Tuesday, February 25, 2014


It was the fall of 1911 when America's first magic "union," The Society of Baltimore Magicians had disbanded.  Arthur D. Gans, Thomas C. Worthington III and a few others however decided to form a stronger union among magicians.  The Demons Club was inaugurated on December 7, 1911 at Gan's home in Roland Park.

 Arthur D. Gans

 Thomas C. Worthington
Learn more about him right here...

 Frank P. Knight and Charles Ziegler were elected President and Vice President. 
It was Zeigler who in fact came up with the name, The Demons Club. Early meetings were held at Lafayette Hall and at members home until the finances of the club were stronger.

700 Lafayette Avenue (downtown Baltimore)

 The Demons Club was the first magic club in the world to have its own club house and moved in here on September 17, 1917!   The Demons met bi-monthly and would occasionally had an open house, welcoming all to come visit and be amazed. 

Those early years were of many opportunities and the club progressed rapidly in membership and activities. On March 26th, 1914 the first Demon’s banquet to Howard Thurston, America’s foremost magician, was held.

The officers for that memorable year were:

Arch Demon Supreme 
Harry Kellar

Honorary Arch Demon Supreme  
Howard Thurston

Arch Demon  
Thomas C. Worthington Jr

 Vice Arch Demon 
Charles Fulton Oursler

and Demon Scribe and Treasury Imp Louis Smith  (see below)
Wearing their red and horned Imp caps
(left to right) 
Woben Smith, George Most, Ed Yeyl, Louis "Imp" Smith, Harry Watkins, Seymour Ziegler and Joe Bruno.

Magicians that have appeared on the stage of The Demons Club


    In those days, if you asked a magician anywhere in the world if he knew of the Demons Club, the answer would most likely have been “YES!

December 13, 1923
Arthur Gans performing his renowned billiard ball routine for a banquet at Mount Royal Station organized by Gans and the B&O railroad in the “Martha Washington” diner and club car!
How cool is that?
The tickets said “KELTHURMA”
(the name derived from Kellar/Thurston/magic)


Bruno, Joe
Dane, Jack
Hambuger, Dr. Louis (noted doctor at John Hopkins)
Kellar, Harry
Oursler, Fulton C. 
Price, Harry 
Smith, Louis "Imp"
Smith, Woben
Test, Robert W. (Director of Baltimore's better business bureau)
Thurston, Howard
Watkins, Harry
Worthington, Thomas C.
Yeyl, Edward
Zerr, William 
Ziegler, Seymour

Friday, February 14, 2014


 Wayne Raeke
(1933 - 1998)
Born James W. Raeke, Wayne Raeke was a member of the Baltimore, Maryland Yogi Magic Club and part of the Baltimore magic scene through the 60's & 70's. He was a barber by trade, and did magic as a hobby, with the occasional show here and there. He was always working on new effects and routines.

In 1970 he was the manager of The Jokers Wild Magic Shop on Kenwood Ave. in the White Marsh area. The shop moved to Belair Road in 1972 and lasted until 1976. When the shop closed, Wayne moved to Houston, Texas and started a youth magic group, The Jokers Wild Junior Club. About that time his health started to fail and he ended up with diabetes and in a wheel chair.

While he worked on and routined quite a number of magical effects for his students, the only thing that he really is known for was his Anytime, Anywhere, Linking Ropes, originally dated 1965, and then reprinted and republished in 1981 in its current form with Bill Palmer's editor's notes and illustrations.His contribution to magic is based on an obscure knot, known as the "Running Knot" and found in the 1919 Boy Scout Manual. It is of little use to anyone, but Wayne recognized its importance to the Linking Rope Routine that he was working on. Anyone who has tried it is amazed that he even discovered this use for such an obscure knot.

"Wayne blew me away with his version of  Four Way Coincidence by John Murray ( originally Preconfiguration by Larry Jennings) which I learned from J Mentzer's Card Cavalcade #3, which I still do this very day." 
-George A. Woo

A link to Mentzer's Card Cavalade # 3