The Magic Man is a spooky tale for kids about two young children who come across a strange man in the woods who performs magic tricks for them.
The town of Presque Isle in Maine is one of the most remote spots in the United States. Many years ago, there was a married couple who lived there in a little wood cabin. They had two small children, a boy and a girl.
The kids were often bored because the area was sparsely-populated and there were no other children around for them to play with. Most of the time, the little boy and girl had to invent their own games and entertainment. They often took long walks in the nearby woods.
One day, when they returned home for dinner, their mother asked them where they had been. The children told her that they had been exploring the forest when they happened to meet a nice old man. He told them he lived in a cabin back over the hills. They said he did some magic tricks for them. The children referred to him as The Magic Man.
At first the parents were concerned, because they had no idea who the old man was. No one in the area had ever heard of someone who was living in the woods. The father laughed and decided that his son and daughter must have dreamed up the tall tale about the Magic Man to make up for their lack of real friends. The children’s parents didn’t give the matter any further thought.
As time went on the children began to report some things the old man said to them. He told them that their neighbors’ livestock would die and their crops would fail. The parents dismissed this as childish talk. Strangely enough, within a few days, all of these dire events took place. People lost their crops, their livestock died, and folks were taken sick just as the children’s new-found friend had said they would.
The parents of the youngsters didn’t approve of the morbid interest in death and destruction that their children were displaying. The children were refused permission to visit the woods any more, but they still sneaked away whenever they could.
Finally the parents delivered an ultimatum. Either the children would bring the so-called Magic Man home to meet them or they would be forbidden ever to see him again. The boy and girl said they would invite him, but they were not sure he would come. Off they went into the woods. The parents laughingly waited, assuming there was no such person at all.
A half-hour later the two children returned. With them, was an old man with a long, white beard and piercing blue eyes. He was dressed strangely in a suit of shimmering black material that had twinkling bits of gold here and there and a battered old top hat. He greeted the parents pleasantly, and smiled so sweetly that they were immediately at their ease.
The old man told the parents and the children to gather in a circle. He performed many magic tricks for them and the parents were very impressed. The mother and father were reassured that their children had indeed found an interesting and unusual friend.
After staying for a while, the Magic Man said his farewells and asked if the children could walk back with him to the edge of the woods to say goodbye. The parents happily agreed, the three started off together, the old man holding the children by their hands.
As they walked towards the sunset, the parents were startled to see that only the children cast any shadows. There was none for the bearded man between them.
Nobody knows where he took them or what he did to them, but neither The Magic Man nor the children were ever seen again.
(Note: This is supposedly a true story. The children’s neighbor, when he was an old man, recalled the day they disappeared and claims to remember seeing the magic man with his own eyes.)