Stories Of The Paranormal, The Unexplained, And All Things Incredible

February 23, 2011

Catching Bullets is a Bad Idea

Two rifles were loaded with bullets marked by members of the audience. Two beautiful female assistants pulled their triggers. Black smoke burst into the air. "My God, you've shot me!" gasped the exotic wizard Chung Ling Soo, blood spurting from his torso. The 'flash and bang' of the final act had gone terribly wrong.

The early 1900s were the golden era of the British music halls. Performing on stage at the Wood Green Empire in London, March 23, 1918, was a mysterious magician in oriental robes. For the climax of his show, the Mandarin of Magic would use a china plate to catch two bullets fired at him, point blank. It was his last performance.

Chung Ling Soo was an American named William Ellsworth Robinson who gave his show an oriental theme to increase its popularity in Europe.

After forty years of investigating spurned lovers and secret societies, the truth about his death was finally exposed.

Soo jealously guarded the secrets behind his illusions and loaded the rifles himself. Not being a gunsmith, he failed to recognized that a worn breechblock was allowing gunpowder to build up between the blank charge and the live charge. Soo effectively killed himself with his lack of knowledge.

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