Halloween spirit runs through campus with ‘Summoning Spirits’ magic show – The Rider News
Andrew Silver, an entertainer and magician, sat at a table, center stage, placing alphabet blocks in a pyramid formation and telling a spooky story. The only light in the Bart Luedeke Center (BLC) theater was pointed at him.
“Money is the assistant of [Peter Boie], the guy who normally does that for us,” said Heather Batezel, a young arts and entertainment industries management student. “…He couldn’t make it this year, but we wanted to do it for Halloween.”
According to his website, Boie, “a magician for non-believers” travels from college to college putting on shows. He started working with the Student Entertainment Council (SEC) during COVID-19, Batezel said.
Between each segment, a video played, telling a story about haunted places across the country. Silver then performed magic tricks that involved them and asked for volunteers throughout the show. The participants raised their hands enthusiastically to take the stage.
A tower had five paper bags with a block of wood, a hole the width of a nail in the center of each where a spike could be placed. A single bag contained the tip.
Silver called a volunteer onstage for help. Volunteer Matt Pozzuolo, a Rider alumnus who graduated in 2022, shuffled the bags so no one knew which contained the tip and stood still, holding a bell. The idea of the game was to communicate with a spirit that told Silver if he was going to hit the tip by ringing the bell before breaking a bag. Silver compared this game to Russian roulette.
He asked the spectators to tell him which bag to hit next. With each, gasps filled the room as his hand met the bag.
Each round calls on a different ghost. A trick incorporated the ghost of the BLC Theater, for which Silver called five students to help. Each student received a candle and wrote a name on a card. Four students wrote the name of a living person and one wrote the name of a deceased person.
The cards were taken by Silver, shuffled, then returned to the students. The spotlight went out and the theater was completely dark, with only candlelight on stage.
Silver then asked the ghost to reveal who was holding the card with the deceased person’s name, and that person’s candle went out. The student who wrote the name revealed that she wrote “Robin” on the card, for Robin Williams.
Silver then asked if any of those five students had CPR experience, while the same student said she had. He then revealed to the public that he could control his breathing and stop his heartbeat to communicate with spirits on “the other side”.
Silver needed someone with CPR experience so he could easily find his pulse and “just in case.”
The two sat opposite each other at the table on stage, where Silver asked him to find his pulse and mimic his heartbeat on a microphone so the audience could also be part of the experience. He asked her to write down a question about the future that she wanted answered. Silver then placed the piece of paper in his jacket pocket, closed his eyes, and stopped his heart with controlled breathing in moments.
The audience gasped and the woman on stage was visibly shocked.
Moments later, his heart started beating again and he opened his eyes. He said he “spoke to the spirit” and got his answer.
Silver claimed he saw the ghost and gave it the paper, without seeing it. Silver then said the spirit pulled out a lighter and set the paper on fire. The spirit inhaled the smoke and then told him, “It’s never going to get better,” Silver said.
He took the paper out of his pocket and gave it to her, revealing that it was burnt and the question she asked was “Will Twilight get better?” After the audience laughed, she revealed that “Twilight” was her cat, and the audience was impressed in unison.
Before the final round, a video was released describing a lady, named Emily, who hanged herself on a bridge. Silver brought a Ouija board to the site and attempted to communicate with the ghost. The board flew off the board and he was spooked. The video then cut to him at the end, with a scratch on his face.
Silver asked the audience for someone with a smartphone with “at least 20% battery.” He ultimately chose Corinne Rosso, a marketing major. Silver used his phone to record three questions he had for “the ghost”. He then played it back into the microphone and the audience members shouted out what they heard.
Silver asked if there was a ghost present and to give a sign. In the audio playback, some said they just heard a lady cry, while others heard her laugh.
Silver then asked the ghost what his name was. “Emily” is what the audience decided to hear. He then asked his last question, “what can we do for you?” No coherent answer was given. Then, within seconds, the Ouija board Silvers brought flew off the table, Rosso screamed, lights flickered, and the projector screen flickered. Rosso said she saw the plank move before she screamed, then turned around and heard it fall.
“There’s definitely some deciphering to be done,” Rosso said. “We’re going to go to church and sprinkle some holy water just in case.”