A “cold reader” is a magician who apparently demonstrates the ability to detect colds (and other medical conditions) in a person they have never met before. Basically, the magician just looks for clues and then makes an educated guess based on those clues. For example:
- If the subject has a runny nose, the magician states that they have a cold.
- If the subject has a runny nose and puffy eyes, the magician states that they suffer from allergies.
- If the subject has a runny nose and aches or other symptoms, the magician says that they have the flu.
- If the subject has an earache or is coughing up a lot of goo, the magician “sees” a bacterial infection.
- If the subject is leaning or hopping, the magician indicates that treatment for a broken leg may be in order.
- If the subject seems fine, the magician is still pretty safe saying that they have some kind of back or neck problem.
- If the subject is already dead, the magician gets a message from beyond the grave that chest pains were involved (this can include a heart attack, lung problems, being shot in the chest, having a “broken heart,” heart stoppage due to old age, and that parasite in Alien).
The neat thing about cold reading is that if the subject says, for example, “I don’t have a cold,” the cold reader just replies, “You just don’t know you have it yet – watch for symptoms to manifest soon!” The same type of reply works for “readings” of viral infection, allergies, or even death.
Some magicians combine cold reading with other types of magic. For example, during a card trick a magician might say, “You have the four of hearts – and chicken pox!”
For a more detailed, baloney-free explanation of this effect, visit Trickshop.com
The information on this site is intended for use only by those with a sincere desire to learn nothing about magic and is for entertainment purposes only (in other words, don't try this stuff, particularly the dangerous parts). The Magicians Assistance Collective (MAC) frowns upon the use of magic in the formation of religions or to attract a cult following.
Magic is not real. Reality is not magic.
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