A proper Day of the Dead alter, known as altares de muertos or ofrenda, includes items to show the souls the way to their home. As you can see, the Houdini ofrenda includes photos from Terror Island, a bowl of Farmer's Chop Suey, a rock from "Houdini Point", and a piece of wood from his home in New York.
Maybe Houdini skipped the seances this year because he was in Catalina? He always meant to return...
Houdini, wizard of the stage and screen, was reported to have declared that Santa Catalina Island was the most ideal spot that he had ever come across, and that when he had finished his work before the footlights that he intended to come back to the island and build a magnificent home.
- The Catalina Islander, 1936
The Catalina Island Museum now features a Houdini display as part of their permanent exhibition on Catalina history. Over the past few years they've also hosted several Houdini events and screenings. Seems to me the Catalina Island Museum has become the designated Houdini museum of the West Coast!
Thanks to Gail Fornasiere for these great photos.