The Magic of Annie Abbott
The word magic often conjures up brightly decorated tubes, boxes, rabbits, doves and the usual magic tricks and paraphernalia that magicians normally use. However over the years, there have been some performers who have resorted to other forms of magical entertainment. Featured in this week’s History of Magic is one such performer, Dixie Annie Haygood (nee Jarrett). Annie was born in 1861 in Baldwin County, Georgia USA, and she grew up to become a magician who never used the traditional magicians props. Little Annie was to soon become known as “Annie Abbott the Georgia Magnet” with an act that would take her right around the world. While she never disclosed how her powers worked, she became known as a magician and top vaudeville entertainer. During this time there were a number of other imitators or magnetic performers, each copying the other. Hypnotism and electricity were new phenomena that offered the opportunity for performers to capitalise on these new found realities by suggesting that their powers were somehow related to electrical forces and hypnotic suggestion.