Monday, May 20, 2024

Did Houdini escape from Scrubs?

This photo sold over the weekend in Haversat & Ewing Galleries Auction #45 for $354. The auction description says it came from the Houdini family in the 1990s. On it, we see a notion in Houdini's hand reading: "Wormwood Scrubs Jail entrance London."

Still in operation today, Wormwood Scrubs is located in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Houdini did perform at the Hammersmith Palace the week of October 31, 1910. So could this mean he did a jailbreak from Scrubs that week?

I have no record of a jailbreak at this time, and 1910 is a little late for such an escape. Houdini was well into bridge jumps as his preferred outdoor stunt. Scrubs is also not listed among the jails that David De-Val escaped from. De-Val is said to have escaped from all the surviving jails that Houdini escaped from in the UK.

It's still possible Houdini did a jailbreak from Scrubs that was not widely reported. Or maybe the old jailbreaker just found this an impressive-looking building, as it still is today!

Congrats on the winner of this intriguing rarity. And thank you to our friends at Haversat & Ewing for being regular advertisers. Click the image below to see the prices realized on their latest auction.


  1. I wonder if this was one of those prisons he checked out in advance and decided it was impossible to escape. If he did escape from there I bet he would have put it on the photo: Escaped on...

  2. At first I was like “Wait. As in doctor scrubs? But then I’m like “Ohhhhh. It’s a building.” Lol