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What Was Unusual about Harry Houdini’s Death?

You could lock him in an iron chest and toss it into New York’s East River. You could hang him upside down in a tank of water, shackled. Or you could bury him in a hole six feet (1.8 m) deep. But you couldn’t outwit Harry Houdini, the most celebrated magician and escape artist of the 20th century. However, mortality finally caught up with Houdini in 1926, in an unexpected turn of events. During an informal talk with students in Montreal, he boasted about his rock-hard stomach, inviting a student to take his best shot. One of the punches ruptured Houdini's appendix and 12 days later, on 31 October 1926, he died. For the next decade, Houdini's wife, Bess, held yearly séances on Halloween, fulfilling an agreement that she and Harry had made before his death to try to contact each other from the afterlife.

An escape to the spirit world:

  • In 1936, after an unsuccessful séance on the roof of the Knickerbocker Hotel in Los Angeles, Bess extinguished a candle that had burned next to Houdini's photograph since his death.
  • Bess claimed to have been contacted during a séance in 1929, but later admitted the whole thing had been faked.
  • The tradition of holding an annual Halloween séance for Houdini has been continued by magicians around the world.
Discussion Comments
By anon997296 — On Dec 11, 2016

Interesting story but I would like to know if they had any contact from afterlife!

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