Monday, October 31, 2022

Houdini Seance goes down

No, it wasn't just you. Looks like everyone got booted off The Original Houdini Seance online. I'm hearing they need to create a new link. I'll post it here when I have it.

PDATE: Looks like the seance got hacked a second time. It's back, but I don't feel it's safe to share the link publicly. If you subscribe to my newsletter or are a member of my Patreon I've shared the link there. Sorry all!

Collins delivers the news

Here's a telegram from Houdini's chief assistant Jim Collins sent on the evening of October 31, 1926.

Collins pretty much says it all. But if this still isn't enough for you, I've uploaded 26 newspaper front pages reporting Houdini's death to my Patreon.

on the
October 31, 1926

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Houdini's flower table sets world record at auction

The flowering rosebush table and traveling case that Houdini used in his 3 Shows in One sold today for a whopping $324,000 (with premium) at Potter & Potter's "Salon de Magie: The Klosterman Collection Part III" auction. The bidding was fast and furious and at the hammer Gabe Fajuri announced it was, "The world record for any magic item sold at public auction."

HOUDINI, HARRY (EHRICH WEISZ). HOUDINI’S AUTOMATIC FLOWERING ROSEBUSH. New York: R.S. Schlosser, ca. 1924. The performer places a small earthenware pot atop an elaborate metal table terminating in four large claw feet. A short red flower surrounded by green foliage is then placed in the flowerpot, and the plant is covered with a gauzy cloth. On command, the flower began to grow and transform, expanding into a full size rose bush, revealed when the cloth was whisked away from the tabletop. To conclude, the performer then removed the plant in its pot from the tabletop to present it to the audience. Elaborate cast metal base with concealed crank-wound worm gear and mechanical tabletop, the claw feet on concealed rolling casters. Height of table 37”. Height inclusive of flowers 70”. As elaborate and intricate a mechanism as we have encountered. With the original compartmentalized traveling trunk. See Salon de Magie, page 182. This was one of several flashy effects used to open the production Houdini created for his final American tour, billed as “three shows in one,” being made up of magic, spiritualism exposes, and sensational escapes. In the first act, Houdini presented two rose growths – two identical tables were constructed for the show – by Rudolph Schlosser, an enigmatic New York-based craftsman. Schlosser was both creative and talented, inventing unusual mechanical devices which centered primarily around tricks with feather flowers, including hats and musical instruments that transformed into giant colorful bouquets, as well as the infamous “backpack” that visibly transformed a magician’s assistant into an enormous flower-covered tree without any special covering or apparent apparatus. Magical horticulture has been a constant theme in the shows of stage magicians, and many methods from the all-metal P&L model, to Kellar’s growth of real roses, to the now-standard Botania have been devised by dozens of makers to apparently instantly grow flowers – both real and imitation – on stage before a live audience. Germain’s model of the effect was considered especially artistic. The rose growth offered here is one of two Schlosser built for Houdini, and is as elaborate and finely made as it is inventive in its working.


As the description states, this is one of two tables that Houdini used in the show. The second table and its traveling case are owned by Dr. Randall Bell and currently on display at Houdini Unchained: The Legacy of Harry Houdini at MUZEO Museum and Cultural Center in Anaheim.

Congrats to the winner and to Potter & Potter for setting this new record!


Friday, October 28, 2022

Houdini's Halloween Weekend roundup

The Halloween weekend is about to begin and there will be lots of Houdini happenings to mark the 96th anniversary of the great magician's death. Here's a rundown.

Oct. 28-31

The Houdini Experience
It's the last four days for this very special magic and Houdini tribute show featuring Master Mentalist Jon Stetson at the Emerson Hall Theater in Salem, Massachusetts. Join the experience! Details and tickets.

Saturday (Oct. 29)

Salon de Magie: The Klosterman Collection Part III
Potter & Potter's third magic auction featuring treasures from the Ken Klosterman collection includes many high end Houdini lots. The auction starts at 10 AM CDT. You can watch and bid online via the auction website.

Sunday (Oct. 30)

John Cox Unchained
I will be at the Houdini Unchained: The Legacy of Harry Houdini exhibition at Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center in Anaheim giving impromptu tours and answering questions from 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM. Come stump the chump! Muzeo website.

