Old magic shows (such as “Pepper’s Ghost” in 1800s London) used carefully placed mirrors to produce the illusions for the audience. Bursts of smoke at certain times would cover any sudden changes and distract the audience.
Today the phrase “smoke and mirrors” is used for any thing that distracts from the real issue (in other words, it’s the perfect description of just about every political statement! 🙂 )
1 Corinthians 13:12