Fun magic trick book for kids: Spooky Magic

The Invisible Flea. The Spirit Hand. The Spirit in the Bottle. The Floating Body. I couldn't resist ordering Spooky Magic when I was about eight years old and saw it in the Scholastic Book newsletter. When the book arrived I wasn't disappointed. A couple of my friends and I prepared a magic show for our Cub Scout den, and it was a hit. The Floating Body trick, depicted on the cover, was the crowd favorite.

A couple of years ago I ordered a used copy on Amazon. It's out of print, but you can get a copy for as low as $.50. I impressed by the quality of the magic tricks, and the instructions for performing the tricks. The illustrations are also excellent, and I remember them clearly from my childhood.

Here are some other scans from the book: Spirit Hand, Tricks with Black Thread, back cover.

I couldn't find much information about the illustrator, William Meyerriecks. But look at this great cover he did for Robert Silverberg's Revolt on Alpha C.


  1. I remember the book well!

    (Spoiler Alert!)

    I kept the prop legs that were used in that cover trick for many years, most of the time sticking out from under my bed. Priceless!

  2. Spooky Magic rocked! I still have it and its companion by the same author, Magic Made Easy. Both featured simple, fairly foolproof effects that kids could easily learn to do and were really quite mystifying to the uninitiated. I preferred the latter, because it focused more on smaller presentations that worked well in one-to-one settings or in small groups. Spooky Magic was more oriented toward larger, stage-type effects that often required the assistance of a confederate, which I always regarded as cheating a bit. But they were definitely two of my favorite SBS acquisitions.

  3. The levitation alone makes this a valuable part of any magic library.  It was the first way I floated a kid, myself.
    Dana Law
    Amazing Dana the Magician

  4. I loved this book as a kid, too — never got up to the really big tricks but had several of the smaller ones working.

  5. I had this too!
    You reminded me instantly of how much I enjoyed the Scholastic books catalog when I was a kid. I would pick out books I wanted and then beg my parents to let me order them. Usually they gave in because, hello – books! Only to then suffer the interminable waiting until book delivery day.

  6. I also had that book; that brought back a lot of memories. I love to order old books that I had as a kid.  Getting them back into my hands feels like bringing a piece of the past back to life. I once ordered a stack of old Children’s Digests. What a feeling of nostalgia. Great magazine, too.

    1. ” I love to order old books that I had as a kid.  Getting them back into my hands feels like bringing a piece of the past back to life.”

      This is so true.

  7. Oh, man, I had both these books as a kid.  Good stuff.  Also, The Runaway Robot, The Thinking Machine, Codes and Ciphers…  Scholastic Books order time was one of my favorite things in second and third grade.

    1. Scholastic should put all of these into a fat anthology and market it to nostalgic middle age geeks like us. They’d make a fortune!

  8. My BRAIN!  I totally remember that book!  And it had been erased from my mind for some reason.  Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  9. I actually HAD that Silverberg book. Can’t say as I remember one damn thing about it except the wonderful (godawful) cover, but I DID have it! Also had all the Tom Corbett books…ah youth…

  10. The Spooky Magic cover looks familiar, but I don’t think I read it.

    Revolt on Alpha C, I didn’t own but certainly read, and in that edition.

    Does anyone else here remember Scholastic school book sales? At our elementary school they’d take over the  cafeteria for an evening, laying out books on tables. My mom would let us pick up a few each year.

  11. Wow! I guess I had this too. The cover isn’t familiar at all, but looking at the scan of a couple pages inside… seems pretty unmistakeable in style, though not color. Was there another magic book with the same tricks, art and themes? I seem to remember mine being printed entirely in black, white and orange.

    1. That was Magic Made Easy – same author, different tricks. Had the Jumping Rubber Band on the cover.

  12. I got Spooky Magic in 1st grade during our annual Reading is Fundamental program. I believe all first graders got one book free, or maybe our parents had to send a dollar.  This was like my second magic book and helped launch a hobby that lasted throughout my early 20s.

  13. I actually found Revolt on Alpha C at an estate sale for $.10 not all that long ago. Picked it up because i thought the cover was cool. glad to see more work from the illustrator

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