Saturday, February 7, 2009

Escape artist has close call in Water Torture Cell

Escape artist Kristen Johnson had a very close call when she performed her version of Houdini’s Water Torture Cell during an NBA halftime show last month. After three minutes, Johnson lost consciousness and had to be pulled from the tank.

Kristen’s husband and performing partner Kevin Ridgeway told the Magic Newswire, “Kristen suffered an hypoxic seizure after freeing herself from one of the restrains. She wasn’t feeling well earlier in the day, but that seems to have been low blood sugar. We’ve staged that escape 599 times and had only one other incident which is a very good track record.” 

The entire incident was caught on video (which is pretty disturbing, so I’ll leave it to you to watch it or not).

Interestingly, one the very first imitators of Houdini’s most famous escape was a woman. Miss Undina performed a copy of Houdini’s act not long after he first introduced the escape in Germany in 1912. Houdini filed an injunction against Undina, who quickly vanished into obscurity, her only legacy being the poster (below) that Houdini used in court as evidence against her.


  1. I saw a request to trace more about the case, possibly a Law Report. I would be glad to hear more of Houdini v Undina, please.

  2. This looks like Norm Bigelow's Door of Death but underwater. Like the late Bigelow, she opens the manacles in front of the audience. Disturbing to see her pass out in inside that tube. It also reminds me of HH's Crystal Casket water escape from his notes.