10 Magic Tricks That Went Disastrously Wrong Live

Performers on fire... and not in a good way.

Anadela escape trick explosion
History (TV Network)

Part of the appeal of watching certain magic tricks is the sense of danger that can accompany them.

It's odd to think about it this way, but if there's a chance someone will be decapitated, set on fire, drowned, or cut in half, we're more likely to watch intently.

Quite why we enjoy watching people suffer and risk their lives is anyone's guess, and while that's strange, it's even stranger for people to want to put themselves in danger, all for the sake of high ratings, YouTube hits or five minutes of fame.

Because, as history proves, magic tricks can - and do - go wrong. There are stories of people dying on stage that date back as far as the 19th century, and as the years progressed, these magical mishaps started popping up on camera, all so they can entertain you for a handful of violent minutes. You bunch of sadists.

When magic tricks work, they can be a sight to behold, and when they don't work... well, they're definitely a sight. It's not clear whether we should admire their bravery or condemn their foolishness, but the following ten performers certainly gave us something worth discussing...

10. David Blaine Nearly Blows His Head Off

World-famous magician and illusionist David Blaine is proof that even the most seasoned of veterans can have a bad day at the office, when a live performance of his bullet-catch trick went seriously wrong and almost ended his life.

Blaine would perform the trick by attaching a piece of string to the trigger of a gun - so when he pulled on the string, the gun fired. The idea was that the gun would fire a bullet into a steel cup held in-between his teeth, which were protected by a mouth guard.

But, on this occasion, things didn't go quite as smoothly as Blaine had hoped.

Upon firing the gun the bullet did meet its target, but the force of the gunshot caused a laceration in his throat.

After the incident, the magician said he had felt an impact at the back of his throat, and in that moment, he thought he was dead. Thankfully, his injuries weren't life-threatening, but he was rushed to hospital after the show.

Videos of the incident show Blaine insisting that he's fine while waving at the audience, but he's very clearly in pain and he's lucky that things weren't a lot, lot worse.

First Posted On: 

Video editor and writer WhatCulture/WhoCulture. Bought a 4K copy of The Martian in 2016 and still haven't watched it.