Magic Collectors' Corner Halloween Special from 278
Yes, The Magic Collectors' Corner Online will be hosting their show from Houdini's New York home! These are always a blast and this one should be extra special. More details.
Time: 5 PM Pacific / 7 PM Central / 8 PM Eastern
Meeting ID: 846 7877 5161
Password: Dante

Monday (Oct. 31)

The Original Houdini Seance Live on Zoom
Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz will hold their Original Houdini Seance from the Houdini Museum in Scranton live on Zoom starting at 12:30 PM EST. The event is free and open for anyone to join. More details.
Meeting ID: 822 7797 3604
Passcode: 026330

The Official Houdini Séance (private)
The legendary Official Houdini Séance will be held this year at the historic Edgewood Manor in Providence, Rhode Island. This is a private event so we'll have to wait to hear if Houdini joined the group. More details.

Let me know if there's anything I missed. Hope to see you at some of these events!

Thursday, October 27, 2022

The mystery serum

It's the lynchpin of the Houdini murder conspiracy. The story goes that in final days of Houdini's life, when he was showing improvement, a shadowy outsider, sometimes identified as Dr. George Lefevre, came in and administered a mysterious serum. This caused Houdini's relapse and death. Clearly murder!

Hollywood is a chief offender here, with The Travel Channel's Mysteries at the Museum literally reenacting the scene with a mysterious black clad figure creeping into Houdini's room with a syringe. Watch out Harry! He looks French Canadian!

But here's an article that ran 96 years ago today that injects a little reality into the story of the mystery serum.

Baraboo Daily News, Oct. 27, 1926

This article shows that the serum was administered by Houdini's own doctors right after his operation. It was not administered by an outsider and not in the final days. Furthermore, this article states that Dr. George Lefevre was not even in Detroit when the serum was used. He came later in the week to report on the serum's effects. 

It is true that the serum was experimental and we don't know what was in it. But I expect it was a cocktail of ingredients believed to fight infection in this world before antibiotics. It also may have helped. Houdini did show some improvement by Thursday and his temperature dropped below 100 for the first time. But he relapsed the following day and a second operation was performed for paralysis of the bowels. That operation was not successful and, as we know, Houdini died on Halloween.

I know this isn't as sexy as murder. But I'm willing to let the facts get in the way of a good story.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Magic Collectors' Corner Halloween Special

The upcoming Halloween weekend just gets better and better! Today comes news that The Magic Collectors' Corner will return this Sunday, Oct. 30, in a Halloween Special with an exciting Houdini twist. I'll let David and Lance tell you themselves.

This Special Halloween Show Will Be Absolutely Full Of Tricks And Treats! 

It's the Halloween season! It's Magic Week! It's Houdini Time! And this show promises to be one of our most memorable ones EVER! 

We're in New York City... and we'll be broadcasting LIVE from one of the most unique magical places in the entire world! Have any ideas of where we'll be yet? Here's a hint... I could give you at least 278 reasons why you shouldn't miss this show. That's a pretty strong clue. Any guesses yet? 

On the eve of the 96th anniversary of the untimely death of Harry Houdini, we're going to join you LIVE from the actual home of one of the biggest names in magic! YES, IT'S ABSOLUTELY TRUE! For this show only, we've relocated our little Magic Collectors Corner studio from St. Joseph, Missouri to 278 West 113th Street in New York City! You read that correctly... we'll be doing our Halloween special show from the actual home of Harry & Bess Houdini!!! We owe a special thanks to the current owners and residents of Houdini's home, Vincent & Niro Toms, who will give us a tour of this historical property!

And to make a great thing even better, Houdini expert and historian John Cox will be joining us for the fun and sharing some unbelievable stories and facts! 

PLUS... we will talk to the incomparable Leo Behnke about one of the finest manufacturers and inventors of magic, Merv Taylor! Leo is an incredible wealth of information and stories... and we'll sit down with him in the unbelievable library at David Copperfield's International Museum and Library of the Conjuring Arts! 

But wait... there's more! If time allows, we'll head over to Egyptian Hall and the home of Mike Caveney in Pasadena and drool over some gorgeous posters very few people have ever seen! Seriously, you won't believe your eyes! 

