Q. What is the House of Mystery?
A. House of Mystery is the retail arm of The Blame Productions, more familiarly known as blamepro.com. We offer items pertaining to magic, mentalism and the related arts.
Q. You seem to deal in secrets. Is that all you offer?
A. That about sums it up. Any purveyor of magic, whether it be the local magic shop, or a manufacturer of custom-built stage illusions for national touring shows, is selling secrets. The secret to a magic trick or a pseudo-mindreading effect is where the mystery lies. Reveal the secret and the mystery is lost. Forever. So, yes, we sell secrets. But along with that comes a responsibility for the purchaser to obey the magician's code and promise to not reveal any secrets of magic to anyone who is not a magician, mentalist or allied performer.
Q. Why does the House of Mystery sell individual secrets?
A. We offer a service to magicians who may have purchased a magic or mentalism prop on the used market, or perhaps received it as a gift without the original instructions. Whether you realize it or not, the "magic" in the effect is contained in the secret instructions. Buy a trunk of old magic from an auction house and you'll likely have a collection of decorated wood, brass and plastic props, but no directions on how to perform the effect. That's where we come in, by offering digital editions of the original manufacturer's instructions, stored as convenient PDF files.
Q. A PDF file? Why not a paper, printed version?
A. For printed materials, the buyer must wait for us to receive the order, locate the requested items, obtain any missing or sold out replacements if we are out of stock, process the order, package it, take it to the post office, prepare customs and insurance forms if the order is being sent out of the USA, etc. etc. Meanwhile, the customer who ordered the secrets is waiting ... often for weeks, for his or her package to arrive.
With a PDF, the order is instantly available for download. The PDF file allows the buyer to "read" the instructions on a computer, such as a iPad or other tablet, notebook or desktop computer, or a smart phone. If you've ever looked at a PDF file, then you're familiar with the concept. And of course, the buyer can print a copy on his or her computer printer and store the secret in a safe place.
Q. I've always been a printed instructions kind of guy. What are some advantages of a digital version?
A. A major advantage is the number of magic instructions that can fit onto your tablet, smart phone or laptop. Imagine if you tried to take all of your magic secrets with you on a trip or vacation. You'd be paying a lot of money in excess baggage fees! With PDF files, you can fit thousands of titles on a single thumb drive or USB stick!
Another advantage is that your secrets can be stored in a single, safe location. Never again will you be without the instructions to your favorite effect. And later, should you decide to sell the effect, you can include a copy of the printed instructions to have a better chance of selling it for a good price.
Q. And, I imagine, an PDF instruction sheet never gets dog-eared, unlike a printed copy.
A. Exactly. The main advantage of PDF — as compared to other digital media — is that the text and illustrations in the PDF appear exactly how the author and publisher want them to appear, regardless of the device that's used to display them. And if it's prepared properly, the reader can quickly search the content of the PDF directions to find a particular word or phrase. In fact, your computing device can search the contents of your entire PDF collection in the blink of an eye. With a binder of printed instruction sheets (and print books in general), you'd have to go through every notebook, page by page, to do this. PDFs are also great for persons with disabilities, as the digital content can be converted to audio, or the text enlarged, using available technology.
Q. Do I need special software to enjoy my PDF?
A. The nice folks at Adobe will hook you up with a FREE copy of their Adobe Acrobat Reader software, which allows you to view PDF files. You can find it here. Acrobat Reader is all you need to view any digital magic secrets file or book in the House of Mystery catalog.
Q. Do you have a print catalog?
A. Anyone can create their own personal catalog by visiting our list of available titles and printing it to their personal printer. Or better yet, simply bookmark our web page at blamepro.com/HoM to always know what secrets are in our online catalog.
Q. Who is Blamepro.com? What does it stand for?
A. Blamepro.com is one of the true pioneers of the Internet, online since 1996. It is the web presence for The Blame Productions, an entertainment marketing and promotion site, now focusing exclusively on digital content for entertainers. House of Mystery joined forces with Blamepro in 2018.
Q. I really like your product line! Do you have a "brick and mortar" store where I can buy these titles locally?
A. Thanks for viewing our catalog! We closed our retail store, in order to devote more of an effort to producing quality digital titles. Now, with the increasing ease of e-commerce shopping and digital content delivery, we've decided to offer our products exclusively to the online market.
Q. Is my online purchase secure?
A. Yes! We use Selz.com for our online order fulfillment. They use an SSL-secured platform and shopping cart system to keep your ordering information safe.
Q. I see that another online dealer is selling House of Mystery products. Is this legit?
A. We sell our products exclusively through blamepro.com with digital fulfillment through Selz.com. If you see another site selling our copyrighted content, please let us know so we can investigate further.
Q. I have magic instructions to trade! Are you interested?
A. Because we're in the process of adding several hundred additional magic instruction sheets that we already have in our stockpile, we're not interested in trading for any more at this time. If the situation changes, we will update this FAQ.
Q. Who owns The House of Mystery?
A. We are a wholly owned subsidiary of The Blame Productions.
Q. Is magic a healthy hobby?
A. Yes, magic is a wonderful and safe hobby for people of all ages, as it can help to build and improve self-confidence, improve physical dexterity, and provide a healthy outlet for showing off skills and abilities. Performing tricks in front of an audience helps build cognitive functions, as the magician stays one step ahead of his or her audience. Assembling an interesting story or "patter" to accompany the effect helps build imagination and inspires the magician to learn to entertain and speak in front of audiences of all sizes. Plus, magic helps keep you young, since magicians range in age from 8 to 80 ... and beyond!
Q. I don't want to appear stupid, but I have to ask: what is mentalism?
A. Mentalism is the art of (apparently) reading the thoughts of another person. Dunninger made a living at performing feats of mentalism from the 1920s through the 1960s. Kreskin is another famous mentalist you've probably either seen or read about. The mentalism effects and books we offer rely on purely scientific means to perform; you don't need to be the seventh son of a seventh son in order to present them!
Q. Which is better, magic or mentalism?
A. Magic, with its colorful props and enchanting story lines enchants all ages and backgrounds. Some professionals even perform it silently! Mentalism, on the other hand, is more cerebral. A good mentalist must have a strong command of language and an arresting personality. It also requires that the entertainer can think (rapidly!) on his or her feet. Mentalism does not play well to young children, who don't yet understand that mind reading is uncommon.
So, which is better? You decide!
Q. I just wanted to see if anyone's still awake. Who's buried in Grant's Tomb?
A. You almost got me on that one! The answer, of course, is Grant . . . and Mrs. Grant!
Q. Anything else we should know about the House of Mystery?
A. Yes, it's been our pleasure to have this conversation with you. We hope that you take a moment to visit our site. And please . . . check back often, as we add several new titles every week.
Thanks for visiting our Frequently Asked Questions page.
|Permission is hereby granted for this material to be republished in the form of an interview or review of the House of Mystery, so long as a link to www.blamepro.com/Hom is included prominently in the story.
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