Egyptian Hall - At Messrs. Maskelyne and Cooke's entertainment there has lately been introduced a small figure, 22 inches high, called Psycho, which goes through some most wonderful performance. Mr. Maskelyne first invites some of the audience upon the stage to examine the interior of the figure; then Psycho is placed on a hollow glass pedestal and the performance begins. Psycho first multiplies two numbers given by the audience together, and, though he does not speak, shows the numbers one after the other to the audience; he then plays a game of whist with three gentlemen from the audience, and afterwards picks out and names, by striking a bell, the cards chosen by persons in the hall from the pack of cards previously used.
article from The Graphic, January 1875
Psycho is the figure of a small and melancholy Turk, with lack-lustre eyes, and hands having a peculiarly unnatural appearance, even for an automaton, about the nails. He is seated cross-legged on a box, and he has small boxes near him. On the whole, he rather resembles a Turkish gentleman who, having determined upon travelling, had begun to pack up, and having suddenly tired of the occupation had sat down on a trunk, and rested his left arm on a couple of small boxes. However, Psycho is an independent gentleman, for he and his trunk are raised above the floor on a glass pedestal, quite transparent, and he most certainly appears to have no connection with anybody either on, or off, the stage. He does a sum in arithmetic; he takes a hand at whist, and plays (I was told this, not being a whist-player myself) a very fair game. Some clever people say there's a dwarf concealed inside. If so, the dwarf himself would be a fortune in a separate entertainment; but, again, if so, Heaven help that unfortunate dwarf! Where the poor creature can possibly conceal himself is, to my mind, a greater wonder than that Psycho should be worked by electricity, as was, I believe (for I dare not say I know) the plain clock face of transparent glass shown in MR. ROBIN'S entertainment.
Punch, February 20, 1875
MASKELYNE & COOKE
ENGLAND'S HOME OF MYSTERY
Every Evening at 8. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 3.
Seven years in London of unparalleled success.
A MAN'S HEAD CUT OFF WITHOUT LOSS OF LIFE
A strange statement, but no more strange than true.
In addition to the important discovery of a means of playing a brass band by mechanism, the same inventor, Mr. J.N.MASKELYNE, is showing the public, at the Egyptian Hall, London, how easy and pleasant it is to cut off Mr. Cooke's head. The clever illusion is introduced in such a manner as to provoke unrestrained laughter. No visitors to the great City should return home before witnessing Maskelyne and Cooke's Entertainment. It is one of the principal sights of London.
THE FOUR AUTOMATONS
Psycho, the Whist Player; Zoe, the Artist; Music by Mechanism, Illustrated by Fanfare on the Cornet, and Labial, the Euphonium, are attracting Visitors from all parts of the Globe.
The Comic Illusory Sketch, in which Mr. MASKELYNE removes Mr. COOKE'S head, and the Humorous Scene, Zach the Hermit, make up a programme of unusual interest and undeniable enjoyment.
Private Boxes from 21s. ; Stalls, 5s. and 3s. ; Admission, 2s. and 1s.
Boxes and Stalls can be secured at any of the Agents in the City or West End, or at the Hall.
advertisement in Charles Dickens (Jr.), Dickens's Dictionary of London, 1879
Egyptian Large Hall
The Great Secrets of the Ancient Egyptian Magicians and the Startling
Wonders of the Modern Spiritualists fully explained.
Dr H.S. LYNN
Is admitted by the entire London, Paris and New York Press to be the most
extraordinary embodiment of
VICTOR HUGO says "Dr LYNNS Seances are perfectly astounding,
MYSTERIES OF ALL NATIONS
are inexplicable and demand the attention of science.
LIVING AND MOVING
ILLUSTRATIONS OF SECOND SIGHT
MATERIAL AND IMMATERIAL
Every Day from 3 till 5 and 8 till 10. Carriages at 5 and 10.
Entire Sales by Special Arrangement.
Private Box, Two Guineas; Fauteuils 5s; Stalls 3s; Area 2s;
MASKELYNE AND DEVANT'S MYSTERIES, St.George's Hall, Regent-st, W.-We merely mention this form of entertainment as being one specially devoted to the magical. The marvellous is the aim which the proprietors have in the different parts of their programme. As Mr. Maskelyne has more than once thrown over those who have tried to bring their particular tricks into the controversial world, under the title of spiritualism, etc., you can go to his entertainment with the assurance that however much you may wonder at the results, they are only the products of mystery makers with an art akin to genius. Daily, 3 and 8. Seats, 5s. to 1s.; children half-price.
Charles Dickens Jr. et al, Dickens
Dictionary of London, c.1908 edition
(no date; based on internal evidence)
see also A.R.Bennett in London and Londoners - click here