Estimated reading time — 5 minutes
When going to Las Vegas, ride the rides from places like New York, New York and the Stratosphere, gamble away your money in a drunken state on a few hands of poker, or take a complete stranger back to your expensive hotel room. Or perhaps you’d prefer a magic show from Cirque Du Soleil or David Copperfield? I would suggest this option for your first night in Sin City. Real magic is to be found in Vegas, but not on the Strip, oh no. For a true experience that will make you believe in the realm of magic, you must seek out master illusionist Mephisto Centurion.
To see his astounding performance, drive off the Las Vegas Strip past the airport, and keep going until you reach desert. Be sure you make this journey after midnight, for Mephisto’s act is only to entertain the nightlife. Once it seems like you’ve made a wrong turn, stop your car, get out and peer across the night desert. You won’t see anything at first, but then a hotel shrouded in darkness will catch your eye. Leave your vehicle behind and approach the hotel in the distance.
You will notice that no lights are on in this hotel, but don’t be fooled, it is plenty occupied. Walk up to the hotel’s entrance and knock on the glass doors, which will swing open. The entire lobby will be dark, and no one will be there to greet you, so bring a flashlight as you enter the building and make your way through a large, empty casino, following the signs hanging from the ceiling that will direct you to the hotel’s theatre. While there will be no one around, if you get the sense that you’re being watched, you’re correct, but don’t let that feeling hold you back. Continue to follow the signs until you come to two large, golden doors with many faces sculpted on them.
These doors will open for you, and to your surprise, you will find an enormous, bright theatre filled with hundreds of people you didn’t even know were there. It will be a full house, but one seat will still be available in the front row. Take it, it’s yours. Once you are seated, the lights will dim, the curtains will open, and the great Mephisto Centurion will appear in a flash of light onstage, dressed entirely in black with a cape, top-hat, and a long, black beard and mustache. He will have a wide variety of tricks up his sleeve that will astonish you, so try not to blink.
The beginning part of his act typically consists of card tricks like making a card float in the air right out of the deck, or making the card appear on the other side of the room. Something even more mind-boggling is when he takes a real sword and impales himself right through the stomach. This special trick isn’t even performed inside a box, it looks like the sword is actually going through his body, and he’ll pull it straight out and be just fine. He can also make real animals and automobiles disappear and reappear at his command. His talents are endless.
Fire will accompany many of his acts, and you will find yourself cheering and applauding with amazement, but in the back of your mind you’ll be thinking that nothing you saw actually happened in real life. Once this thought crosses your mind, Mephisto will ask for a volunteer, and point directly at you. He tells the audience that he will make you disappear, how can you resist such an honor to be part of his legendary act? A spotlight will shine upon you, and the whole audience will join in to give you encouragement. Stand up, and get onstage where the real experience will begin.
You may have seen disappearing acts before, and you’ll probably think that a trapdoor will open, and then Mephisto’s assistants will help you back to your seat while everyone claps for you. Instead, you’ll feel the most intense rush of your life. Mephisto, at nearly seven feet tall, will loom over you, and inform the crowd that the trick is about to begin. He’ll have you tell everyone your name and what you do for a living, then he’ll have you stand atop a platform and wave his hands at you while chanting words of an ancient language. At a certain point during his speech, you’ll notice his eyes glowing an eerie purple, and before you can scream, a beam of white light will engulf you.
After the light comes the darkness, but it only lasts for a few moments before you’re flying through a wormhole at a very fast rate beyond your control. It will be quite a thrill, so don’t close your eyes. When you reach the end of the wormhole, the next thing you know, you’ll be soaring high in the air above the Stratosphere, and an invisible force will keep you up there. The feeling of the wind will make you realize that it’s not a dream. Don’t be afraid to swoop down over the Vegas Strip that glows in the night.
Enjoy this flying sensation, don’t even question it, just have fun while you can because it won’t go on for too long. Before you know it, you’ll be teleported inside a lion’s habitat at The Mirage. A lion will wake up and approach you, and you’ll run for your life, frantically searching for an exit, but there will be none. The ferocious beast will eventually have you cornered, and ease in for the kill. In fear, you’ll curl into a ball, shut your eyes and prepare for the end.
When you open your eyes again, you’ll be in a dark room with a wide opening at the top. You’ll realize all too quickly that you’re standing inside The Mirage’s volcano, and the show is about to start. You may scream loudly in hopes that someone will rescue you, but it will be too late. A ball of fire will come for you, and there will be no way to escape it. Just seconds from your impending doom, there will be another flash, and you’ll be back at your seat, sweating and trembling as you suddenly hear clapping from everyone in the theatre.
Mephisto knows your journey was intense, but he was there with you the entire time to guide you along your way. He welcomes you back and thanks you, then he bids the crowd farewell and vanishes. Converse with the crowd, if you wish, then make your way back through the dark lobby. As soon as you exit the hotel, there will be another flash, and then it will be morning, and you’ll be in your own hotel room with no memory of how you got there. That’s when the realization comes that the magic trick isn’t over… and it never will be.
Don’t bother looking for this place in the daytime, you won’t find it. If you look up Mephisto Centurion online, all that exists will be a single article titled: “Vegas hotel burns; Illusionist goes missing.” This article was written in 1960, only a few days before the famous El Rancho hotel burned down, which was a far bigger story. The hotel was called The Vegas Illusion, and Mephisto’s act was the main attraction. Little did the audience that attended know their entertainer was completely out of his mind.
He committed arson that night, burning the whole place down with the intent of taking himself with it. Many guests fled, but some did not make it out alive, and their remains were never found. Mephisto, real name Albert Torrance, worshipped an ancient god who promised him great power if he sacrificed his body, and he would do it in the most dramatic way possible with one show. Now he has abilities you can’t possibly comprehend, and he’ll be entertaining you for all eternity.
You can ask for help from the people around you, but they won’t hear you because, well, you’re dead. You died the second you got out of your car and stepped into a dark abyss that consumed you. There was never a hotel, there was never an audience, there was only HIM, and his beloved act. How do I know all of this? I am The Creator of the Magic Realm, I am amongst you, and I invite you to the show of a lifetime. I promise that my dear apprentice will make it all worthwhile.
Credit To – J. Stan Shocker