Some illusionists are content with small, intimate tricks... Card tricks, rope escapes, walking through solid matter – you know, casual stuff. But with SPIKE's new series "Criss Angel BeLIEve," it's all about going big or going home. It's 11 weeks of 11 epic illusions, each one bigger and bolder than the last. In honor of these feats that Criss will undertake in his new series, let's take a look at six of the biggest and boldest tricks in history.
Criss Angel's Luxor Light Levitation
Let's start off with the man himself! As a way of paying tribute to his father, Criss Angel performed the ultimate levitation above the Luxor Pyramid within the famous beam of light (over five hundred feet in the air) in Las Vegas in 2007.
The Disappearing Sphinx
Colonel Stodare gained prominence with this illusion, where he brought out a simple box and put it on a seemingly non-descript wooden table. Upon opening the box, audiences saw what appeared to be a human head wearing a traditional Egyptian headdress. The head then awoke, looked around, and talked. What made this image so astounding to audiences at the time was that, unlike similar tricks, the table used did not have a curtain underneath.
Harry Kellar Removes His Own Head
Harry Kellar was a renowned 19th century illusionist. In 1878, he transcended the form and horrified audiences with a trick that involved him sitting down, seemingly removing his own head, and having it float away from his body unassisted then simply vanish. It was an impressive feat in that era.
Houdini Makes an Elephant Disappear
In the early part of the 20th century, acts involving exotic animals were still a novelty that drew huge audiences. The legendary Harry Houdini took it one step further at New York's Hippodrome Theater by showing the crowd a 5 ton, 8 foot Indian elephant, and then making it disappear. This act became one of the most famous illusions of all time.
Doug Henning's Moustache
I mean, just look at it! It doesn't get bigger or bolder than that, and it was done at a time when facial hair wasn't grown for the sake of being twee, ironic, or out of sheer laziness. Arguably that moustache is bigger than any trick he performed, and contributed greatly to his mainstream notoriety in the 1970s and 1980s.
Criss Angel's – Well, We Can't Tell You Just Yet
You'll have to tune in to "Criss Angel BeLIEve" to see 11 weeks of 11 epic illusions, premiering October 15, 10/9c on Spike.