Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Houdini spooks Portland in 1924

Orhistory.org has a great article about Houdini's visit to Portland in 1924 with his spiritualism exposé lecture. Houdini's lecture tour is is not very well covered in most biographies, so it's nice to get a taste of it here. Interestingly, Houdini included 20 minutes of magic as part of the evening.

But Houdini's talk at the Public Auditorium happened to be on the same night as the Presidential election of 1924 (Calvin Coolidge vs. John W. Davis) and that presented a problem, as the article explains:

So how was the production? 
Well.. it wasn’t very well attended. Maybe it was due to Election Night (the promoters promised that the returns would be read at Houdini’s performance, but thousands of Portlanders and their families took to the streets to read or hear the results instead). A few hundred folks came to the Public Auditorium to see the magician’s show, which the reporter still considered “a goodly crowd.” But maybe Portland people have always been into the woo-woo shit, and didn’t want to pay good money to hear Houdini diss their beliefs. None the less, it would seem that those that did manage to attend had a good time. “The audience was frankly delighted and was friendly to Houdini, bursting into frequent and prolonged applause.”

CLICK HERE to read the full article at Orhistory.org. The site says they will be covering more Houdini history during their upcoming Halloween "Kick Ass Oregon History" podcast.


1 comment:

  1. We have a similar article from Williamsport, PA doing his lecture at a church around the same time of Houdini. Houdini also included magic as part of the evening, some which is covered in the article. If memory serves he also did the needle in the cheek or arm.

    Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz
    Houdini Museum
    The Only Building in the World Dedicated to Houdini