The Gruesome Show of John Charles Fare

The story of John Charles Fare is most likely purely urban legend or an exaggeration of factual events. Whatever the case may be, the story is highly unlikely, entertaining and tragic. Like most fictional illusionists, John Charles Fare had an aura of mystery, whether he was real or not.

In 1968, N.B. Sheen published the first known account of John Charles Fare in a poetry journal. Roughly four years later, Tim Craig published the same story, but elaborated greatly on the plot. According to Craig, Fare was a Canadian by birth, but he moved to London to go to university. That obviously did not work out, as he moved quickly to Copenhagen. Apparently, he flashed his privates there and landed in a mental institution for a time. When he got out, he glued some things to Golni Czervath's car. The two became friends and the show of John Charles Fare was reportedly born.

The act the two devised involved a surgical table that is beyond even technology decades later. It had robotic parts that would operate on Mr. Fare. The story had it that John Fare's first act was to allow the table to perform a lobotomy on him. How he managed his later performances after that surgery is anyone's guess. In subsequent shows, the table reportedly removed some of his toes, an eye, some fingers, some flesh, his testicles and his right hand. The last performance was a beheading, allowed by Fare.

There are no pictures of John Fare, no paperwork, no records. The only evidence is the testimony of two writers, one of whom claimed that Fare was still performing up until 1972. If he were real, one could say that he was less an illusionist than a victim. The story has it that he was in a mental institution and then partnered with a man to allow a table to torture him. His partner would probably be arrested were such a thing to be discovered today.