THE WALKING MATCH-STICKS
The magician shows two match-sticks, one ordinary straight-edged table-knife and a sharp cutter or a pocket knife. He takes one of the sticks and sharpens the non-striking end of it. A small slit is made on the same end of the other stick. He then fits both the match-sticks together to form a shape of V. No trickery, no false movement, nothing; everything is being done in front of the spectators. He now asks one of the spectators to hold the table knife a little above the table top, keeping its blade parallel to the surface of the table. The V-shaped, joined match sticks are now inverted and placed astride the blade near the handle end. His hand is lowered, closer to the table but still parallel to the table top and let the striking heads of the match sticks lightly touch the table and are allowed to lean away from his hand, as shown in the picture.
The magician now asks the spectator to hold the knife tightly and not to move his hands, nor to touch the table, but to make a mental request to let a 'miracle' take place. How strange ! The sticks get animated and walks away from him to the other end of the knife.
There is no trick in it to play. It is an absolutely natural phenomenon and happens automaticlly. It is a case of ideomotor principle where subconscious muscular and nervous reaction cause many things to happen, which seems spooky. The 'walking' of the sticks is caused solely by the imperceptible movements of the hand and arm, transmitted to the knife. The vibration caused by the uncontrolled muscles give physical boosts to the sticks, and doesn't matter how steadily the spectator keeps his hands, imperceptible movements will take place without his knowledge and the sticks will keep on 'walking'. In fact, the more effort one puts into keeping the hands still, the faster the 'walking' would take place. As the muscles get tired, its tension and the movement for that matter increases. And thus, the tighter he holds the knife, the better is the spooky performance.