My Pet Boris (the magic spider app) is the work of magician Ian Pidgeon from Sydney Australia.

Most people I know, myself included freak out when they walk into a spider web so you can pretty much guarantee a reaction to this trick.

First of all I would like to credit Jim Pace’s The Web from L&L Publishing as the inspiration for this effect. The Web can be purchased from your local magic dealer or online through L&L Publishing or most other Magic sites. L&L publishing own the rights to the original "The Web" effect and have authorized us to market this app.

While "The Web" is a magic trick using cards, My Pet Boris has a totally different presentation and is intended more as a prank that anyone could use.

It utilizes the smart phone as a familiar object that is endlessly fascinating to people instead of introducing it as a magic trick. The technology allows for video, animation and vibration that involves multiple senses and increased interest. People are always curious to see what new applications are being developed. This provides a powerful emotional hook.

The spider is an Australian Redback spider Latrodectus hasseltii a relative of the American Black Widow and are quite dangerous. He was released in my neighbour's garden after filming.


The Effect – Boris the Spider
I present this as a cool new smart phone app that merges the spectators own body with computer generated images to create a form of augmented reality that is incredibly realistic.

I ask the spectator to hold out their hand so I can take a picture of their palm, secretly loading a plastic spider on the back of their hand, then place the phone on their palm and introduce Boris.

The animation and shadowing make it look like the spider is actually crawling across their hand. They can even feel him move because of the phone's vibrator.

He stops a few times on his way across the hand and the magician pokes him to encourage him to continue.

I show how you can interact with Boris by sliding my finger under the phone to rub the spider's back. Boris really seems to be between the phone and their hand. You could never do this in real life. Too dangerous with a poisonous spider.

Then I show how waving my hand over the proximity sensors on the phone make him come back. He runs back across the screen.

I take the phone back and ask them to try. When they wave their hand over the screen, they notice out of the corner of their eye, a realistic spider clinging to the back of their hand and they FREAK OUT!

That’s My Pet Boris!


Bonus Effect - Bruce the Cockroach

With similar timing as Boris the spider some people find cockroaches more scary than spiders. I didn't think so at first, but have found people react in a similar way if not more.

I think cockroaches are creepier, spiders scarier. Spiders and cockroaches can easily be found at your local party supply, Halloween or Dollar store.

Jim Pace's - The Web from L&L Publishing is a good source of spider or you can order additional spiders, cockroaches and the recommended adhesive for a few dollars from our online store once you purchase the app.


Bonus Effect - Belinda the Butterfly

The butterfly effect has been designed as a tool to help you adapt any of your existing butterfly effects to your smart phone.

It allows you to configure some parts of the effect to take a photo of the spectator's hand, the phone is placed on their palm. A caterpillar crawls across the screen (this can be turned off if you prefer a shorter routine) then, transforms into a chrysalis which develops in time lapse, then transforms to a monarch butterfly, which can be poked with your finger similar to the spider and cockroach effects.


The butterfly, flaps it's wings then flies away. A short time later it returns after the magician waves his hand over the phone.

When the spectator tries, they find the same beautiful monarch butterfly flinging to the back of their hand.

The instructions page includes a PDF file with sample routine and page of printable butterflies which can be given away at the end of the effect.



About Magic Spider - My Pet Boris