It's this Sunday, October 30, 2022! Trust me... it's going to be jam-packed and phenomenal! 

As usual, the show will be held on the ZOOM platform. The start time is 5:00pm Pacific, 6:00pm Mountain, 7:00pm Central, and 8:00pm Eastern. 

Topic: Magic Collectors' Corner Live Event - October 2022 Halloween Special 
Meeting ID: 846 7877 5161 
Password: Dante 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Our ZOOM event is limited to the first 100 participants. Because we almost always typically fill to capacity, a LIVE simulcast can be viewed on our Facebook Group Page (Magic Collectors Corner). Join it now so you'll be assured you can watch the program:

Looking forward to seeing you all on Sunday, October 30, 2022!

UPDATE: Here's a shot of David and Lance doing the show from Houdini's library. They look a little spooked!


Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Come join me at MUZEO, October 30th

Next Sunday, October 30th, I will be at the Houdini Unchained: The Legacy of Harry Houdini exhibition at Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center giving impromptu tours and answering questions from 12:30pm to 3:30pm. If you're in the Anaheim area and have not yet seen the exhibition, come on by!

Muzeo is located at 241 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim, CA 92805. Be sure and check out their parking information as that's a bit tricky. Normal hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 11am to 5pm. Houdini Unchained: The Legacy of Harry Houdini will be on show until January 22, 2023.

Hope to see you on Sunday!


Monday, October 24, 2022

His last bow

It was 96 years ago tonight that Houdini took to the stage for the very last time at the Garrick Theater in Detroit. The below is from the Detroit Free Press on that very day. A sad and somewhat spooky clipping in retrospect.

Of course, Houdini did not go on to mystify Detroit audiences that week. Following his one performance on October 24 he was rushed to Grace Hospital with a ruptured appendix. He would fight the infection for a week before passing away on Halloween.

It was a bad week for Houdini, but this tends to be a pretty good week for Houdini fans, with lots of attention on the Handcuff King and magic in general. So let it begin!


Patreon updates subscription billing

I have some great news for those of you still considering joining my WILD ABOUT HARRY on Patreon (going strong with 33 exclusive posts and 232 images). Patreon now offers traditional subscription billing. In the past you were billed at sign-up and then on the 1st of each month. That meant if you joined on the last day of the month you'd be billed again the following day. NOT ANYMORE.

All new members will be billed at sign-up and then monthly on that same date, just like any other subscription. Also, Patreon is now allowing me to add the option of an annual membership in which you can save 10%.

So if the spirit moves you to join during this Halloween week, you can do so without fear of being double billed. Just CLICK HERE to review membership options.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Join the Original Houdini Seance live on Zoom

UPDATE: Zoom link now added below

Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz will hold their "Original Houdini Seance" from the Houdini Museum in Scranton live on Zoom on October 31 starting at 12:30 PM EST. The event is free and open for anyone to join. Below are details. 

Coming this October 31, HALLOWEEN, our classic and internationally famous ORIGINAL HOUDINI SEANCE! It will be on ZOOM and live at The Houdini Museum. The last two years each had over 200 attendees making them the largest Houdini Seances in history. And as demanded by Bess Houdini, THEY'RE FREE TO ALL! 
The event will begin at 12:30 PM EST. There will be several speakers who will give insights into Houdini and the meaning of the event. There will be several demonstrations and artifacts will be displayed. At 1:26 PM a moment of silence immediately followed by the Seance.  

After Party… Open the zoom audience to discuss Houdini and the Seance experience.

You are invited to get a virtual front row seat and close up look at this memorable historic Houdini event. Will Houdini give us a sign from the Beyond? Who Knows… 

Join The Original Houdini Seance on Zoom
Meeting ID: 822 7797 3604
Passcode: 026330

Please note the Zoom meeting link and details are forthcoming. I will add them to this post when available and also send them out via my newsletter and Patreon.

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Houdini haunts The Dana Gould Hour

One my favorite podcasts is The Dana Gould Hour (which is never an hour). The high point of the year is always the Halloween Special, and this year it's extra special for Houdini fans. Dana's "True Tales from Weirdsville" segment is devoted to Houdini and his crusade against fraudulent spiritualists. It starts at 01:08:00 and as with all of Dana's deep dives it's well-researched and funny.

