Sword Swallower's Act Goes Very, Very Wrong

Swords penetrated his esophagus, liver, lung
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2022 1:19 AM CST
Sword Swallower's Act Goes Very, Very Wrong
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / UroshPetrovic)

A well-known California sword swallower says a mishap during his act nearly killed him on Halloween. Scott Nelson, whose stage name is Murrugun the Mystic, was performing at the Six Flags of America amusement park near Washington, DC, that day when something went horribly wrong. As he explains in a video interview with CBS 8, a local station in his hometown of San Diego, "I swallowed five swords at once, but ... I let go of the bunch too soon, and they scissored out inside of me. Which means some of the blades went in different directions." He further explained to ABC 10, "Two penetrated the esophagus all the way through. One nicked my liver, and the other perforated my lung."

Nelson, who is also described as an actor, busker, and "all around entertainer" in a GoFundMe campaign set up for him, was in a medically induced coma for nearly a month after the incident, and he won't be able to return to work for a while. The 59-year-old says he will be removing sword swallowing from his act when he does, but he will still include other parts of his act including eating lightbulbs and lying on a bed of nails. In the past, he's attributed some of what he can do to his decades-long practice of transcendental meditation: "I can stop my heart; lower my heart rate, blood pressure ... I deal with the pain of my act by doing the meditation, prayer, relaxation technique." (More California stories.)

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