How Cut Person In Half Magic Trick Work (With Video)

The “Sawing a woman in a half trick,” has been performed in one form or other since 1809 when the magician named Torrini first performed it in from of Pope Pius VII.

This claim has not been proven but the trick was certainly around in the 1920s and the first verified performance was by British magician P. T. Selbit in Finsbury Park Theater.

There are various methods by which the magician creates this effect.

Here are methods, that were made public by the Masked Magician:

  1. How To Saw Woman In Half
  2. Sliced Magician
  3. Cut In Half Without Box
  4. Slicing Cage

Video is available for each trick.

Method #1: How To Saw Woman In Half

In this version of the trick, the assistant lays down on what appears to be a regular table; the table is two tables pushed together.

We can see the light under the table from the other side.

The assistant is then fixed to the table by a wooden device clamped over her neck, and a similar one clamped over her feet.

Two boxes are placed over the table, with box one lining up with table 1 and box two lining up with table 2.

The clamps are still in place under the boxes.

While the one over the assistant’s neck would stop her from removing her head, the clamp over the feet is just big enough to allow the lithe assistant to remove her feet.

She can then draw the legs up and press them folded close to her chest, in box 1.

This means she clears the gap between boxes 1 and 2, where the blade will be inserted.

The magician and another assistant prepare to saw through the gap between the tables.

They make a sawing action as if they are sawing through the body of assistant 1.

I have seen versions of this trick where fake blood was squirted onto the saw, which then dripped onto the floor.

Screams from assistant 1 accompanied this.

The saw is removed and two blades pushed in to seal the ends of the two boxes, after which the table with the head (box 1) is spun around to show that it is detached from the rest of the table covered by box 2, which has a pair of feet sticking out.

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It appears that assistant 1 must have been cut in half.

The table is pushed back together, and the plates are removed.

Hidden from view, the assistant replaces her legs into box 2 and pushes them back into the brace.

While she is doing this, the magician is unstrapping the boxes, after which they are revealed, showing assistant 1 in her original position and quite whole again.

The assistant is unbound, and she stands up while the magician takes his bow.

Method #2: Sliced Magician

This is a more sophisticated version of the trick, and in this trick, it will be the magician himself who is to be sliced into two.

In this trick, the magician sets up and demonstrates a huge industrial circular saw, demonstrating that it is real.

The assistants then wheel on a high table with two angled supports underneath.

When the table is positioned under the saw, exactly, and braced in place, the magician climbs up and appears to be lying down on the table, but in fact, he is inserting his lower half into the table support is hollow.

Simultaneously a body double positioned upside down in the other table support pushes himself up and places his feet out the end of the cover.

It seems like the magician is lying on the table to the audience, and they can see his hands moving and his feet moving.

The blade is slowly lowered towards the box, and we see the hands of the magician struggling to undo handcuffs so he can free himself.

The Industrial blade is lowered further into a groove between the two parts of the cover and table.

The blade must have passed through the magician’s body, and the magician{s) are slumped and not moving.

To prove the point, the two halves of the table are swung into a V shape towards the audience, and it is clear that the body is severed.

The table is put back in place, and the magician at the foot end slides headfirst back down the leg, while the real magician pulls his body back from the other leg and stands up. Once again, whole.

The table is then pushed back from the stage with the second magician inside.

Once out of site he can climb out of the box.

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Method #3: Cut In half Without Box

This third illusion gets even more sophisticated as there is no box to hide what is going on.

It all appears to be in plain view to the audience. In this version trick, the saw will travel horizontally across the assistant.

The magician starts by demonstrating that the saw is real by placing some large wood on the table.

We see the saw travel across horizontally and carve through the wood.

Next, the glamorous assistant lays down on the table. We do not know that she is wearing a fiberglass body form that has a slot big enough for the saw to cut through.

As the assistant lays on the table, her body falls into a false bottom, lust lowering her body enough for the saw to miss it.

The fiberglass body form is rigid and does not fall into the false bottom, so it appears that her body is still lying on top of the body.

This is still risky, so while she is being positioned, another assistant pushes a steel sheet to separate the first assistant from the table, forming a bridge over her body to ensure that she is protected from the blade.

The saw traverses the body form through the precut slot, and it looks like the saw is slicing through her body.

It is very realistic, and the fact the whole trick is done in the open with no covering box adds a new dimension to the trick.

As the assistant is helped from the table, the plate is removed, and as her body rises, it slips back into the body form again, and she stands completely whole, but her dress now has a rip from where the saw cut it.

Method #4: Slicing Cage

The final version of this trick has a sophisticated egg-shaped cage that splits in half.

The cage is mounted on a table by some vertical rods.

Some female assistants drop the egg-shaped cage onto the floor and split it in two.

A third assistant comes on stage and climbs into the cage.

It appears that she completely fills the cage.

This is the result of the assistant arching her back, filling the space as much as she can.

The first two assistants secure the cage and two men come onto the stage and lift the cage back onto the table securing the egg-shaped cage in place.

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The cage appears to be filled completely by the third assistant, and there seems no room for maneuver at all.

Her back seems to be pushed up against the roof of the cage.

The first two assistants now cover the cage with black cloth and the magician produces a saw.

While this has been going on the assistant inside the cage has stopped arching her back and now only fills half the cage, her back approximately halfway down the cage.

She is now able to switch position so that her back is laying on the bottom of the cage and a secret door is opened, which allows her to drop her stomach even lower so that it is actually outside the cage.

The Magician is able to “saw” down between the two halves of the egg-shaped cage, as far as the base of the cage, missing the assistant by about an inch.

She is actually in no danger as the saw has been blunted.

The audience has now witnessed the magician sawing through the cage from top to bottom and so must have sawed through the assistant.

The Magician waves his saw about to distract the audience and allow the girl to change back to her original position with her back pushed against the top of the cage before the black cloth is removed revealing her still in one piece.

Learn More Magic Tricks

Now you know how the cut person in half magic trick work (if you want to know if this trick ever gone wrong, check this article) (if you want to know if this trick ever gone wrong, check this article) .

If you want to learn more magic tricks, you can start with 100 Best Magic Tricks Revealed, and then continue to:

Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the various methods that have been used to create this illusion.

There are many variations and some magicians have attempted to make more of a spectacle by incorporating devices that spray fake blood and body parts onto the stage during the sawing, with added screams for effect.

It all really depends on where the trick is being performed and the age group of the audience.

Improve Magic

I believe that life is magic. I'm a playing cards collector, I love performing magic tricks and I'm also the owner of a small magic shop. Apart from that I like to explore different kinds of supernatural magic that we all have in our lives and I like to share what I learn... I'm great fan of Harry Potter...

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