If that's not enough, Dana also interviews our friend Rob Zabrecky, who does the Houdini Seances at the Magic Castle, and Pleasant Gehman who penned the book Escape From Houdini Mountain.

Friday, October 21, 2022

LINK: Houdini’s pocket jack knife re-discovered

Our friend Neil McNally has a sensational Houdini scoop on his terrific blog The Doug Henning Project. Neil has shared a photo of Houdini's recently re-discovered jack knife along with a letter of provenance from Doug Henning himself. Neil got this from Brian Lumley, Doug's early assistant.

Could this be the pocket knife Houdini famously used to cut off his coat during the Mirror Handcuff Challenge in 1904? How cool would that be?

You'll have to head over to The Doug Henning Project to see the knife and read Doug's letter, so go! Before Houdini cuts ya.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

The Official Houdini Séance to be held in Providence

The Official Houdini Séance will be held this year at the historic Edgewood Manor in Providence, Rhode Island, on October 31st. Organizers Bill Radner and Tom Boldt have arranged to have the entire house for attendees. The seance will again be a private event.

This year's seance will be conducted by certified psychic medium Jodi-Lynne from Rhode Island. Magician Joel Acevedo from Boston will provide entertainment. Houdini family member Debbie Hardeen will be among the Inner Circle guests. 

Houdini certainly has connections to Providence, so this sounds like a great choice of location and venue. Will it be the key to Houdini's return? We'll see!

Thanks to Tom Boldt and Bill Radner.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Bess letter reveals new detail about Houdini's death

One of the most remarkable artifacts on display in Houdini Unchained: The Legacy of Harry Houdini at Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center is a 2-page letter written by Bess Houdini during the final weeks of her life. This is when Bess, ill with tuberculosis and weighing only 72 pounds, was convalescing at the Cedar Lodge Sanatarium in Los Angeles. In the letter Bess describes her surroundings:

It is a glorious place – huge pools with gold fish – fountains – and beautiful patio with swings and sun shades – then the awful horrors – half dead men and women in wheelchairs – nurses – doctors and sick people – that's all I see all day.

Bess then goes on to deliver what I consider to be a bombshell:

I did manage to navigate to the bathroom by myself until this morning – then I fell – now I've got a nice big egg on my head – and a scolding from my nurse. Even that did not "squash" me until I saw a big huskie put an oxygen tent next to my bed – I screamed – I saw my beloved Houdini – then Ed Saint die whilst using this – and the memory was too much for me.

Some interpret this as Bess saying she saw a vision or even the ghosts of Houdini and Ed Saint, but that's not what I read. What I read is she is recalling the very real memory of the deaths of Houdini and Ed and that they both died in oxygen tents.

So Houdini died in an oxygen tent!!!

This is the only mention of this that I've ever heard and it certainly creates an entirely different vision of Houdini's final days and hours. Below is what an oxygen tent looked like in the 1920s.

You can read the full, heartbreaking, Bess letter at Houdini Unchained: The Legacy of Harry Houdini at Muzeo until January 22, 2023. Or you can read it as a member of my Patreon by clicking below.

Speaking of Houdini Unchained, on Sunday, October 30, I will be at Muzeo giving impromptu tours and answering questions from 12:30pm to 3:30pm. So if you're in the Anaheim area and haven't yet seen the exhibition, come on by!

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

'Houdini and Me' released in paperback

Today sees the release of the U.S. paperback edition of Houdini and Me by award-winning children's author Dan Gutman. The hardcover was relased last year. This is actually Gutman's second time using Houdini in one of his works. Houdini appears in his 2012 book Ray & Me which featured a similar time-travel premise.

Harry has always admired the famous escape artist Houdini. And when Houdini asks for help in coming back to life, it seems like an amazing chance...or could it be Houdini's greatest trick of all?

Monday, October 17, 2022

Duffy Hudson as Houdini, Oct. 22

Duffy Hudson will present his popular Houdini one-man show, A Night With Houdini, at the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Peoria, Arizona, on October 22 at 7:00 PM. 

His Life His Magic!  
In this fascinating one-man show The Great Houdini shares his secrets of success, his obsession with magic, the occult and the amazing stunts that drove him to an early grave. 
Will the show include elements of Houdini’s life? Of course it will. Will the show include escapes and magic? Of course it will. Will the show captivate the young, the old, and everyone in between? Of course it will.  
Will the show reveal all of Houdini’s secrets? Well, you will have to watch won’t you? 

