The scene of the crime (Screenshot: YouTube)

Many practitioners of professional magic refer to themselves as “illusionists,” a more formal and palatable term, and one that suggests an artistic craft that some folks just aren’t that good at. A Polish morning show host learned this the hard way, when a guest performer’s illusion went awry and left her with a spike embedded in her palm.

Marzena Rogalska was the unfortunate victim of the error by illusionist Marcin Połoniewicz, who appeared on Saturday morning show Pytanie Na Sniadanie (which translates to Question For Breakfast) by virtue of becoming a finalist on Poland’s Got Talent. Połoniewicz sets up the trick by folding closed the tops of four brown paper bags, one of which contains a sharp spike, then mixes them up shell-game style and takes to crushing them with his hand. After flattening the first bag, he’s confident enough to get Rogalska in on the action. Połoniewicz forcibly shoves her hand onto one of the three remaining bags, which happens to contain the spike, while her co-host watches in impotent horror. For his part, Połoniewicz doesn’t look too thrilled about the whole thing either, seeing as this kind of screw-up is to a magic career what a torn ACL is to a hockey career.

According to CNET, Rogalska was surprisingly cool about the whole thing in a video posted to her Facebook account, in which she stands next to the man who put a thorn in her paw, saying the wounds were superficial. Meanwhile, BoingBoing helpfully explains how the trick is supposed to work and provides a history of the (several) times this infernal trick has left people’s hands kabobbed. One of these days magicians will learn that most people are plenty impressed by card tricks, but until then, the footage will work wonderfully should Hogwarts ever need an occupational safety video.

Warning: This video is just as disturbing as it sounds.

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