How to Stop Time as a Magic Trick

Written by ilya kovic
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How to Stop Time as a Magic Trick
The hands of a watch will stop when it comes close to a magnet. (BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

The ability to seemingly stop time at will is an impressive street magic effect. Using a magnet and some clever sleight of hand, you can stop the hands of a watch right before a spectator's eyes. Stronger magnets make the effect much easier to perform, although any magnet can be used. This effect is easy to perform and can give the impression that you have the ability to control time.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Magnet
  • Watch

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  1. 1

    Conceal the magnet somewhere on your body. For instance, hide it between your fingers. If the magnet is large, consider hiding it under your clothing. Magician Derren Brown suggests carrying a large magnet strapped to your knee.

  2. 2

    Borrow a spectator's watch. Ask the spectator if she has ever had a moment in her life that she wishes she could have frozen. Tell her that time is fleeting.

  3. 3

    Have your spectator place her hand palm up. Place the watch in her hand face up. Put your hands around the watch and focus on it silently. Allow the tension to build.

  4. 4

    Make sure your spectator is looking directly at the watch. If you have the magnet concealed between your fingers, bring them closer to the watch. If it is strapped to your knee, take your spectator's wrist and slowly pull it downwards, bringing the watch closer to your knee. The watch will stop moving.

  5. 5

    Pull the magnet away from the watch and it will begin to move again. If the magnet is concealed between your fingers, casually place your hands in your pockets and drop the magnet.

Tips and warnings

  • Using a magnetic ring is a great way to conceal the secret to this effect. Wear more than one ring if you choose to use a magnetic ring. The spectator is less likely to consider that just one of your rings is magnetic.
  • Don't bring the magnet near any metal objects that may be visibly attracted to it or you risk exposing the secret to this effect.

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