The date of this show, October 22, marks the 96 anniversary of the infamous dressing room punch that would lead to Houdini's death on Halloween. So what a night to be with the man himself!

For more information and to buy tickets visit the event page HERE.

UPDATE: Duffy/Houdini will also be appearing at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre in Sedona, Arizona, on Oct. 23 and in the Wendell Town Park in Wendell, North Carolina, on Oct. 29.


Saturday, October 15, 2022

Houdini announces "Yar" as his next movie

How serious was Houdini about making Yar The Primeval Man? Until recently I would have told you it was just one of several possible movie ideas he had floating around, although it was the one with the most complete story. But while going through newspaper clippings at the Harry Ransom Center I found this gem from the June 11, 1922 New York Tribune in which Houdini says "Yar" will indeed be his next film.

Click to enlarge.

This was an exciting find as it is the first and so far only public mention of the film I've ever encountered. I think this elevates Yar The Primeval Man (or just Yar) as the most likely third Houdini Picture Corporation production, had Houdini continued making movies.

The timing of this story is also interesting. This was just nine days after Sir Arthur Conan Doyle famously "fooled" magicians at an S.A.M. banquet at McAlpin Hotel with stop motion animation of dinosaurs. The footage was from an upcoming film adaptation of his book, The Lost World. Houdini has already written the Yar story (it's copyrighted 1921), but did the Doyle footage reignite his interest in the prehistoric project? Or perhaps he felt he needed to establish his idea before the release of The Lost World, which would come in 1925.

You can read the entire (bonkers) story of Yar The Primeval Man via the links below.


Friday, October 14, 2022

The Houdini Experience in Salem

The Houdini Experience featuring Master Mentalist Jon Stetson opens today at Emerson Hall Theater in Salem, Massachusetts. The show is in partnership with the Salem Haunted Magic Show and runs through Halloween. Below are details.

Join us in Salem for an evening of intelligent, Interactive, Halloween Hijinks! Throughout this 75 minute engaging performance you will experience the spirit of Houdini and the secrets he tried so desperately to take to his grave. Jon Stetson will guide you into the mysteries surrounding the life & death of America’s first master showman. Will Houdini’s secrets be revealed?

A 1/6th scale working reproduction of Houdini's Walking Through a Brick Wall will play a part in the show. Here's a peek courtesy of producer Chris Bolter.

You can book tickets to The Houdini Experience via the official website. You can also follow the show on Facebook.

Thanks to Christopher Bolter.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Have a "Houdini Unchained Seance" at MUZEO

As part of their Houdini Unchained: The Legacy of Harry Houdini programming, MUZEO Museum and Cultural Center in Anaheim is offering private "Houdini Unchained Seances" inside the exhibition hall. Details below.

𝕳𝖔𝖚𝖉𝖎𝖓𝖎 𝖀𝖓𝖈𝖍𝖆𝖎𝖓𝖊𝖉 𝕾𝖊𝖆𝖓𝖈𝖊 🔮
Grab 9 of your closest mystic friends for a private party and seance. Enjoy the run of the exhibition, specialty refreshments and a chance to speak to the man himself, Harry Houdini. What will you ask him? Will he respond? Who will be with him?!? This program is for entertainment purposes only and Muzeo is not responsible for anyone (or thing) that follows you home!

The evening will include a private tour of Houdini Unchained, an open dessert and cocktail bar, a medium to guide through the seance, and special surprises. Availability is limited and reservations are available from October 9th - January 22nd, 7:00PM-9:30PM.

You can book your reservation by emailing

For more on Houdini Unchained: The Legacy of Harry Houdini visit the MUZEO website or check out my coverage below.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Houdini lives in Anaheim!

On Saturday I had the pleasure of attending the opening of Houdini Unchained: The Legacy of Harry Houdini at MUZEO Museum and Cultural Center in Anaheim, California. The exhibition showcases the never-before-displayed collection of Dr. Randall Bell. I was very excited to see this and I'm happy to report it surpassed my expectations. There are some true rarities on view and the entire exhibition is beautifully presented. Houdini never performed in Anaheim, but he's here now!

