Halloween hypnotism

Costumed audience awaits arrival of Saskatoon's homegrown hypnotist Hadlen. Mike Bedient, in pigtail braids, became one of the on-stage volunteers in the show. (Kathy Fitzpatrick/CBC)

Eight volunteers, most of them in costume, spent Halloween under the thrall of Saskatoon's homegrown hypnotist Hadlen at the Roxy Theatre.

And Hadlen in turn had his audience of about 50 spellbound during his 90-minute show.

Having put his on-stage volunteers into a hypnotic trance, he had them impersonate race car drivers and secret "00" agents, laugh uproariously at a funny movie only they could see, and take phone calls from their favourite celebrities.

In one truly hilarious moment, he had two participants be an alien and the alien's translator. Their chatter in gobbledygook had the audience in giggles and guffaws.

'I've never felt that relaxed before' - Anna Nissen, on-stage volunteer

The evening proceeded with several more antics, winding up with Hadlen waking up his volunteers, having instructed them they wouldn't immediately remember what took place.

Sure enough, one of them examined her watch and declared that she missed the show, clearly unaware she was the show.

Afterwards, the slightly dazed and confused volunteers reported feelings of extreme well-being.

"I've never felt that relaxed before," said Anna Nissen, laughing. "Yeah, it was weird to be able to just instantly be in such a relaxed state and feel like you're just like totally zonked out on stage."

Mike Bedient had a hazy recollection of his time on stage.

"I don't know, it's kind of like I was dreaming," he commented. "It's weird".

Weird, the way Halloween is meant to be.