FOR most, their inheritance from their grandparents around a love for a particular football team, or a treasured family heirloom.

But Ash Pryce received an altogether different legacy - one which sparked a love of the supernatural and things that go bump in the night.

The magician will take to a Glasgow stage later this month with a show inspired by the tales of his Spiritualist grandfather Tom Lund, who introduced Ash to the occult when he was 11.

Spiritualism, which began as a movement in the 19th century, centres around a belief  in the ability to communicate with the world of the spirits and receive messages from the afterlife.

And while Mr Pryce is not an active believer these days after his work on stage gave him a glimpse 'behind the curtain', his grandfather's tales of spooks, ghosts and missives from the world beyond have stayed with him to this day.


The illusionist's grandfather Tom Lund

Mr Pryce said: "The show is very much a tribute to my grandfather. His room would be full of books on spirits, on ghosts, and we’d chat for hours about the  other side. It was something that connected us.

"When he died in 2014 I  wanted to be able to pay tribute to him, and decided to draw on our  mutual interest in Spiritualism.

"I can honestly say that I wouldn't be a magician today if it wasn't for him."

Mr Pryce said that going to a spiritualist meeting with his grandfather at an early age made a huge impression on him, as the medium began to channel messages from a long-departed relative.

He said: “I was in awe at what happened  there.  A table began bouncing around the room, the medium contacted my deceased great-grandmother… at least, that’s what it seemed.

"My grandfather believed in it all and it gave me a life-long interest in the paranormal."

He later learned that the table was moved by people giving it tiny, reflexive nudges as they stood alongside - similar to the way a Ouija board works - while knocking sounds said to be spirits communicating were actually the sound of the mediums clicking their joints.

However, despite learning the tricks of the trade, he still remains fascinated in the supernatural.


Appearing at Glasgow’s Britannia Panopticon Music Hall - itself said to be haunted  - the show will see the illusionist resurrect a 160-year-old illusion known as the Spirit Cabinet during a story-led performance based on his experiences with his grandfather.

The Spirit Cabinet was invented by American mediums the Davenport Brothers in the 1850s, and used a prop by mediums during their seances.

It sees a medium  - in this case the actress Misha McCullagh - secured and bound inside a wooden or curtained box along with several small items, such as bells, writing tablets and occult symbols.

The medium would then challenge the spirits to 'cross the veil' into the material world and they would begin to move and interact with the items, writing messages for the audience to read or floating through the air.


Misha McCullagh, left, appears in the show

Mr Pryce,  co-founder of the Edinburgh Horror Festival, said bringing the Spirit Cabinet to the stage was a fitting tribute to his grandfather's love of spiritualism.

He said: “I’ve always been fascinated by the old-style seances, and when developing this show I wanted to recreate some of those elements.

|"We have a unique take on the Victorian Spirit Cabinet which has been  praised by magicians for its simplicity and effectiveness”

“It was of course a very clever illusion, and one I had been keen for  years to include”

The show, titled Keep Calm and Scary On, also features mediumship readings, spirit writing, and several horror-themed demonstrations, all wrapped up in a very personal story of the magician and his grandfather.

It will be staged first at the Banshee Labyrinth in Edinburgh, part of the underground vaults that make up a large swath of the Old Town, before being brought to Glasgow on Saturday June 23rd.

Mr Pryce said: “I think magic has the power to be very personal we’re seeing a lot of magic acts – especially on certain television talent shows – drawing on personal stories now, rather than just ‘pick a card, any card’ and those personal stories are what I think magic needs. Human interest”