool  in 1963. Served in the USN  from 1963 to 1969. Golden Shellback  member and  member of the Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club.

Interest in magic began at  age 9 , with Mysto  and Sneaky Pete magic sets. That interest continues to this very day. Ron began as a rope worker, then moved to coins; but now   delves into the realm   of Storytelling and Bizarre  Magic. Ron also has a long abiding fondness for anagrams. They have a magic all  their own. He   has written over three dozen of magic books and invented scores of marketed effects. He illustrated many of his books as well. His writing is often laced with poems to enhance their feel.

Good fortune has blessed him with supportive friends along the way.

Chris Handa is a magic performer, teacher, and creator based in Southwestern Pennsylvania, USA. He is the sole proprietor of MDIM Productions/ and Magic Director for Castle Blood’s Halloween Adventure Tours(tm) and their related projects. At the attraction, Chris performs as Professor Scrye, Occult Cultural Anthropologist. Diligent researchers will find his work in several magic periodicals and a few compilations. In the near future, he plans to release a collection of his effects and scripts performed at Castle Blood over the past 25 seasons.

Docc Hilford is an interesting guy. He started his magic career as an under-water escapologist at age 16. Next stop was Murphy Brothers Exhibitions performing fire eating and other side show stunts. In the 1980s he was stage manager for Alice Cooper. Later, Docc’s Film Noir Magic Show opened for bands such as Aerosmith and Black Sabbath. After a couple years of life on the road, Docc settled down in Phoenix, and ran a private palmistry office specializing in exotic dancers.   A Las Vegas wedding, a beautiful daughter and a Mexican divorce. In 1997 Docc reduced public performing and headed a small psychic church in Florida until 2001. His authentic, spiritual camp style seances are still legendary, ask those magicians who saw it at Rick Maue’s final Haunted Chamber.  Since he was 12 years old, he studied with Dusty Cravens, Orville Meyer, Mike Skinner, Ormond McGill, Theselonia DePrince (High Priest of VooDoo) and Tony Andruzzi. In 1990 he took editorship of The New Invocation; the flagship magazine for bizarrists. Docc hosted an international convention, The Weerd! Weekend from 1992 through 2000 with attendees from 18 different countries.  Through the years he has been a guest of honor at magic conventions, was a featured speaker performer at The Smithsonian Institution and in 2001 was honored at Kid-dabra for his comedy kid show. He made 27 magic/mentalism videos in the 1990’s. He’s written 30 books for the mentalism trade in the 2000’s.

We appreciate their contribution to this project.

We appreciate their contribution to this project.

We appreciate their contribution to this project.

We appreciate their contribution to this project.

Jim Magus is an award winning magician, musician, storyteller, performer, historian, creator and author. Recipient of the Linking Ring Trophy from the International Brotherhood of Magicians, the Library Special Award from the Society of American Magicians, the prestigious Tony Andruzzi Award for Outstanding Contributions to Ghostly Magick, two Bob Haines awards from the Psychic Entertainers Association, and featured on the cover of the German magazine Magische Welt. He has also received numerous real estate sales awards. Under Services you will find the shows and programs offered. 

American artist Bill Montana is exploring the relationships between axiom and forms of pseudo-history as they relate to culture, when encountering his works the viewer is transported  temporarily state of mythological motifs of the participation mystique. His current work combines multiple visual elements of forms some of which are taken from fragments of art history and art culture to form a new dialogue between the past and present. His approach to these works has emphasis on ways of sensing, feeling and experiencing our collective memory differently. Montana constantly tries to transgress the boundaries between physical history by crafting a pseudo-biography that is related to dream states. His work has been exhibited in the US for three decades. In one of his recent bodies of work Montana is working with collage and assemblage using a mixture of traditional techniques with cutting edge technology to create works that fall within the strata of new media. Currently Montana is working in his studio in Dayton, Ohio building a new collection of works.

We appreciate their contribution to this project.

Mark Rough is a former chef, retired teacher, magician, musician, DJ, and naturalist living in Central Virginia.  In his spare time he gardens and is a militant advocate for the Oxford comma.

We appreciate their contribution to this project.

Jamie Salinas is an award winner in the art of sleight of hand magic. His magic has been featured at the world famous Magic Castle in Hollywood California. Jamie has performed his magic for royalty, celebrities as well as American and foreign presidents. He has been featured on American and foreign television.

We appreciate their contribution to this project.

Yitzhak is a practising Jewish mystic and storyteller living in Portland Oregon.  At the age of 45, he began to study the mystic Hebrew texts (45 is the age in one is allowed to study these texts).  There he gained the title of Rav – meaning “learned one who teaches others” and became thoroughly enveloped in Jewish mysticism.  After two years (in 2001),
Yitzhak returned to Portland, Oregon to pursue a career as an independent consultant.  In his spare time, Rav  Yitzhak lectures and teaches classes in the mystic Hebrew literature, sharing exercises commonly used by both the ancient and modern Jewish mystics, and giving private storytelling performances.

We appreciate their contribution to this project.

Man könnte es Mitternachtsmagie, Mitternachtsgeschichten oder einfach Bizarre Magie nennen. Bizarre Magie bewegt sich weit jenseits von dem, was man sich normalerweise unter Zauberei vorstellt. Fast immer geht es um absonderliche, fantastische oder seltsame Geschichten, die dazu einladen erlebt zu werden. Manchmal unheimlich, manchmal philosophisch, manchmal rührend, doch immer respektvoll und voller Emotion und Leidenschaft. Andreas Steverding führt Sie auf eine Reise durch die Welt der Kuriositäten, der Magie und Mystik. Legenden und fast vergessene Geschichten erwachen auf der Bühne zu neuem Leben. Die Magie von Andreas Steverding ist außergewöhnlich, denn sie geht unter die Haut und berührt die Seele.

Tauchen Sie ein in die Nacht, denn die Dunkelheit hat ihren ganz eigenen Zauber.

Without doubt, Luca Volpe is one of the most valued mentalists in the world. Luca has been performing mentalism and “magic of the mind” for over 25 years.  He is considered one of the most innovative and original mentalists today and not only does he entertain with his elegant but cheeky Italian style he has the rare skill to astound all types of audiences.  There are many performing mentalists but very few that have a natural ability to make audiences laugh and gasp during a show like Luca Volpe does.  Over the past few years, he has had the pleasure of entertaining over one million passengers with his live show onboard luxury cruise liners that include Celebrity Cruises, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and many more. Numerous private and corporate events have enjoyed his performances from intimate weddings to some of the largest corporations in the world.  For the mentalism community he has published books that have sold over 15,000 copies and are prized pieces in the repertoires of many professional mentalists. He has been featured on the front cover of many important magic magazines and his work as a “mentalist consultant” has been requested by many professional performers for television and theater shows. Luca is proud to be a member of the prestigious Magic Circle in London, with the degree of Associate of the Inner Magic Circle, awarded with ‘Silver Star’ which is the highest recognition for his live show. He has received the Merlin Award for “Mentalist of the Year Europe”, the Robert Houdin D’Or as “Best European Mentalist”, the Annemann Award for the contribution to the Art of Mentalism in the world, and has also won the Nostradamus award for “The Best Mentalist Europe”.

We appreciate their contribution to this project.

This magi has decided to keep their true identity secret.  We appreciate their contribution to this project.

This magi has decided to keep their true identity secret.  We appreciate their contribution to this project.

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