One of the first things you see on entering the first gallery--which tells the story of Houdini's origins and his magic--is Houdini's original Flower Cone Illusion. It's exciting to see any surviving piece of Houdini apparatus, and to see something this large from the final season of his 3 Shows in One is truly special. In this effect an assistant, possibly Bess, would be turned into a large bouquet of flowers. The bouquet is still inside the cone today.

The Flower Cone was used by Houdini and later Hardeen. The traveling crate also shows the name of (Milbourne) Christopher. The burnt orange color matches other illusions known to be from the 3 Shows in One, such as Slicing a Woman in Eight and Houdini's Blooming Rosebush, which is on display as well! This is one of two tables Houdini used in his show. The Flower Cone and Blooming Rosebush were both made by R.S. Schlosser of New York.

You may recall the last place we saw this flower table was in the workshop museum of master illusion builder John Gaughan. As it turns out, Dr. Bell has purchased many of John's Houdini artifacts which is big news in itself! The original traveling case for the table, bearing Houdini's name, is also on display.

The next gallery showcases escapes, and here we find a Metamorphosis trunk, a vintage-style straitjacket used in the movie The Linguini Incident, and the Water Torture Cell first made by John Gaughan for the movie The Escape Artist. This cell has appeared in many different film and television productions, including Young Harry Houdini. While much larger than Houdini's cell, it's a great representation of his most famous escape and now looks right at home in a museum.

Another big ticket item--possibly the star of the show--is an original Houdini Milk Can. This is the can that reportedly came from the basement of Houdini's New York home in 1980. It's unusual in that it has only four locks and a somewhat different overall shape from other Houdini cans. But it is gaffed in the traditional manner and coming from Houdini's home is pretty good provenance. And it looks great on display! A thrill to see.

The career of the Handcuff King is well represented with original Houdini handcuffs and manacles, including a Bean Giant handcuff with a custom lock and key and an Oregon Boot to boot! There are also authentic Houdini lock picks on display.

All aspects of Houdini's life and career are represented in an assortment of Houdini books, letters, programs, and other ephemera throughout the exhibit. This inscription in A Magician Among the Spirits is one of the best I've ever seen.

The story of Houdini's spiritualism debunking is nicely told in a seance room setting in which we hear the famous recording of Dr. Edward Saint at The Final Houdini Seance. This was popular and the room was always full, so I didn't get a good photo. But what I found most exciting here was an original Houdini prop that I'm unfamiliar with. I will let the museum's placard do the describing:

Houdini's Personal Seance Clock
This clock was used in Houdini's "debunking" seance performances of 1923 to 26 trickery in which he demonstrated how fraudulent mediums used trickery (in this case a wax hand taking the place of the medium's hand while the real hands were busy stopping in the clock!)

The seance room also has an incredible 2-page letter written by Bess in the final months of her life. In it she reveals a fresh new detail about Houdini's death. I will be devoting a standalone post to that treasure soon.

As you leave the main exhibit there is a personal message from Dr. Bell himself. I love that he came to Houdini via the Williams and Epstein book, The Great Houdini. The gateway biography.

The museum has also commissioned original Houdini artwork by artists such as Melissa Chan Stone and John Coulter. The artwork is displayed outside the main exhibition and available as merchandise in the gift shop. Here's Melissa Chan Stone with her Vanishing Elephant Lenticular.

Finally, there's a special photo-booth made just for the exhibition by John Gaughan which produces a mysterious effect as you can see below. This is going to be popular!

I've only just touched on the major displays here. There is much more to be discovered and enjoyed. Congratulations to Randall Bell and everyone at MUZEO for bringing Houdini to life in Anaheim!

Houdini Unchained: The Legacy of Harry Houdini will be on show until January 22, 2023. MUZEO is located at 241 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim, CA 92805. Hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 11am to 5pm. Be sure and check out their parking information as that's a bit tricky.

Want more? You can view 26 high res images from the exhibition as a member of my Patreon.


