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Harry Houdini

“Houdini” redirects here. For other uses, see Houdini
Harry Houdini (born Erik Weisz, later Ehrich Weiss
or Harry Weiss; March 24, 1874 – October 31, 1926)
was a Hungarian-American illusionist and stunt performer, noted for his sensational escape acts. He first attracted notice in vaudeville in the US and then as “Harry
Handcuff Houdini” on a tour of Europe, where he challenged police forces to keep him locked up. Soon he extended his repertoire to include chains, ropes slung from
skyscrapers, straitjackets under water, and having to escape from and hold his breath inside a sealed milk can.
In 1904, thousands watched as he tried to escape from
special handcuffs commissioned by London’s Daily Mirror, keeping them in suspense for an hour. Another
stunt saw him buried alive and only just able to claw
himself to the surface, emerging in a state of nearbreakdown. While many suspected that these escapes
were faked, Houdini presented himself as the scourge of
fake spiritualists. As President of the Society of American Magicians, he was keen to uphold professional standards and expose fraudulent artists. He was also quick to
sue anyone who pirated his escape stunts.
Houdini made several movies, but quit acting when it
failed to bring in money. He was also a keen aviator, and
aimed to become the first man to fly a plane in Australia.


Early life

Harry Houdini was born as Erik Weisz in Budapest,
Austria-Hungary, on March 24, 1874.[3] His parents were
Rabbi Mayer Sámuel Weisz (1829–1892), and Cecília
Weisz (née Steiner; 1841–1913). Houdini was one
of seven children: Herman M. (1863–1885) who was
Houdini’s half-brother, by Rabbi Weisz’s first marriage;
Nathan J. (1870–1927); Gottfried William (1872–1925);
Theodore “Theo” (1876–1945);[4] Leopold D. (1879–
1962); and Carrie Gladys (born 1882–1959[5] ) who was
left almost blind after an accident that occurred during
her childhood.[6]

Not yet Houdini, Ehrich Weiss is shown exhibiting his competitive
spirit and wearing medals he won as a member of the Pastime
Athletic Club track team in New York circa 1890.

They first lived in Appleton, Wisconsin, where his father
served as Rabbi of the Zion Reform Jewish Congregation.

Weisz arrived in the United States on July 3, 1878, on
the SS Fresia with his mother (who was pregnant) and
his four brothers.[7] The family changed the Hungarian
spelling of their German surname to Weiss (the German spelling) and Erik’s name was changed to Ehrich.
Friends called him “Ehrie” or “Harry”.

According to the 1880 census, the family lived on Appleton Street.[8] On June 6, 1882, Rabbi Weiss became
an American citizen. Losing his tenure at Zion in 1887,
Rabbi Weiss moved with Ehrich to New York City, where
they lived in a boarding house on East 79th Street. He was
joined by the rest of the family once Rabbi Weiss found



permanent housing. As a child, Ehrich Weiss took several jobs, making his public début as a 9-year-old trapeze
artist, calling himself “Ehrich, the Prince of the Air”. He
was also a champion cross country runner in his youth.
When Weiss became a professional magician he began
calling himself “Harry Houdini”, after the French magician Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin, after reading RobertHoudin’s autobiography in 1890. Weiss incorrectly believed that an i at the end of a name meant “like” in
French. In later life, Houdini claimed that the first part
of his new name, Harry, was an homage to Harry Kellar,
whom he also admired.
After much research, in 1908 Houdini published The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin, in which he called his former
idol a liar and a fraud for having claimed the invention of
automata and effects such as aerial suspension, which had
been in existence for many years.[9]
Houdini was an active Freemason and was a member of
St. Cecile Lodge #568 in New York City[10]
In 1918, he registered for selective service as Harry
Handcuff Houdini.[11]



At one point, he billed himself as the “King of Cards”.
He soon began experimenting with escape acts.
In 1893, while performing with his brother "Dash"
(Theodore) at Coney Island as “The Brothers Houdini,”
Harry met a fellow performer, Wilhelmina Beatrice
“Bess” Rahner. Bess was initially courted by Dash, but
she and Houdini married in 1894, with Bess replacing
Dash in the act, which became known as “The Houdinis.”
For the rest of Houdini’s performing career, Bess worked
as his stage assistant.
Houdini’s big break came in 1899 when he met manager
Martin Beck in St. Paul, Minnesota. Impressed by Houdini’s handcuffs act, Beck advised him to concentrate on
escape acts and booked him on the Orpheum vaudeville
circuit. Within months, he was performing at the top
vaudeville houses in the country. In 1900, Beck arranged
for Houdini to tour Europe. After some days of unsuccessful interviews in London, Houdini managed to interest Dundas Slater, then manager of the Alhambra Theatre. He gave a demonstration of escape from handcuffs
at Scotland Yard, and succeeded in baffling the police so
effectively that he was booked at the Alhambra for six

Magic career

“My Two Sweethearts”—Houdini with his mother and wife, c.

Houdini, circa 1900.

He began his magic career in 1891, but had little success.[12] He performed in dime museums and
sideshows, and even doubled as “The Wild Man” at a circus. Houdini focused initially on traditional card tricks.

Houdini became widely known as “The Handcuff King.”
He toured England, Scotland, the Netherlands, Germany,
France, and Russia. In each city, Houdini challenged
local police to restrain him with shackles and lock him
in their jails. In many of these challenge escapes, Houdini was first stripped nude and searched. In Moscow,
Houdini escaped from a Siberian prison transport van.
Houdini claimed that, had he been unable to free himself, he would have had to travel to Siberia, where the
only key was kept. In Cologne, he sued a police officer, Werner Graff, who alleged that he made his escapes
via bribery.[13] Houdini won the case when he opened
the judge’s safe (he later said the judge had forgotten to
lock it). With his new-found wealth, Houdini purchased
a dress said to have been made for Queen Victoria. He
then arranged a grand reception where he presented his
mother in the dress to all their relatives. Houdini said it

Houdini introduced perhaps his most famous act. he revealed how many locks and handcuffs could be opened with properly applied force. Houdini put his “handcuff act” behind him and began escaping from a locked.S. chains. When tied down in ropes or straitjackets. The act required that Houdini hold his breath for more than three minutes.[17] Houdini in handcuffs. Houdini’s brother.[15] and even the belly of a whale that had washed ashore in Boston. Houdini was a headline act in vaudeville. Houdini performed with great success in the United States. he was the highest-paid performer in American vaudeville. when he vanished a full- . Houdini explained some of his tricks in books written for the magic brotherhood. New York City. Brewers in Scranton. 1918 His straitjacket escape was originally performed behind curtains. water-filled milk can. in which he invited the public to devise contraptions to hold him. discovered that audiences were more impressed when the curtains were eliminated so they could watch him struggle to get out. Houdini’s advertisements showed him making his escapes via dematerializing. with him popping out free at the end. wet sheets. the Chinese Water Torture Cell. Rather than promote the idea that he was assisted by spirits. on January 25. Houdini returned to the U. billing himself as Theodore Hardeen). During his career. he gained wiggle room by enlarging his shoulders and chest. Pennsylvania and other cities challenged Houdini to escape from a barrel after they filled it with beer. and straitjackets. riveted boilers. ropes. moving his arms slightly away from his body. On more than one occasion.[16] In 1913. 1908. he carried concealed lockpicks or keys.[17] Many of these challenges were arranged with local merchants in one of the first uses of mass tie-in marketing. handcuffs.[17] Poster promoting Houdini taking up the challenge of escaping an “extra strong and large traveling basket” For most of his career. In Handcuff Secrets (1909). and purchased a house for $25. a brownstone at 278 W. Houdini also expanded his repertoire with his escape challenge act. Because of imitators. although Houdini himself never claimed to have supernatural powers. The possibility of failure and death thrilled his audiences. In 1904. These included nailed packing crates (sometimes lowered into water). as did the Davenport Brothers and others. One of Houdini’s most notable non-escape stage illusions was performed at New York’s Hippodrome Theater. 113th Street in Harlem.000. in which he was suspended upside-down in a locked glass-and-steel cabinet full to overflowing with water. often while hanging from a rope in sight of street audiences. Houdini performed the escape for the rest of his career. mailbags.[14] From 1907 and throughout the 1910s. they both performed straitjacket escapes while dangling upside-down from the roof of a building in the same city.3 was the happiest day of his life. He freed himself from jails. For many years. Other times. (who was also an escape artist. others with shoestrings.

the third regional club to be established by the S.M. addressed.M. Kansas City.A. and urged them into the fold.) from 1917 until his death in 1926. Houdini accepted the challenge for . In places where no clubs existed. he rounded up individual magicians. In 1923. Houdini persuaded magicians to join. while on his vaudeville tour. This was the biggest movement ever in the history of magic.000 dues-paying members and almost 300 assemblies worldwide. and usually threw a banquet for the members at his own expense. Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh.. The business is still in operation today. and that charter and this club continue to provide Chicago magicians with a connection to each other and to their past. Every other president has only served for one year. and it would mean making the small clubs powerful and worth while. the London Daily Mirror newspaper challenged his own full-evening show. It now embraces almost 6. 3 Notable escapes He also served as President of the Society of American Magicians (aka S. He had created the richest and longest-surviving organization of magicians in the world.but if we were amalgamated into one big body the society would be stronger. as the name implies. As had happened in London. in the back room 3. Houdini was elected for the ninth successive time President of the Society of American Magicians. he signed Assembly Number Three’s charter into existence. circa 1905. By the end of 1916. the Magicians’ Club of London. in an effort to revitalize what he felt was a weak organization.. Members would find a welcome wherever they happened to be and. and got pledges from similar clubs in Detroit.A. had been recruiting local magic clubs to join the S. 1926. Houdini became president of Martinka & Co. at his own expense.” Mirror challenge For most of 1916. In July. beneath Exposed”. unified national network of professional and amateur magicians.M.1 of Martinka's magic shop in New York. Escapes.A. Cincinnati and elsewhere. Rochester.. Wherever he traveled. Houdini gave a lengthy formal address to the local magic club. He sought to create a large. Houdini launched In 1904.. whose assemblies now number in the hundreds. Houdini dined with. 3 was. (later assembly) of the Society. Detroit. The Buffalo club joined as the first branch. Houdini. a locksmith from Birmingham. He said “The Magicians Clubs as a rule are small: they are weak.[18] In the final years of his life (1925/26). and Fraud Mediums had taken Nathaniel Hart. which he billed as “Three Houdini to escape from special handcuffs that it claimed Shows in One: Magic. 1902. the Society expanded under the leadership of Harry Houdini during his term as National President from 1917 to 1926. introduced them to each other.4 3 NOTABLE ESCAPES grown elephant (with its trainer) from the stage. In 1917. Chicago Assembly No. magicians’ clubs in San Francisco and other cities that Houdini had not visited were offering to become assemblies. America’s oldest magic company. and Kansas City to join.[19] which was a swimming pool. conversely. five years to make. Founded on May 10. Houdini was magic’s greatest visionary. the safeguard of a city-to-city hotline to track exposers and other undesirables. Houdini persuaded groups in Buffalo. made speeches. He also was President of “Handcuff” Harry Houdini.

Many thought that in her mouth was the key to unlock the special handcuffs. It was stated in the book The Secret Life of Houdini that the key required to open the specially designed Mirror handcuffs was 6” long. as well as a replica of the Bramah style key for it. The Mirror representative. 3.2 Milk can escape In 1908. On one occasion he asked if the cuffs could be removed so he could take off his coat. but it has remained one of the acts most associated with him. The escape attempt dragged on for over an hour. Sensational Tales of Mystery Men.[29] 3. through which audiences could clearly see Houdini. holding the knife in his teeth. where Houdini first performed the escape for an audience of one person as part of a one-act play he called “Houdini . as admitting that Houdini was bested that day and had appealed to his wife. Houdini’s wife appeared on stage and gave him a kiss. After an hour and ten minutes. his friend Martin Beck was quoted in Will Goldston's book. Goldston offered no proof of his account. Pennsylvania. The American Museum of Magic has the milk can and overboard box used by Houdini. It was reported that 4000 people and more than 100 journalists turned out for the much-hyped event. Theodore Hardeen.the cage prevented Houdini from turning . Frank Parker.[26] In this act. it has since been suggested that Bess did not in fact enter the stage at all. The mahogany and metal cell featured a glass front.3. Advertised with dramatic posters that proclaimed Houdini performing the Chinese Water Torture Cell Houdini to replace his milk can act with the Chinese water torture cell.” the escape proved to be a sensation. Bess. and could not have been smuggled to Houdini in a glass of water. saying Houdini could gain an advantage if he saw how the cuffs were unlocked. being chained or padlocked. refused. Houdini’s feet were locked in stocks.[24][25] This is the only public display of this style cuff anywhere. is on display to the public at the Houdini Museum in Scranton.3 Chinese water torture cell March 17 during a matinée performance at London’s Hippodrome theater. and many modern biographers have found evidence (notably in the custom design of the handcuffs) that the Mirror challenge may have been arranged by Houdini and that his long struggle to escape was pure showmanship. The stocks were locked to the top of the cell. Houdini emerged free. Some 56 minutes later. he broke down and wept. While making the escape more difficult . In the earliest version of the torture cell. In this escape. Houdini performed the milk can escape as a regular part of his act for only four years. Houdini was handcuffed and sealed inside an over-sized milk can filled with water and made his escape behind a curtain. Houdini later said it was the most difficult escape of his career. However.[21] 5 “Failure Means A Drowning Death. and he was lowered upside down into a tank filled with water.3 Chinese water torture cell Main article: Chinese Water Torture Cell Around 1912. The original cell was built in England. during which Houdini emerged from his “ghost house” (a small screen used to conceal the method of his escape) several times.[22] This escape was discussed in depth on the Travel Channel’s Mysteries at the Museum in an interview with Houdini expert. Houdini introduced his own original act.[27] Houdini soon modified the escape to include the milk can being locked inside a wooden chest. magician and escape artist Dorothy Dietrich of Scranton’s Houdini Museum. used it to cut his coat from his body. Houdini’s brother. As part of the effect. Houdini promptly took out a pen-knife and.the cage bars also offered protection should the front glass break. the milk can escape. As he was paraded on the shoulders of the cheering crowd. for help. continued to perform the milk can escape and its wooden chest variant[28] into the 1940s. then slipped it to Houdini in a glass of water. the vast number of imitators prompted After Houdini’s death. a metal cage was lowered into the cell. Houdini invited members of the audience to hold their breath along with him while he was inside the can. and that this theory is unlikely due to the size of the 6-inch key[20] Houdini then went back behind the curtain. as well as several others.[23] A full-sized design of the same Mirror Handcuffs. Goldston goes on to claim that Bess begged the key from the Mirror representative. and a curtain concealed his escape. and Houdini was enclosed inside that.

just controlled breathing. The first was near Santa Ana. California in 1915.[34] He repeated the feat at the YMCA in Worcester. which he did. Houdini continued to perform the escape until his death in 1926. The stunt was to be the feature escape of his 1927 season. and then buried in a large tank filled with sand.[36] . Houdini performed this escape many times. Houdini wrote in his diary that the escape was “very dangerous” and that “the weight of the earth is killing. by remaining in a sealed casket.5 Overboard box escape Houdini prepares to do the overboard box escape circa 1912 Another of Houdini’s most famous publicity stunts was to escape from a nailed and roped packing crate after it had been lowered into water. and even performed a version on stage. He became exhausted and panicked while trying to dig his way to the surface and called for help. The bronze casket Houdini created for buried alive was used to transport Houdini’s body from Detroit to New York following his death on Hallowe'en. 1926.[17] 3. Starting from when he was hoisted up in the air by the crane. 1926.[35] Houdini’s final buried alive was an elaborate stage escape that featured in his full evening show. Houdini performed the suspended straitjacket escape from a crane being used to build the New York subway. The first public performance of the USD was at the Circus Busch in Berlin. it is unclear whether Houdini ever performed buried alive on stage. this time remaining sealed for one hour and eleven minutes. While the escape was advertised as “The Chinese Water Torture Cell” or “The Water Torture Cell. Houdini performed the escape with a visible safety wire on his ankle so that he could be pulled away from the building if necessary. After being battered against a building in high winds during one escape. he fell unconscious and had to be pulled from the grave by his assistants. Police forbade him from using one of the piers.6 Buried alive stunt Houdini performed at least three variations on a buried alive stunt during his career. in a pit of earth six feet deep. 1895 – December 5. There is film footage in the Library of Congress of Houdini performing the escape. Massachusetts on September 28. with the manacles inside.000 l) tank was specially built. The crate was then lowered into the water. Houdini was locked in handcuffs and leg-irons. After flinging his body in the air.[30] Films of his escapes are also shown at The Houdini Museum in Scranton. sealed in a casket.[17] 3. when the two met at a performance at Sheffield's Empire Theatre.”[32][33] Houdini’s second variation on buried alive was an endurance test designed to expose mystical Egyptian performer Rahman Bey.[31] 3.6 3 NOTABLE ESCAPES Upside Down. Houdini first performed the escape in New York’s East River on July 7. Houdini was buried. or coffin. 1912.4 Suspended straitjacket escape One of Houdini’s most popular publicity stunts was to have himself strapped into a regulation straitjacket and suspended by his ankles from a tall building or crane. The idea for the upside-down escape was given to Houdini by a young boy named Randolph Osborne Douglas (March 31. who had claimed to use supernatural powers to remain in a sealed casket for an hour. 1926. Houdini would sometimes ensure press coverage by performing the escape from the office building of a local newspaper. Houdini escaped in 57 seconds. so Houdini hired a tugboat and invited press on board.” This was so he could copyright the effect and have grounds to sue imitators. Houdini bettered Bey on August 5. In many cases. Houdini drew tens of thousands of onlookers who brought city traffic to a halt. it took him two minutes and thirty-seven seconds. In New York City. When his hand finally broke the surface. 1956). Houdini claimed he did not use any trickery or supernatural powers to accomplish this feat. but Houdini died on October 31. without a casket. then nailed into the crate which was roped and weighed down with two hundred pounds of lead.500-US-gallon (21. The crate was pulled to the surface and found still to be intact. first at Hamerstein’s Roof Garden where a 5. Houdini would then make his escape in full view of the assembled crowd. he escaped from the straitjacket. and it almost cost Houdini his life. 1912. PA. on September 21. and later at the New York Hippodrome. Houdini escaped after being strapped in a straitjacket.” Houdini always referred to it as “the Upside Down” or “USD”. While posters advertising the escape exist (playing off the Bey challenge by boasting “Egyptian Fakirs Outdone!"). submerged in the swimming pool of New York’s Hotel Shelton for one and a half hours. to when the straitjacket was completely off.

7 4 Movie career Silent movie The Master Mystery (1919). Pennsylvania had seen it twice on the invitation of the collector. New York.[43] yearly 4-day festival in Hollywood.000 Leagues Under the Sea. capes as part of his vaudeville act. As was common at the time.A. One copy did exist hidden in the collection of a private collector only known to a tiny group of magicians that saw it. director of The Master Mystery also filmed a serial in Ithaca at about the same time. Houdini made a film in Paris for Cin. Publiclost. 2015. He silent version of 20.shown by TCM on March 29. the film serial was released simultaneously with a novel. The consultants on the serial were pioneering Hereward Carrington and Aleister Crowley. The Mysteries of Myra. not seen by the general public for 96 years was Houdini Movie Posters as a highlight of their In 1906 Houdini started showing films of his outside es. including his Following his two-picture stint in Hollywood. 1919 movie poster The film. but The Master Mystery led to Houdini being signed by Famous Players-Lasky Corporation/Paramount Pictures. Film historians considered the film lost. shot in Ithaca. The Master Mystery (released in January 1919).ity was geared heavily toward promoting this dramatic ema Lux titled Merveilleux Exploits du Célébre Houdini “caught on film” moment. consultant on the Wharton/International cliffhanger serial. because Harry Grossman. roneously reported that Houdini served as special-effects He also founded his own film laboratory business called . While filming an aerial stunt for The Grim Game. Houdini rented a home in Laurel Canyon. In Los Angeles. The Grim Game (1919) and Terror Island (1920). but the produced and starred in two films. claiming it was Houdini himà Paris (Marvellous Exploits of the Famous Houdini in self dangling from the plane.[39] It is often er. Running time: 09:39. they finally got him to agree to sell the film to Turner Classic Movies[42] who restored the complete 71-minute film. That same turned to New York and started his own film production year Houdini got an offer to star as Captain Nemo in a company called the “Houdini Picture Corporation”.yond (1921) and Haldane of the Secret Service (1923). Because of the inflammable nature of nitrate film only 10 percent of old silent movies exist. two biGeorg Hackenschmidt was a famous wrestler of the day. After many years of trying. Rolfe Productions going out of business. Financial difficulties resulted in B. Houdini restraitjacket and underwater handcuff escapes.[38] It featured a loose narrative designed to show.A. While filming these movies Paris).[41] The Grim Game was Houdini’s first full-length movie and is reputed to be his best. Dick Brookz and Dorothy Dietrich of The Houdini Museum in Scranton. planes collided in mid-air with a stuntman doubling Houbut the nature of their contest is unknown as the film is dini dangling by a rope from one of the planes. The Man from Beproject never made it into production. case several of Houdini’s famous escapes. Rolfe to star in a 15-part serial.[37] In 1909. Episode of a serial in fifteen episodes with magician and escape artist Houdini in the lead. he presented a short film called Houdini Defeats Hackenschmidt.[40] The Houdini Serial. The Grim Game. for whom he made two pictures. 1919 movie poster In 1918 Houdini signed a contract with film producer B.

On his first flight he took off. at Victoria Park Racecourse. and five minutes from The Grim Game. by many New Zealand historians to have undertaken his In April 2008. 1909 by Mr Colin Defries. Magician Harry Kellar was a major investor.[49][50] Houdini swims above Niagara Falls in a scene from The Man from Beyond (1922) Wing Commander Harry Cobby wrote in Aircraft in March 1938 that “the first aeroplane flight in the Southern Hemisphere was made on December 9. left his own career as a magician and escape artist to run the company.8 5 AVIATOR fly. when he tried to retrieve his hat which was blown off. and a section from Merveilleux Exploits du Célébre Houdini à Paris.[45] 5 Aviator In 1909. 1910. the Herald newspaper reported Custance’s flight. Sydney. demonstrated what a momentary lack of attention could cause while flying a Wright Model A. Antonio Brassac.[47] In 2010.[54] Duigan was an Australian pioneer aviator who built and flew the first Australian-made aircraft. By modern standards his flight time was minimal. some major news outlets still credit him with this feat. . crediting only Defries and Duigan with historical firsts. he made his first successful flight on November 26 in Hamburg. including The Master the Southern Hemisphere [53] this is disputed. His crash landing on his second flight. which would give him not only but the World record. complain. The flight took place on March 17. Southern Hemisphere. Houdini toured Australia. After crashing once. having learnt to fly in Cannes. and he gave up on the movie business in 1923. The following year. the aircraft was a Bleriot monoplane with Fred Custance as the pilot.[46][47][48] and a century later. He brought along his Voisin biplane with the intention to be the first person in Australia to In 1965. Terror Island.Additionally. 5.[51] Colin Defries was a trained pilot. aviation journalist Stanley Brogden formed the view that the first powered flight in Australia took place at Bolivar in South Australia. aviation pioneer Richard Pearse is believed ing that “the profits are too meager”. and the Neither Houdini’s acting career nor FDC found success. in a Wilbur Wright aeroplane”. Victoria. Haldane The Film Development Corporation (FDC). It is accepted by Australian historians[52] and the Aviation Historical Society of Australia that the definition of flight established by the Gorell Committee on behalf of the Aero Club of Great Britain dictates the acceptance of a flight or its rejection. It was reported at the time that this was the first aerial flight in Australia. The next day when Houdini took to the air. near Melbourne.[44] of the Secret Service. albeit briefly. Germany. Kino International released a DVD box set first flight as early as 1902.000 and hired a full-time mechanic. a Londoner. Houdini’s brother.1 Falsely reported as pioneer On March 18. The set also includes newsreel footage of Houdini’s escapes from 1907 to 1923. 1910. He purchased a French Voisin biplane for $5. Houdini and John Robertson Duigan. although it is not identified as such. and landed safely. but in 1909 he had accumulated enough to become an instructor. maintained straight and level flight. France. Mystery. he made three flights at Diggers Rest. Theodore Hardeen. Houdini became fascinated with aviation. although of Houdini’s surviving silent films. gambling on a new process for developing motion picture film. giving Colin Defries credit as the first to make an aeroplane flight in Australia. stating it had lasted 5 minutes 25 seconds at a height of between 12 and 15 feet. Australia Post did acknowledge the part Houdini played (Harry Houdini can't escape being part of Australia’s history) but did not attribute any record to him. Australia Post issued stamps commemorating Colin Defries. The Man From Beyond.

[55] 6 Debunking spiritualists Houdini demonstrates how a photographer could produce fraudulent “spirit photographs” that documented the apparition and social interaction of the dead[56] In the 1920s Houdini turned his energies toward debunking psychics and mediums.. who was not credited. he and his wife agreed that if Houdini found it possible to communicate after death. Gibson was asked by Bess Houdini to carry on the original seance tradition. Lovecraft’s detailed synopsis for Cancer does survive. Houdini had earlier asked Lovecraft to write an article about astrology. and the prize was never collected. accompanied by a reporter and police officer.[61] In 1936. but he never flew again. Most biographers give his height as . but Bess later said the incident had been faked. Pennsylvania. 7 Appearance and voice recordings M.[59] In 1926. also known as “Margery”. Possibly the most famous medium whom he debunked was Mina Crandon. as do three chapters of the treatise written by Eddy. Gibson and Milbourne Christopher.. Bess held yearly séances on Halloween for ten years after Houdini’s death. he would communicate the message “Rosabelle believe”. a firm believer in spiritualism during his later short and stocky and typically appeared on stage in a long years. M. a Houdini aficionado from Holyoke. He announced he would use it to fly from city to city during his next Music Hall tour. Dorothy Dietrich.[17] Evidence to this effect was discovered by Ford’s biographer after he died in 1971. refused to believe any of Houdini’s exposés.9 5. After doing them for many years at New York’s Magic Towne House. Walter passed on the tradition of conducting of the Original Seances to Dorothy Dietrich. Jr. He was a member of a Scientific American committee that offered a cash prize to any medium who could successfully demonstrate supernatural abilities. which was to be called The Cancer of Superstition.[65] Houdini chronicled his debunking exploits in his book. and had performed many of his stunts by means of paranormal abilities and was using these abilities to block those of other mediums that he was “debunking”. Unlike the image of the classic magician. P. She did claim to have contact through Arthur Ford in 1929 when Ford conveyed the secret code. Doyle frock coat and tie. Jr. Lovecraft and his friend C. Houdini’s death derailed the plans.[63] Yearly Houdini séances are also conducted in Chicago at the Excalibur nightclub by "necromancer" Neil Tobin on behalf of the Chicago Assembly of the Society of American Magicians. a pursuit that inspired and was followed by latter-day stage magicians. Eddy. before he died. co-authored with C. The Official Houdini Séance was organized in the 1940s[62] by Sidney Hollis Radner. held by magicians throughout the world. The first to be tested was medium George Valentine of Wilkes Barre.[17] Before Houdini died. Houdini took to attending séances in disguise. to write an entire book about debunking religious miracles. As his fame as a “ghostbuster” grew. a secret code which they agreed to use. Houdini was Doyle. Bess said that “ten years is long enough to wait for any man.” The tradition of holding a séance for Houdini continues. for which he paid $75. and even promised to leap from it handcuffed. she put out the candle that she had kept burning beside a photograph of Houdini since his death. In 1943. A Magician Among the Spirits. These activities cost Houdini the friendship of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Massachusetts. as his widow did not wish to pursue the project.[58] Houdini’s exposing of phony mediums has inspired other magicians to follow suit. after a last unsuccessful séance on the roof of the Knickerbocker Hotel. including The Amazing Randi. Houdini put the Voisin into storage in England.[60] This disagreement led to the two men becoming public antagonists and led Sir Arthur to view Houdini as a dangerous enemy. None was able to do so.[64] and at the Houdini Museum in Scranton by magician Dorothy Dietrich who previously held them at New York’s Magic Towne House with such magical notables as Houdini biographers Walter B.2 After Australia After completing his Australia tour. The code seems to have been such that it could be broken by Ford or his associates using existing clues. Rosabelle was their favorite song. Penn & Teller and Dick Brookz. Harry Houdini hired H.[57] Houdini’s training in magic allowed him to expose frauds who had successfully fooled many scientists and academics.[59] came to believe that Houdini was a powerful spiritualist medium. Eddy. The article does not survive.

J. Houdini practices several different introductory speeches for his famous Chinese water torture cell. vivid features: “He is smooth-shaven with a keen. “good natured at all times”. 1914.[66] Houdini made the only known recordings of his voice on Edison wax cylinders on October 29. proffered accounts of the incident that generally corroborated one another. They are part of the David Copperfield collection. and adding that he had had no opportunity to prepare himself against the blows. He was unable to sleep and remained in constant final days.” Some sensed how much his complexly expressive smile was the outlet of his charismatic stage presence. and. who delivered a surprise attack of multiple blows to Houdini’s abdomen. gesturing that he had had enough. aged 52. In his pain. Several reporters tried to capture the charming effect. Had his ankle not been broken. Gladys. but his last words before dying were reportedly. curly. Houdini then recites the same poem in German. In the 1997 biography Houdini!!!: The Career of Ehrich Weiss. New York.”[17] Eyewitnesses to an incident at Houdini’s dressing room in the Princess Theatre in Montreal gave rise to speculation that Houdini’s death was caused by a McGill University student. more subtly. “pleasantfaced”. secondary to a ruptured appendix at 1:26 p. to recite a poem.[67] 8 Death Houdini and his wife Bess he would recover. Price describes Whitehead asking Houdini “if he believed in the miracles of the Bible” and “whether it was true that punches in the stomach did not hurt him”. as he did not expect Whitehead to strike him so suddenly and forcefully.m. Price states that Houdini winced at each blow and stopped Whitehead suddenly in the midst of a punch. He then delivered “some very hammer-like blows below the belt”. sharp-cheekboned face. imperious self-assurance.10 8 DEATH Heavyweight boxer Jack Dempsey mock punching Houdini (held back by lightweight boxer Benny Leonard) 5 ft 5 in. Houdini was also said to be slightly bow-legged. Gordon Whitehead. on October 31. sharp-chinned. describing him as “happy-looking”. 1926 in Throughout the evening. The six wax cylinders were discovered in the collection of magician John Mulholland after his death in 1970. having broken his ankle while performing several days earlier. “I'm tired of fighting. in Flatbush. pleasure in performing. “the young Hungarian magician with the pleasant smile and easy confidence”.[68] The eyewitnesses. black hair. he optimistically held to a strong belief that pain for the next two days. Houdini performed in great Room 401 at Detroit’s Grace Hospital. Houdini was reclining on a couch at the time.[68][69] Harry Houdini died of peritonitis. students named Jacques Price and Sam Smilovitz (sometimes called Jack Price and Sam Smiley). which aided in his ability to gain slack during his rope escapes. but descriptions vary. . On them. he would have risen from the couch into a better position to brace himself. but did not seek medical help. bright blue eyes and thick. It communicated to audiences at once warm amiability. author Kenneth Silverman summarizes how reporters described Houdini’s appearance during his early career: They stressed his smallness—"somewhat undersized”—and angular. He also invites his sister.

until recently.” “The Houdini Museum has teamed with The Society of American Magicians.” said Dietrich who is spearheading restoration efforts.” While the actual plot will remain under the control of Machpelah Cemetery management. under the prompting of The Houdini Museum’s Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz. This gravesite is clearly our responsibility and I’m proud to report that the National Council unanimously voted to maintain Houdini’s final resting place. Kenrick “Ice” McDonald. Houdini took the stage. He ignored the advice and decided to go on with the show. he was hospitalized at Detroit’s Grace Hospital. “The nearly 80-year-old popular plot at the Machpelah Cemetery has fallen into disrepair over the years. He is not only a magical icon. the relationship between blunt trauma and appendicitis is not clear. but was revived and continued. his gravesite bears the seal of The Society of American Magicians. because graven images are forbidden in Jewish cemeteries. “sends us a bill for upkeep every year but we never pay it because he never provides any care. the Society’s official magazine.” Like Bowers. Florida. he had a fever of 104 °F (40 °C). Houdini served as President from 1917 until his death in 1926.but it’s taken a lifetime to get people interested. the current president of the Society of American Magicians said “You have to know the history. voted to assume the financial responsibilities for the care and maintenance of the Houdini Gravesite.[68] As Snopes points out. he was found to have a fever of 102 °F (39 °C) and acute appendicitis. [78] Magicians Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz have been caring for the escape artist’s Queens grave over the years. and brother. the first thing they say is Harry Houdini. David Jacobson. with more than 2.000-6. for what would be his last performance.” Houcame from the cemetery’s dwindling funds.[70][71] When Houdini arrived at the Garrick Theater in Detroit.[76] The Society of American Magicians. A statuary bust was added to the exedra in 1927. The Houdini grave site has been only cared for by Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz of the Houdini Museum in Scranton. Temporary busts were placed at the grave until 2011 when a group who came to be called The Houdini Commandos from the Houdini Museum in Scranton. Gladys. Despite the diagnosis. Leopold were also destroyed by vandals. “When you ask people about magicians. Bowers said it is a foregone conclusion that the Society will approve the funding request. McDonald said the motivation behind the repairs is to properly honor the grave of the “Babe Ruth of magicians.” adding that the operator of the cemetery. Pennsylvania. Houdini’s insurance company concluded that the death was due to the dressing-room incident and paid double indemnity. President Dal Sanders announced “Harry Houdini is an icon as revered as Elvis Presley or Marilyn Monroe. One theory suggests that Houdini was unaware that he was suffering from appendicitis.11 When he finally saw a doctor.[70] 9 Houdini grave site Houdini’s funeral was held on November 4. In MUM Magazine.000 mourners in attendance. He was reported to have passed out during the show. in New York City. 1926. and it’s great that it’s happening. The gran- . In 1975 the bust was destroyed by vandals.[73] The Society of American Magicians took responsibility for the upkeep of the site. one of the oldest fraternal magic organizations in the world.” The Society tidies the grave themselves. If he had not realized that his stomach pains were symptomatic of appendicitis.” Magician Dietrich said the repairs could cost “tens of thousands of dollars. in 2013. he would not have appreciated the potentially critical effect of the blows to his abdomen.000 duespaying membership worldwide. Afterwards. Queens.” after consulting with Machpelah Cemetery operator Jacobson said. on October 24. and advised to have immediate surgery. ily plot in my tenure since 1988. That seal is our brand and we should be proud to protect it. as Houdini had willed a large sum of money to the organization he had grown from one club to 5.” The organization has a specific Houdini gravesite committee made up of nine members headed up by President elect David Bowers who brought this project to the Society’s attention. because “Houdini is responsible for the Society of American Magicians being what it is today. but there’s nobody at the cemetery to provide it. will be in charge of the restoration.” claiming that the money “It’s long overdue.” he said.[68] It is not entirely clear what relationship the encounter in the dressing room had on Houdini’s eventual death.[72] He was interred in the Machpelah Cemetery in Glendale. they “never glass experts and grave artisans.[68] After taking statements from Price and Smilovitz. “This is a monument where people go and visit on a daily basis. to give the beloved site a facelift. The payment of upkeep was abandoned by the society’s dean George Schindler. with the help of the Houdini Museum in Pennsylvania. with the crest of the Society of American Magicians inscribed on his grave site. We owe a debt of gratitude to him. paid the cemetery for any restoration of the Houdini fam.” “This is hallowed ground. 1926. Pennsylvania placed a permanent bust with the permission of Houdini’s family and of the cemetery. at its National Council Meeting in Boca Raton. “It’s a wonderful project. Michigan. a rarity.” she said. who said “Houdini paid for perpetual care. is working closely with National President Kenrick “Ice” McDonald to see this project to completion. the Society of American Magicians.[75] For many years.” [77] The Houdini Gravesite Restoration Committee under the Chairmanship of National President David Bowers.[74] ite monuments of Houdini’s sister. Houdini’s burial site needs an infusion of cash to restore it to its former glory.

but tours are available by invitation to magicians.” Dietrich said. It is not open to the On March 22.[84] Radner allowed choice pieces of the collection to be displayed at The Houdini Magical Hall of Fame in Niagara Falls. he was great humani. who returned to performing after Houdini’s death. given to the Houdini Museum in Scranton.1 Proposed exhumation dini’s stage props and material. It includes Houdini films. it was or. It is open to the public year round by reservastated that the press conference was not arranged by the tion. Hardeen sold much of the collection to magician and Houdini enthusiast Sidney Hollis Radner during the 1940s.” and bequeathed many of his holdings and paper archives on magic and spiritualism to the Library of Congress.dini’s life and a stage magic show. in Needles. it was revealed the parties involved never filed legal papers to perform an exhumation. Wisconsin. as her Catholic family refused to allow her to be buried in a Jewish cemetery. New York. Radner loaned the bulk of his collection for archiving to the Outagamie Museum in Appleton. Ontario. including the water torture cell. Instead. Houdini the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7001 being murdered by spiritualists. son of his brother Theo). that the courts would be asked to allow exhumation of Houdini’s body. as suggested in the bi.[85] Many of the props contained in the museum such as the mirror handcuffs. These are now archived and preserved in CopperCemetery field’s warehouse at his headquarters in Las Vegas. the Post reported. journalists and serious collectors. Magicians Dorothy . to investigate the possibility of Houdini In a posthumous ceremony on October 31. and it was restored by illusion builder John Gaughan. illusionist and television performer David Copperfield purchased The grave marker at Harry Houdini’s burial site all of Mulholland’s Houdini holdings from Mulholland’s Weiss Family Grave Memorial Site at Machpelah estate. a guided tour about Houfamily of Houdini. California while on a train en route from Los Angeles to New York City. John Mulholland (1897–1970). The water torture cell’s metal frame remained. Houdini’s will stipulated that all the effects should be “burned and destroyed” upon Hardeen’s death. “He wasn’t chestrated by authors Kalush and Sloman. who hired the just a magician and escape artist. Bess. announced scholars. his rebuilt water torture cabinet and his metamorphosis trunk. and auctioned it in Las Vegas. Houdini’s grand-nephew (the grand.[83] 10 Legacy Houdini’s brother. and a straitjacket.[81] The Washington Post Houdini”. [80] In a statement ography The Secret Life of Houdini. but reclaimed it in 2003.[82] To this day the Society holds a broken wand ceremony at the grave every November. and preserves approximately 80. researchers. Houdini’s widow. Houdini’s original packing crate. including Hou9. George Hardeen.000 items of memorabilia of Houdini and other magicians. inherited his brother’s effects and props. but instead was interred 35 miles due north at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Westchester County.[87] More than half of Houdini’s archival estate holdings and memorabilia were willed to his fellow magician and friend. on October 30.” book. a fire destroyed the museum.public. 2004. 2007.[79] The gravesite of Harry Houdini In 2008. In 1995.PR firm Dan Klores Communications to promote their tarian.[86] Houdini was a “formidable collector.12 10 LEGACY dini was a living superhero. bills itBess Houdini opposed the application and suggested it self as “the only building in the world entirely dedicated to was a publicity ploy for the book. a milk can. Pennsylvania. the family of The Houdini Museum in Scranton. died of a heart attack on February 11. aged 67.was given a star on [88] Hollywood Blvd. Theodore Hardeen. It contains the world’s largest collection of Houdini memorabilia. 1975. 1943. In 1991. survived the fire and were auctioned in 1999 and 2008. She had expressed a wish to be buried next to her husband. which became the basis for the Houdini collection in cyberspace.

[4] “Hardeen Dead. Retrieved June 10. the creator of The Shadow):[89] • Ragtime (1981)—played by Jeffrey DeMunn • Young Harry Houdini (1987)—played by Wil Wheaton & Jeffrey DeMunn (TV movie) • A Night at the Magic Castle (1988)—played by Arte Johnson • FairyTale: A True Story (1997)—played by Harvey Keitel • The Right Way to Do Wrong: An Exposé of Successful Criminals (1906) • Houdini (1998)—played by Johnathon Schaech (TV movie) • Handcuff Secrets (1907) • Cremaster 2 (1999)—played by Norman Mailer • The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin (1908).13 Dietrich and Dick Brookz opened the facility in 1991. Retrieved March 24. • Houdini (1953)—played by Tony Curtis The Magic Castle. 12 Filmography • Houdini (2014)—played by Adrien Brody (TV miniseries)[90] 13 See also • Illusionist • List of magic museums • List of magicians • Swami Laura Horos • Walford Bodie A friend of Houdini. illusionist and a prominent magician in his own right. 69.P. Houdini’s Brother. a debunking study of Robert-Houdin’s alleged abilities. Lovecraft. March 24. 2014. died yesterday in the Doctors Hospital.”. 5. Harry. and fellow magician 14 Notes Films starring Houdini • Merveilleux Exploits du Célébre Houdini à Paris— Cinema Lux (1909)—playing himself [1] “Harry Houdini”. 2011. Theodore Hardeen. The New York Times. 2015. Jewish Virtual Library. 1945. June 13. p. E. Retrieved September 30. Escape Artist. (1976). P. a brother of the late Harry Houdini. • The Great Houdini aka The Great Houdinis (1976)— played by Paul Michael Glaser (TV movie) 11 Publications Houdini published numerous books during his career (some of which were written by his good friend Walter Brown Gibson. Bernard C. • The Master Mystery—Octagon Films (1918)— playing Quentin Locke [2] Harry Houdini. ISBN 0-8415-04482. Wild About .. as well as the clubhouse for the Academy of Magical Arts.. a short story ghost written by H. Encyclopædia Britannica. • The Grim Lasky/Paramount Harvey Handford Game—Famous PlayersPictures (1919)—playing • Terror Island—Famous Players Lasky/Paramount (1920)—playing Harry Harper • The Man from Beyond—Houdini Picture Corporation (1922)—playing Howard Hillary • Haldane of the Secret Service—Houdini Picture Corporation/FBO (1922)—playing Heath Haldane Biographical films Retrieved [3] “137 years ago in Budapest. [6] “The mystery of Carrie Gladys Weiss”. Dutton & Co. a Founder of Magician’s Guild.. Gave Last Show May 29”. 2011. Chapter 1. Wild About Harry. Houdini: A Mind in Chains. His age was 69. features Houdini séances performed by magician Misty Lee. a nightclub for magicians and magic enthusiasts. [5] Meyer. • Death Defying Acts (2007)—played by Guy Pearce • “Conjuring” article for the Encyclopaedia Britannica's 13th edition • Magical Rope Ties and Escapes (1920) • Miracle Mongers and Their Methods (1920) • Houdini’s Paper Magic (1921) • A Magician Among the Spirits (1924) • "Imprisoned with the Pharaohs" (1924). Illusionist.

[13] Silverman. (subscription required (help)). William. 2011. [44] Silverman. 1977). Retrieved March 24. [16] “Houdini’s escapes and magic – Houdini’s unique challenges in Scranton. p. [11] “Notable Registrants of the World War I Draft: Harry Houdini”. [39] Silverman. Kenneth (September 1996). Chicago. World’s Handcuff King & Prison Breaker. [49] “The Art and Magic of Harry Houdini”. [26] Randi. 175–178. [50] Entertainment Houdini’s flight into history. [38] Disappearing Tricks by Matthew Solomon. Simon & Schuster. November 2. Retrieved November 29. Europe’s Eclipsing Sensation. 36–41. during the vaudeville era”. 2012. [46] “AERIAL FLIGHT IN AUSTRALIA”. [40] The Mysteries of Myra by Eric Stedman. Retrieved January 23. Larry (October 2006). Retrieved December 2010. p.14 [7] US National Archives Microfilm serial: M237. [15] Cannell. p. Times 2012.". Retrieved April 1. pp. 2011. 1960. . Microfilm roll: 413. 2010. [43] “Houdini Museum in Scranton PA Reveals the Secrets of Uncovering Houdini’s 1919 Lost Silent Film The Grim Game”. pp. [21] Hanzlik. 2015. [42] “Turner Classic Movies to Host World Premiere Screening of Long Lost Harry Houdini Classic The Grim Game at 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival”. 1910. “Houdini’s Australian dream: one for the record books”. International news [1923 or 1924?] [31] Henning. Retrieved November 30. 59–62. 54. Mysteries At The Museum. Harry (1908). 2012. TCM. [8] 1880 US Census with Samuel M. and Leopold. 2015. The Evening Post. Retrieved February 28. Aarg. Retrieved April 8. 2011. p. Retrieved January 6. Milbourne (October 1976). Wild About Harry. [41] “Adroit Harry and ancient hokum”. at Internet Archive. 2015. 2010. 2015. pp. Re- [36] Silverman. Houdini His Legend and His Magic. Armin M. Weekly Times Now (2010-03-18). [34] Silverman. ISBN 978-0486229133. 14 NOTES [28] Christopher. “MYTH #56 – No Disappearing Act for Harry Houdini at Piper’s Opera House”. January 23. 2006. 2010. Weiss. The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero. Ehrich. p. 544. 8. Retrieved December 30. Doug (December 1. Retrieved November 9. Retrieved September 29. [20] The Secret Life of Houdini. 2011. New York: Dover Publications. [35] “Uncovering Houdini’s second underwater test”. 205. p. The Secrets of Houdini. November 23. 109. January 2014. 2008). [9] Houdini. “Houdini’s Mirror Handcuff Challenge. Retrieved November 9. Ill. pp. ISBN 9780690011524. List number: 684. 95. [14] Silverman. [12] Rocha. 2014.. trieved January 26. Marshall area Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved April 20. 2015. [47] Prisk. Ty Crowell Co. 2011. 2008. 81. Nevada State Library and The Unmasking of RobertHoudin. [10] “Famous Masons”. Retrieved November 9. [18] Silverman. 2015. 2015. 2008. 226–249. Retrieved November 9. [30] "Thousands see Harry Houdini escape from a straitjacket while hanging in mid-air. [32] [28] [33] “Digging into Houdini’s Buried Alive”. Press Association. Mick (2007). Line: 38. Milk Can poster on page 177. 2015. PA. J. [23] “Keys To Houdini’s Secrets”. Sloman. Houdini! The Career of Ehrich Weiss: American Self-Liberator. (subscription required (help)). 2014. [25] “Travel Channel Dorothy Dietrich Promo Houdini Mirror Cuffs”. 397–403. Getting Closer to the Truth”. MWGLNY. Houdini: A Pictorial Life. LXXIX (66) (Wellington). Guy. Max (May 10. Cecelia (wife). 2015. [19] “Houdini: A Biography”. ISBN 978-0-7432-7207-0. Sydney Morning Herald. [24] “Mirror Cuffs”. Retrieved August 17. Theodore. Kaulush & Sloman. 406. C. [17] Kalush. Nathan J. Retrieved September 7. ISBN 978-0060169787. Retrieved November 9. [45] “Houdini The Movie Star DVD collection released”.. 1904 [22] Silverman. Mysteries at the Museum. 2010. Retrieved January 31. New York: The Publisher’s Printing Company. p. National Archives and Records Administration. p. [48] “Australian National Aviation Museum – Early Australian Aviation”. p. reproduction in full of Daily Mirror article “Houdini’s Great Victory” March 18. 2010. CBS News. Retrieved November 9. Retrieved November 9. [27] Randi. Genii Magazine. March 19. [37] “Houdini Defeats Hackenschmidt and other revelations from Disappearing Tricks”. 2010. pp. HarperCollins. [29] “American Museum of Magic”. (1973).

com. Retrieved November 9. “Houdinis’ Plot Is Cleared Up. Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers. 2015. Wisconsin. Allen. Retrieved October 9. [65] Joshi. Hardeen considered Radner. 2011. 2005). But after a rancorous falling out between Mr. [60] see Conan Doyle’s The Edge of The Unknown. 2011). The New York Times. [54] Australia Post – Harry Houdini can't escape being part of Australia’s history. [67] “Houdini speaks in 1970”. Retrieved April 9. ISBN 978-1409235149. [63] Houdini Facts . 2013). Retrieved May 14. Christopher (October 9.. [79] “Bess Houdini dies in 1943”. [77] Barca. S. Retrieved December 15. [82] Segal. Retrieved November 9. “Conjuring”. the first flight in the Southern Hemisphere was probably made by Richard Pearse in New Zealand several years earlier. Mr. The Guardian. 246. Library of Congress. 2014. New York Daily News. 137–154. 2011. [84] “In Sadness. Most of the items were given to Mr. Tennessee Star Journal. [72] Goldenberg.15 [51] While this was possibly the first flight in Australia. Retrieved March 26. David W. either in 1903 or 1904. The New York Times. Powerhousemuseum. 2007). [59] Williams. 2015. (September 2. The Washington Post. The Post-Crescent (Appleton. [66] Silverman. Retrieved November 9. [85] “The Mystery of the Two Torture Cells”. Theodore Vehicule Press. Retrieved March 23. (1974). “Houdini’s grave to get a facelift”. 2015. 2007. 2005). one of Houdini’s signature props from 1912 until his death in 1926.. 2007. Tod (May 2003). 2011). “Punched Out”. [74] Kilgannon. a Tidy Grave”. Eli (Oct 27. 2015.T. (subscription required (help)). Retrieved October 24. Retrieved April 1. (October 24. Retrieved June 10. 2007. p. 1996). (subscription required (help)). aka Rendar the Magician. Lovecraft: Science 3. [52] The Powerhouse Museum is the major branch of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in Sydney. 2004. Retrieved November 9. Retrieved November 9. [68] Mikkelson. “Houdini’s gravesite to get a magic fix in Queens”. New American 469. ed. (May 31. “Houdini Returns”. [53] “Richard Pearse”. March 23. Ricky (March 3. 2012. 2008. Retrieved Oct 27. ISBN Dal (December 15. CBC News. Encyclopædia Britannica. Edge of the Unknown. owns one of the world’s biggest and most valuable collections of Harry Houdini artifacts. ISBN 978-0974878980. including the Chinese Water Torture Cell. 2007). [71] Benoit. Radner in the 1940s by Houdini’s brother. Retrieved June 10. Houdini.Episode 4 « Inside the collection – Powerhouse Museum. [81] “Family Statement re: exhumation”. 31. . [61] Spragget. 2014). New Zealand History. [55] Silverman. Barbara and David P. published in 1931. 2007. [78] Rosenberg. William V. [62] Berthiaume. 2014). American Experience. 2010. Corey (October 31. Prime Houdini Artifact Collector Puts Items on Auction Block”.. Where Are They Buried? How Did They Die?. The New York Times. 2015. 2014. 2014). 2005. New York: Hippocampus Press. October 28. Suzanne (March 24. [64] Houdini’s Halloween from WGN-TV and Red Eye. collection was packed-up and shipped here. “Houdini’s Final Trick. 2013. . Auspost. the 1. Ed (October 31. [73] Dunlap. then a student at Yale with a reputation for jumping from diving boards in handcuffs. “Boldt CEO spends Halloween in search of Houdini”. 2014). [76] Sanders. David (March 24. Radner and museum officials. “Why Not Just Hold a Seance?". Wisconsin). Collected Essays of H. Until early this year. First Powered Flight in Australia. 2015. Retrieved November 13. 2007. “From the President’s Desk Dal Sanders” (PDF). [83] “Time to bury the Houdini exhumation”. houdini. 11–12. Michael (October 29. [58] ""Margery” the Medium Exposed”. P. Charlie (November 24. [69] Conan Doyle. 2012. pp. Queens Chronicle. 2014. pp. Retrieved January 27. [80] “Grandnephew seeks to 'set record straight' about Houdini’s death”. and Then Thickens”. 2015. 2011. as his protégé. the collection was on display at the Outagamie Museum in Appleton. 2008). Rauscher. Retrieved February 28. ISBN 978-1550651874. “Final Escape for the Master of Illusion? Houdini’s Family Press for Exhumation”. The Man Who Killed Houdini. Arthur (1930). 2011. p. 2014). where Houdini’s father was the town rabbi in the 1870s. [57] Jay. [86] “Houdini’s Magic Shop | Easy Tricks | Illusions | Gags | Novelties”. Retrieved October 31. The New York Times. Arthur Ford: The Man Who Talked with the Dead. [56] “Notes to Houdini and the ghost of Abraham Lincoln". Don (September 28. where it will be auctioned on Saturday in the windowless back room at the Liberace Museum and on eBay. [75] LeDuff. Retrieved February 28. MUM Magazine. Snopes. Radner. [70] Bell. p. Retrieved November Retrieved March 24. October 29. Wild About Harry. “Annual Houdini Séance to be held on Halloween”.

1976). Houdini: Master of Escape (New York: Macrae Smith & Co. Bernard C. Inc. Houdini!!!: The Career of Ehrich Weiss 1997 ISBN 0-06-092862-X. The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero. • Mediums. “Great Escapes”. Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Berkeley Books. Hilgert. 2013. • Houdini: Escape into Legend. walkoffame. The Life and Many Deaths of Harry Houdini. 1959). Inc. • Kendall.D. Gibson.16 16 FURTHER READING [87] Higbee. M. 2006). Sloman. Hutchinson & Co. Larry (October 2006). (Harcourt. Chapter 7. 1878 (when Ehrich was 4). Brace Co. pp. pp. Gibson and Morris N. • Houdini Comes To America by Ronald J. Ltd. New York: Simon & Schuster. 1960. London: Secker & Warburg. London... ISBN 978-0-7432-7207-0. 1978). Houdini: A Mind in Chains (New York: E. • Stanyon. in Budapest. Excellent reference for Houdini’s escapes and some methods (includes the Water Torture Cell). Reveals some of Houdini’s escape methods. 1931. Rinn was a long time close friend of Houdini. Concludes Houdini was born March 24. ISBN 978-0-446-87328-4. NY 1992. • Houdini and Conan Doyle: The Story of a Strange Friendship by Bernard M. NY. 15 References • Brandon. P. Mystics and the Occult by Milbourne Christopher. • Gresham. . Magico Magazine (reprint of report by The Society of American Magicians). • Believe by William Shatner and Michael Charles Tobias. Harold. 152–165. James & Bert Randolph Sugar. Ellis (1901).. 1972. ISBN 0-06092862-X.. • Henning. Library of Congress. • Silverman. Cannell.. • Houdini’s Fabulous Magic by Walter B. NY. Escape! The Story of The Great Houdini. • Houdini’s Escapes and Magic by Walter B. Contains detailed information about the last Houdini message (there are 3) and its disclosure. Prepared from Houdini’s private notebooks Blue Ribbon Books. Magic: Harry Houdini Collection. Kenneth. Hosts Houdini Collection. Ceremony: October 31. 1975. 1960). Thomas T. 2015. [89] “James Randi’s Swift”. Documents the Weiss family’s immigration to the United States on July 3. Haldeman-Julius Monthly Vol.5 (October.. The Houdini Affair contains detailed information about the Houdini messages and their disclosure.. Young Chilton. Dutton & Co. Examination of Houdini’s childhood and early career. Retrieved March 24. 1930. Joan. Retrieved August 19.. American Memory Web Site. 1993.. Doug with Charles Reynolds. Houdini: His Life and Art (New York: Grosset & Dunlap. ISBN 978-0-448-12546-6. 1977). L. • Sixty Years of Psychical Research by Joseph F. Sid (August 1. • The Houdini Birth Research Committee’s Report. 2011. 1932. Rauscher. The Early Years: 1862–1900 by Manny Weltman. ISBN 978-0-06-085094-4. 1874. contains detailed information about the Houdini messages and their disclosure.C. Wild About Harry.. randi. London: Ellis Stanyon. Greenwillow Books. • Meyer. • Arthur Ford: The Man Who Talked with the Dead by Allen Spraggett with William V. Retrieved May 13. The Great Houdini: Magician Extraordinary (New York: Julian Messner. • Randi. • The Secrets of Houdini by J. 16 Further reading • "An Interview with Harry Houdini" by Marcet Haldeman-Julius. William Lindsay Houdini: The Man Who Walked Through Walls (New York: Henry Holt & Co. 1925). Reveals some of Houdini’s magic and escape methods (also released in two separate volumes: Houdini’s Magic and Houdini’s Escapes). • Fleischman. pp. [90] “IT'S ON! History greenlights Houdini miniseries”. Beryl & Samuel Epstein. Rinn. Ruth (1993). 1950). 1973. Finders/Seekers Enterprises. • Williams. 387-397. • Kalush. The Houdini Historical Center. [88] “Harry Houdini”. ISBN 978-0394224152. Inc. Albert & Charles Boni. June 1928). Truth Seeker Co. 122–145. William. 2. Crowell Co. Houdini: His Legend and His Magic (New York: Times Books. 1975. • Kellock. 2006. July 14. Address: 7001 Hollywood Blvd. ISBN 0-8415-0448-2. Arthur Ford-Messages from the Dead. Houdini: His Life-Story from the recollections and documents of Beatrice Houdini. 1996. Lance. Los Angeles.

Magic Words. • The Man Who Killed Houdini by Don Bell. Vehicle Press. Essays on Houdini’s life and work are accompanied by interviews with novelist E. November 25. 2000. Prometheus Books. and more. Lansing State Journal. • The Harry Houdini Collection From the Rare Book and Special Collections Division at the Library of Congress • The Houdini Code Mystery: A Spirit Secret Solved by William V. Liberty. Houdini. • “Tricks of Fake Mediums” by Harry Houdini. Rauscher. Library of Congress. Jewish Museum.17 • Houdini Unlocked by Patrick Culliton. Gordon Whitehead and the events surrounding Houdini’s death. 2010. Retrieved March 24. • Photographs and posters of Harry Houdini held by the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts • Final Séance. Doctorow. 2010. Kieran Press. 17 External links • Higbee. • Michigan Time Traveler. 2004. Kieran Press. • House of Deception article on Houdini’s handwriting & signature. Reveals the authentic working methods of many of Houdini effects.L. • Harry Houdini at the Internet Movie Database • Harry Houdini: His Life and His Art • Timeline of Houdini’s life • “No Escaping Houdini”—A documentary on PBS in 2010 • The Houdini Museum in Scranton Pennsylvania. “Great Escapes”. Harry Houdini and Michigan magic. • Houdini Art and Magic by Brooke Kamin Rapaport. and the New Magic of the Twentieth Century by Matthew Solomon. Limited to 278 copies. Teller. American Memory Web Site. 1925 • Houdini archives in the Harry Price papers • Houdini Escapes the Smithsonian • Works by Harry Houdini at Project Gutenberg • Works by or about Harry Houdini at Internet Archive • Works by Harry Houdini at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks) . 2010. including the Milk Can and Water Torture Cell. University of Illinois Press. The Strange Friendship Between Houdini and Conan Doyle by Massimo Polidoro. 1997. Investigates J. 2011. Contains new information about Houdini’s early movie career. Kenneth Silverman. Two volume box set: The Tao of Houdini and The Secret Confessions of Houdini. • Houdini The Key by Patrick Culliton. Joan. Hosts Houdini Collection. • Disappearing Tricks: Silent Film. 2001.

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