The living and dead test are very popular at this time of year, they are not new and are usually very simple to perform. So it should come as no surprise that this effect falls into that category. However unlike many other living and dead tricks which suggest using candles to add atmosphere, with this effect it is the candles that expose the one "dead" card among all the living cards.
The props that come with this effect are top quality, including a bunch of cards (since each time you perform this effect you will use 5 blank cards). They also give you a template and tell you where you can download a pdf so you can print more cards if you like. Another possibility would be to use business cards and hand them out as souvenirs to the spectators afterwards. Since the names of the living and dead are given by the spectators (making this a somewhat personal effect), the cards would most likely be well received as gifts from the Magician.
The main prop is the candle holder which will hold 5 candles. The prop completely fills up my table and is somewhat heavy so I doubt that this would be a table hoppers dream to lug this around. Best used at intimate settings and a perfect parlor effect.
As is so popular with Halloween effects this one uses simple magic principles, but what makes this a little better is that it uses more than one magic principle thus making the effect not easy to figure out once you get past the Halloween showmanship and the props. Also taking an already unsettling effect and adding the magic of a flame going out on the dead card is really a double whammy of scary magic.
This effect is not repeatable, the setup takes a couple minutes, certainly not hard but probably something you don't do every day. Once its set, its ready to travel and can be performed any time.
Each time you perform the effect the timing will be different. The candle going out is automatic, but may take a minute or two so be prepared to do some creepy chit chat while waiting. When the candle does go out it is creepy, especially if the rest of the room is dark.
Here's an idea if you use a Ouija board, simply put this on top of the board and ask the spirits to identify the deceased person.
Not a stage effect, not something you would carry around with, and also anything that uses a flame might be cause for alarm depending on the fire code where you perform. If you are alright with those limitations then you will have a downright scary and super creepy effect.