Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Halloween postscript

Yesterday was the 90th anniversary of Houdini's death, and Harry made his presence known! Well, in a way. Reports from New York, Marshall, Danville and Milwaukee say Houdini stayed silent during the annual seances, but Houdini was alive in the media.

A few stand out pieces ran in Inc., the Omaha World-Herald, the Stamford Advocate, the Providence Journal and the BBC (I'll cover some of these in individual posts). The Magic Detective, Houdini Museum, Harry Houdini Circumstantial Evidence and Houdini & Hardeen also featured nice Houdini tributes.

This year I decided to mark the occasion by revealing the long lost Houdini-Hilliar code, which we now know was: "Semper Idem." But my blog wasn't the only place this message was received! Here's a little postscript to my Halloween post.

Early in the morning, I went to the Magic Castle in Hollywood to take part in a live Halloween broadcast on local CBS news with Stephanie Simmons. I was there as the "Houdini Historian" along with magician Rob Zabrecky and magician/medium Misty Lee.

While waiting to shoot my segment in the Houdini Seance Room, I perused the display cases and read a letter that I hadn't really given much attention to before. It was written by Houdini in 1918 to Edwaun Fay Rice, curator of the Boston Public Library, and in it Houdini mostly complains about the expense and difficulty of heating 278 in winter.

But check out how he signs off at the end!

We hear you, Harry.

Hope you all had an enjoyable Halloween/National Magic Day. I think the day once again proved that HOUDINI LIVES.



  1. Wow! Any chance of sharing the contents of that letter? I believe Sloman and Kalush mentioned the difficulties HH experienced in heating 278 around that date in Secret Life.

  2. Bulletin from Milwaukee: Harry did not show, but his father, Rabbi M. S. Weiss, Ph.D., LLD, did! In a big and totally unexpected way! Details to come!

  3. We had great world wide coverage.
    Wall Street Journal
    The Guardian, UK
    Several FOX TV networks etc.
    Check it all out
    Possibly John will report on it
    If not we will post it here later
    Many celebrities attended Marc Salem
    Margaret Steel, Fred Pittella, Bruce MacNab,
    Joe Curcillo, Wayne Hoffman, Tom Klem, etc.

    1. Congrats on all the press. If readers click the "New York" hyperlink in the first paragraph above, they will go to the Guardian's report.

    2. Very weird coincidence about the two Semper Idems, to be sure. I'm also excited to hear about Rabbi Weiss' special appearance!


  4. What made it so coincidental is that for some reason I've never read that letter in the case, even though I've had many, many opportunities. This was the day it drew me in. Really did feel like I was being spoken to. Very nice Halloween treat. :)

  5. Also our seance was on the Page 6 column of The New York Post yesterday
    D and D

  6. Congrats on the CBS interview!

    1. Thanks. It was fun. And it was fascinating watch how they do things live. Stephanie Simmons even did the traffic report from the Houdini Seance Room. That certainly must have been a first!