Joe & Anne Karson
2 Photographs
In Collection
rare/collectible 8 x 10 autographed glossy photo of Joe & Anne Karson / ZOMBIE

Everyone in Magic is familiar with The Floating Zombie Ball. We are indebted for this and other good, practical Magic to the one and only Joe Karson.

8 X 10 glossy photograph signed by Joe & Anne Karson to Boston's Herman Hanson dated April 22, 1946.

(The stamp on the back indicates FRANKLIN PHOTOS @ 152 West 42nd St., New York 18, N.Y.)


Karson, Joe

Born Joseph Alexander Chrzanowski, the son of Polish immigrants in Providence, Rhode Island changed his name to Joe Karson after his parents separated. Starting in 1929, he performed three years with a Chinese magic act billed as "Chan Lin and company."

Karson published more than one dozen manuscripts in the middle of the thirties to end of the forties . Beside the world-well-known Zombie, which he patented in 1940, Karson also invented: Voodoo (1949), a one-man routine for the dancing handkerchief, the Magic Vision Tester, Karson's Chinese Egg Bag, Chinese Pagoda Mystery, Cig-O-Bill, Color Changing Foulard, 50-50 Rope Miracle, Flash Appearing Silk on Rod, Jewel of a Case, Karson's Klever Kard, Karson's Rice Trick, Slicko, Rubberneck (Head Twister - 1941), Submerged Card Mystery, Traveling Flame, Mismade Girl Illusion(A Chinaman's Hop Dream with Tea Chests - 1933), Mystery of the Open Screen, Chair Suspension (Karson's 20th Century Suspension).
Wrote: Illusion Secrets (1933 - 1944), Karson – Complete Club Act (1933), World's Fastest Card Trick (1948), Hypnotricks and many others.

Jay Leslie remembers: "The original Zombie ball was a toilet float ball."

Note: There is some confusion regarding Joe Karson of Zombie fame, and Joe Karston, Spook Show Producer and Illusionist. They are two different persons. Karston is the inventor of the Battle of the Toy Soldiers Illusion and a Ghost Prediction Chest.
Product Details
Extras Autographed, Inscribed
Personal Details
Read It No
Location Magic Library (Home)
Condition Mint
Owner Bryan-Keith Taylor
Joe Karson was the inventor of one of the classics of magic, The Zombie. Joe was also the inventor of a number of other magic effects which include 'The World's Fastest Card Trick and a one man floating handkerchief routine called "Voodoo". Magician Mike Rose wrote a biography about Karson a few years back which is sold out but available in e-book format through

Apparently, Mike Rose also took it upon himself to start up a Memorial Fund to raise money for a marker for Joe Karson's grave. Through his efforts there is now a headstone.

Joe Karson died on November 6, 1980 and is buried in the St. Michael's Cemetery in Springfield Mass.

To find out more about Joe Karson and the history of magic please visit: