Joe Notaro has uncovered evidence of an unpublished work of Houdini fiction called "Thoughts and Feelings of a Head Cut Off." The existence of the story is recalled by Muriel Eddy, the wife of C.M. Eddy, who collaborated with both Houdini and H.P. Lovecraft. The story involves the notion that the brain remains active for several moments after decapitation.
Decapitation appears to have fascinated Houdini. In a scrapbook he kept a photograph of beheaded Chinese pirates given to him in Australia (it can be seen in Houdini: A Mind in Chains). As a boy, his first encounter with magic was reportedly seeing Dr. Lynn dismember (and restore) a volunteer from the audience. Houdini later purchased Lynn's equipment and performed the effect, called Palingenesia, in his full evening show (above).
Click the headline to have a read at Joe Notaro's Harry Houdini Circumstantial Evidence.
- Houdini the writer
- Who Inspired Houdini? (The Magic Detective)
- C.M. Eddy, Jr. and The Cancer of Superstition manuscript