Monday, November 15, 2010

Did the Houdinis have a daughter?

This challenge announcement appeared in the Ohio State Journal on December 6, 1911. But what makes the particular article so intriguing is in it Bess Houdini states that she and Harry have a daughter?

Okay, obviously the Houdinis did not have children, even though they are said to have both wanted them (they made up for it with pets). While Ruth Brandon speculated in The Life and Many Deaths of Harry Houdini that Houdini may have been impotent (there’s also a theory that he made himself sterile by fooling around with his brother’s X-ray equipment), I was told by Marie Blood in 1995 that it was “aunt Bess” who couldn’t have children.

So what do we make of this quote?

Well, perhaps Bess was as much a myth-maker as her husband? While Houdini created tales that made him into an even greater superman, maybe Bessie on this day decided to make herself into what she always longed to be...(a) Mama.

Thanks to Adam Steinfeld of Adam Steinfeld Magic Live for the alert.


  1. Hmmm, but what if it were true? There would be a whole new avenue of research to follow! The lost Houdini.

  2. John who is the baby in the photo? Any ideas? Maybe Marie?

  3. No idea. Pic looks a little too early for it to be Marie. That looks like HH in 1908ish. It might be Toddles or one of the other Weiss children.

  4. There is a lost houdini child out there in the world.

  5. e se a criança que aparece na foto é filha deles, mas eles mantiveram tudo em segredo. pode ser que a criança morreu ou foi dada à adoçao. a bess pode ter engravidado uma vez e depois nao mais. é uma teoria.

  6. Could this be a bastard child of Houdini's?

  7. Re the pic. Harry Houdini Hardeen was born in January 1909. I bet that's him.



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