Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Houdini KOs Willard in the Record

Following up on my recent post about re-dating the Houdini-Jess Willard encounter (to Nov. 29), Roger Dreyer of the Houdini Museum of New York sends over the pic of the original front page of the Los Angeles Record from his collection. I could not locate this issue while doing my research at the LA library, so this is a real treat. Look at that banner headline!

The Houdini Museum of New York has received a lot of media attention lately, due largely to their youthful new Director Rajon Lynch (RJ the Magician) who hails from Houdini's own Wisconsin. Check out the impressive profile of RJ and the museum in The New York Times. The story also includes an account of some strangeness that occurred during their own Halloween Houdini Seance.

Thanks to Roger and RJ.



  1. Wow and it was the headliner above such a tragic event "Thirty Dead..."

  2. When newspapers/print media was THE media of the day, newspapers were sold on street corners, by news vendors, (against competing papers) that had to grab attention. The Heavyweight Champion of the World being hooted out of local theater, (with photo of Willard) could sell more papers than a tragedy,(even with the loss of life) that happened thousands of miles away. Like watching what your local TV stations news shows lead with during sweeps weeks.

    1. The Examiner this week was running a special series by Willard on physical fitness and making a big show of that. So this might have also been a way to tweak the competition.

  3. Great article.

    I guess neither Roger Dreyer or Rajon Lynch (RJ the Magician) are aware that for decades it has been understood among magicians internationally that they would not hoke up the legendary Houdini Seances with corny magic tricks, like opening handcuffs, etc.

    Bess and Harry are spinning in their graves.

    1. Opening handcuffs? I didn't read that part. I was talking about the butterfly and the diving bell falling on the floor. Roger himself told me about this and that was no hokum.

    2. Article quote;
      "Lynch turned off the lights in the museum and used a tambourine and crystal ball that belonged to Houdini to try to summon his spirit.

      He had already achieved a nifty trick in getting a room full of chatty teens to remain silent for two minutes as he called — seemingly in vain — for Houdini to give a sign.

      But when he turned the lights back on, Lynch pointed to a pair of handcuffs on a séance table that had been locked. Now they were unlocked."

      If they were willing to fake the one, why not the other two as well?

      Unless Houdini did all three!!!

    3. Oh! I missed that. Yeah...fishy! But it all sounds like it was done in fun.

  4. This means anything that comes from this source cannot be trusted or taken serious.

    Or at best looked into very skeptically. Fake news?

    1. So true!

      I don't believe all those 2000 people hissed. ;p


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