Sunday, April 21, 2019

Happy Easter from Bess Houdini

This needle point was made by Bess Houdini and today hangs in the home of her great-nephew, John C. Hinson. It depicts...well, you know who that is! (No, not him.)

Bess was raised in a strict Roman Catholic family. Her going into show business and marrying a Jewish magician estranged her from her mother who was convinced Houdini was the devil. But fame and wealth seemed to soothe Mrs. Rahner's religious objections, and she even came to live with the Houdinis in 278.

Bess maintained her religious beliefs and, like her mother, was highly superstitious (it's said she never wore yellow because it was bad luck and refused to enter a room if someone had whistled in it). Based on her letters, she appears to have re-embraced her Catholic faith later in life when this needle point was made. Although she was not so devout that she didn't find fun in naming her pet marmoset "Satan."

Happy Easter Sunday.



  1. Is that a needle point or a store bought pattern for a needle point? Not totally familiar with this stuff, but that is what it seems to me.
    Dick Brookz and Dorothy Dietrich

    The Houdini Museum, Scranton, PA
    The Only Building in the World Dedicated to Houdini

  2. Quoting ( This is a Mail Order Design Pattern purchased through newspapers and catalogs. This was original issued under the Alice Brooks brand in the 1940's, and here, by Readers Mail as No 5125. The newspaper description: "Crucifixion scene in filet crochet makes an elegant home accent or a perfect gift for your church". (Don't try to find genealogy for "Alice Brooks" :- )