Saturday, December 5, 2020

Houdini's Night With the Spirits?

Here's a discovery that initially had me very excited. We know Houdini did spiritualist exposure shows very early and very late in his career. But here's one from mid career, 1911!

Chester Times, December 8, 1911

Unfortunately, my Houdini chronology tells us this can't be the real Houdini. Houdini was performing at the Keith's Theater in Columbus, Ohio, all this week. On this very night, December 8, he accepted a challenge from the Lazarus Company to escaped from a packing crate. (The original challenge playbill is in the Fred Pittella collection.) 

It's 466 miles between these two cities and even today it's a 12 hour train ride. So it appears this is someone using Houdini's name, or someone using a Houdini-like name that the newspaper misconstrued. But it's still a strange coincidence that it foretells Houdini's future performances and spirit lectures. And it sounds like a good show!

And if this is Houdini performing in two places at the same time...well, we would have all the proof of the supernatural we need!

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