Sunday, September 15, 2019

LINK: The complete account of Houdini's visit to Salem, Massachusetts

The website for Black Cat Tours in Salem, Massachusetts, has a very well researched post by co-owner Lara Fury about Houdini's appearance in that city in 1906. Lara has uncovered details about his escape from the Front Street jail (right), as well as an untold story about his visit to the "Peabody Academy of Science" (a precursor to the Peabody Essex Museum) and a controversy over a pair of mislabeled handcuffs.

This is great stuff, so click the headline and have a read at Black Cat Tours.



  1. The Prison Cell & Barrel Mystery. Yet the straitjacket escape received more admiration.

  2. The straitjacket was in full view so maybe this is why it thrilled them more. I've always imagined his stage SJ escape to be an intense struggle with as much drama as he could muster, but is it possible it was more of a comedy routine that brought a lot of laughs?

    1. No comedy. A comedian MC once started making jokes while Houdini was struggling in his straitjacket and HH rolled across the stage and kicked him in the shin so hard the man though his leg was broken. HH rushed up to him after and apologized, saying something to the effect of, "I just hate comedy."

      Much of the time Houdini's on-stage straitjacket escapes were presented as challenges from police of or a local institution, so that was always serious stuff.

      You can see his struggle beginning to end in the Paris film (uncut in The Truth About Houdini doc). His jacket escape in The Master Mystery has many of the same gyrations and moves you see in the Paris film (9 years earlier), so I expect these are both very close to how he did it on stage.

  3. We'll there you go. I'm glad to know it was not comical. That's a great story about him kicking that fellow in the leg!

    1. It is. I forget what book that's in. Probably Silverman.


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