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Hypnotist entrances Chingawassa crowd

Staff writer

Although eight willing audience members went onstage as part of Edward Wunder’s comedic hypnotist show Friday evening at Marion’s Chingawassa Days, Marion resident Duane McCarty refrained.

“Years ago, I went up there, and when I went up there I was a woman,” McCarty explained. “Now I’m a man.”

Before Wunder put his volunteers under hypnosis, he issued a warning.

“One of your friends might go into hypnosis, so don’t go, ‘he’s hypnotized,’” Wunder said. “Whatever you do, don’t say, ‘Jim, after the show you’re going to take us over to the Typsy Gypsy and buy us beer, and the more beer you buy us, the happier you’ll be.’”

Two volunteers were Kristin Burkholder and her daughter, Chloe. One sat at each end of the stage.

Husband and father Kevin Burkholder didn’t have to nudge them to volunteer.

“I thought for sure my wife would,” he said. “I didn’t know if Chloe would.”

After guiding the eight participants into a hypnotic state, Wunder took them to an imaginary beach resort. He described resort employees as very willing to help them with whatever they needed.

The resort employees led them to their suites. They found an array of swimwear and “chose” their swimsuits. Then, to the laughter of audience members, Wunder had them put on the swimsuits to go for a swim in the ocean. One put his swimsuit on wrong and had to adjust it.

In the ocean, the “swimmers” did an assortment of strokes from their seats. As they swam, they passed fish and looked behind themselves.

Then dolphins came up behind and bumped them. He had them get on the dolphins for a ride. After they “returned to the beach” and walked along it, Wunder asked who they saw walking toward them and what they were wearing. He asked what they wanted to say to their imaginary companion.

“Will you marry me?” one said.

Another hypnotized volunteer told an imaginary female walking toward him that he wanted “to take you off right now” so she could go away with him. It didn’t matter that she already had four other men with her and two of them were at the resort with her.

Leaving at the beach resort, Wunder took them to an amusement park with “a 2,500-foot-tall roller coaster.”

One volunteer was nervous, but Wunder told her he would keep her safe.

As Wunder told them the “roller coaster” went up and down, some ducked their heads as it was descending. Two leaned down.

When the “roller coaster” was “doing loop-de-loops,” one volunteer moved his head in circles as he felt the movement of the coaster.

When the “roller coaster” stopped, Wunder asked whether the girl he’d promised to keep safe had liked the ride.

“Yes, but I liked it best when we were stopped,” she said.

Under Wunder’s guidance, the volunteers felt stuck to their chairs, then felt they were being tickled.

They then “smelled something bad coming from their left,” which they described a as body odor, sweaty feet, pooped pants, and other unpleasant odors.

After that they smelled something pleasant coming from their right.

They described the smells as flowers, perfume, a lavender-vanilla candle, coconut, and daisies.

Suddenly, he announced their belly buttons were gone. Aliens had stolen them. They felt their bellies to be sure.

Wunder asked why belly buttons were important.

“When you’re young, you can take shots out of the bar from your belly button,” Kristin Burkholder said.

Another said the belly button was important “so we can breathe.”

A third said the belly button is where babies get their milk.

Relenting, Wunder told them to look in the audience for the aliens who had stolen their belly buttons. One used his hands as binoculars to search out aliens.

Each described an alien.

Wunder had them shout to the alien to give back their belly buttons.

After their belly buttons were returned, he said they had received the wrong belly buttons. They checked to see what was wrong before he had them shout out that to give them back their own belly buttons.

Last modified June 5, 2024

 

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