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When 'The Usual' Won't Do

Do Hypnotist Shows Work?

Are hypnotist shows real? Are they fake? Do stage hypnotists really hypnotise people from the crowd? Is it set up in advance somehow?

I’m often asked these questions. Along with “Can everyone be hypnotised?”.

When you see 16 people on stage all being silly under the “control” of the hypnotist - what is going on?


  1. They’re paid actors,
  2. They’re just faking it for the fun of it (unpaid), or
  3. They’re really hypnotised.

Let look at these possibilities.

If they’re paid actors, how much do they need to be paid? To do the show and to never talk about it again? $50 perhaps? That’s not much. $200? What would you do it for and never tell? Let’s go with $100 - and 16 people on stage - that’s $1600. Plus all the organising beforehand to get them there (how would you do that?). A lot of money and effort, and show business just doesn’t pay well - you can check.

What about corporate events where the volunteers are all staff of the company, or members of the sports club? How could they be set up, paid, and no-one tells? And apparently the ones who were “approached” and who declined say nothing? That would be unbelievable.

It just doesn’t add up. It must be something else as it is not posible to successfuly recruit a bunch of fakes from within a club or corporation without ever spilling the beans. If I could do that, it would be way more amazing and harder to explain than real hypnosis is.

Maybe people just fake it? Perhaps they “pretend” to be hypnotised without payment.

How persuasive are you? Can you “talk” 16 people out of a group of 80 to come on stage and do what you ask? Company execs, staff, managers?

Lets argue that some people are so persuasive that they can get others to go on stage and act silly. That’s some powerful skill right there.

And yet many of those on stage will say that they don’t recall what happened. None later say that they were “just acting”. Well every now and agin I get one that does, but for the most part, if you tell me you think everyone is just acting and that I am extraordinarliy good at getting them to do that you are so close to what stage hypnosis is that you might as well take one tiny step and say that it is real. [On Reddit this would almost be a selfawarewolf post]


Whether you think that the hypnotist is simply very persuasive and gets people to “fake” on command and never tell, or you accept, maybe reluctantly, that the hypnotist has actually put people into a trance, the simplest and most logical explanation is that the hypnotist has the ability to make people act in ways that they wouldn’t normally do.

That’s an ability the average person on the street doesn’t have.

The Science

There’s science to back up that hypnosis is a real mental phenomenon. So hypnosis and hypnotism is real in the scientific sense. Google it and check.

The Conclusion

Its too expensive and too hard to fake. People willingly do for the hypnotist what they won’t do in general. And they “say” they were hypnotised and or don’t recall. The simplest explanation is that it is real.

Update After all these years I have had to come to terms with the weird stuff people seem to believe in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Chemtrails, Flat Earth, you name it. I guess the explanations above will convince very few who are already “certain” that what we do is bogus. But then they wont ask “Are hypnosis shows real?” I guess, because they already “know”.

Even so - the show is fun, and funny. Find out more

Author: Gerard V Comedy Hypnotist, MC and Corporate Entertainer
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