Monday, October 10, 2022

Larry Bounds as Houdini at Athens-Clarke County Library

Larry Bounds will present his popular Houdini one-man show at the Athens-Clarke County Library in Athens, Georgia, on October 14 at 2:00 PM. Details below:

This “historical interpretation” brings Houdini back to center stage for a new generation of audience to be surprised by his magic, amazed by his escapes, and educated and amused by how easily the public can be fooled when they choose to put their trust in conniving knaves. It also gives the audience an opportunity to hear Houdini's amazing life story in his own words and to be able to personally ask him the questions they wish about his life and art.

Larry Bounds has presented Houdini for Chautauqua audiences since 2007 in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee. He has also presented other Chautauqua programs since 2002 including Churchill, Disney, Cronkite, and Einstein for audiences across the country from Florida to Colorado.

Sunday, October 9, 2022

PATERON: Houdini's 12-page love letter to Bess

In my first blog post about my visit to the incredible Harry Ransom Center, I mentioned reading a 12-page stream of consciousness love letter from Houdini to Bess. To start October off with a bang, I've made the full letter available on my Pateron. Just click below and feel the love!

If you are not a patron--and this still doesn't convince you to join--that's fine. You can still see many treasures from the Harry Ransom Center via the links below, with more to come!


Saturday, October 8, 2022

Remembering 'The Great Houdinis' at 46

Today marks the 46th anniversary of The Great Houdinis, the 1970s television biopic for which I have a lot of affection. For its anniversary I thought I'd share this full page from The Bangor Daily News. There's a lot of '70s goodness here, and the article at the bottom of the page contains some nice quotes from creator Melville Shavelson and Sally Struthers that I've not read before. 

Anyway, click the image to enlarge and travel back to October 8, 1976 when times were groovy and Houdini had a hairy chest.

Click to enlarge.

I recently uploaded The Great Houdinis to my WILD ABOUT HARRY YouTube channel. If you've not seen the movie, maybe tonight is the time to watch!


Friday, October 7, 2022

LINK: When the world’s most famous psychic met its most famous magician

Here's an interesting "Throwback Thursday" at WNKY News 40. While I knew about Houdini attending the Jack Dempsey vs. Georges Carpentier fight on July 2, 1921 in Jersey City, I didn't know psychic Edgar Cayce was with him. In fact, I wasn't aware of any meeting between Houdini and the famed seer. I wonder if Cayce predicted who would win the flight?

This information comes from the book Edgar Cayce: An American Prophet by Sidney Kirkpatrick (pages 233-234). The author also says Houdini, Hereward Carrington and William McDougal attended readings at the McAlpin Hotel. This is all good stuff and I would love to know Mr. Kirkpatrick's source.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

The Houdini-Jeff Bezos connection

Houdini and Jeff Bezos? Yep. While doing research at the Harry Ransom Center, I discovered an investment Houdini made late in his life which, as it turns out, has a connection of Mr. Amazon himself. Here's the story.

On June 1, 1925, Houdini purchased 30 shares of the "212 Fifth Avenue Corporation" for $3000 (Certificate No. 72) from Spear & Co. This was a 20 story commercial building located at, you guessed it, 212 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. It was built in 1913 and faced Madison Square Park. Among Houdini's papers is this brochure pitching potential investors.

Click to enlarge.

Houdini doesn't appear to have fully understood what he had purchased, as evidenced by this letter sent from his accountant, George M. Sachs, explaining the nature of the investment. Sach's sent this on June 22, Houdini wedding anniversary. His reference to "the H.P.C." means the Houdini Picture Corporation, the failure of which is expressed in his final line. A great letter.

Click to enlarge.

It goes without saying that this was a good investment, although it's unclear if Houdini lived long enough to see any return nor what happened to his shares after his death. But the building still stands today.

That brings us to Mr. Bezos. On August 20, 2021, Curbed ran an article headlined: Why Does Jeff Bezos Love This Unremarkable Building in the West 20s So Much?  It reports:

Bezos, who may or may not be an astronaut, just purchased his fifth apartment at 212 Fifth Avenue, the New York Post reports, bringing his total spending in the former office tower to $119 million and a fairly palatial 24,551 square feet.

The article goes on to question why Bezos would buy into 212 when "there are more compelling buildings out there." But it's cheaper than properties in more upscale neighborhoods and may prove a shrewd investment for the billionaire.

Heck, Houdini could have told him that. Maybe he did?

Believe (in New York real estate).