Thursday, March 12, 2020

Houdini on King Tut's Curse


It's a shame we don't have many of Houdini's thoughts on the historical events of his lifetime. For example, we don't know what he thought of the Titanic disaster or the Black Sox scandal to name a few. But we do have his thoughts on the discovery of King Tut and the supposed curse. This was all the talk in 1923 after the death of the excavation's financier Lord Carnarvon. So what did the Master Mystifier think?

Check out this article from the April 7, 1923 Los Angeles Examiner and find out.


The "curse" did go on to claim a few more victims, and while Houdini did not live to see the full events play out, he would be happy to know that Howard Carter, the man who opened Tut's tomb and should have been #1 on the hit list, lived a relatively long life, succumbing to cancer at the age of 64.

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14 comments:

  1. Another great post! I've never seen that photo of HH! It's a nice portrait style shot. I've also wondered what he thought of the Titanic disaster and so on.

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  2. 7017 Watseka Ave. is now the middle of an intersection. The curse lives!

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  3. I suspect this photo of HH may very well have been part of the photo session at 278 where he wore that dark pinstriped suit. He posed with that long collapsible spirit trumpet in one of the top floor rooms of 278. The dyed hair and fresh haircut also match.

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    1. I took this from a photo of HH sitting across a seance table from Bess. It appears to be backstage or a warehouse of some kind. It's not a common image. The angle worked to put together with Tut.

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    2. Thanks for the clarification on that photo! HH really liked that dark pinstriped suit.

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    3. I'm working on a post about about another Houdini suit that I think you'll find interesting.

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    4. After paging thru the photos in Silverman I realized the suit he wore in 278 to display the spirit trumpet was not the pinstriped suit.

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    5. I believe that one is the "shiny" suit that didn't seem to fit him very well.

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    6. Yes--the shiny suit. An off the rack purchase that wasn't a perfect fit. Finding a perfect fitting suit when you're a short man is tough. At 5'5 like HH I know.

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    7. Oh, I'm sure Houdini had his suits tailor made -- he certainly would have had many friends in that world being Jewish and a member the tie cutters Union (which he kept up his dues into the 20s). I could see any number of tailors providing him with free suits. But, being Houdini, I expect he would have given the business to a friend or an old tailor down on his luck (or maybe even a brother) instead of the most talented, hence the infamous shiny suit. But it should be noted the new suit he wore to is his Congressional testimony was very well cut.

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    8. Had no idea there had been a tie cutters union and HH was a dues paying member into the 1920s. He certainly was a nostalgic man with an affection for the past. I also noticed how sharp he looked at the congressional hearings. His sense of fashion seemed to sloppy when casual and sharp when the occasion demanded.

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  4. Nice post, John, thank you. It made me think of Houdini's Buried Alive Sphinx poster, which, ironically, has a definite "spirit feel" to it.

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  5. An interesting development on King Tut's tomb:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NdeC2-vSDtQ

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