Harry Houdini,


 Illusionist Harry Houdini

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 Harry Houdini

Up to this day Harry Houdini must be one of the best known showmen, illusionist, escapologist, self publicist, and conmen, the world has ever known. Most people know him for his escapology, and illusions knowing them for what they were. But what most people do not know is, he used the Mediums of the day to further his status in the world. He would often go to seances undercover and not announcing who he was or what he was there for and then go to the papers just to build up his failing reputation pour out many lies about the seances to build up publicity for himself, BUT EXPOSING BAD MEDIUMS [which I agree with, BUT we all have to start somewhere] and many times ruining the lives of dedicated GENUINE MEDIUMS because he twisted the truths into words that would suit the Christian public and Christian press, remembering that ALL Spiritualists where treated with suspicion by 99% of the church goers and the general public at that time at the turn of the century, so the press loved all the dirt that was thrown whether it was black, grey or many times white [truth that was put down as lies].

There is an old saying within the press community; "Why let the truth get in the way of a good story", and sadly that holds true to this day.

Most of the population would rather believe the indoctrinations of their own BLIND FAITH RELIGIONS than the truth of what they were seeing and hearing with their own eyes and ears. It is only now in this day and age that people are waking up to the facts that there are things that can happen within controlled environments that most people cannot explain because of their upbringing and their bigoted teachers have told them such things are not possible and all seances are fakes.

Sorry to disappoint you all, but the Roman Catholic churches behind closed doors have been sitting in seances in the monasteries and convents for years, FACT, and the church in Rome now has come out and said it is not a sin to communicate with the dead, published in the "HOLY SEE" the Vatican newspaper. They and you have been doing it for years folks, what do you think happens when you pray, that is if you do.

Father Gino Concetti who is one of the most eminent theologians of the Vatican, wrote in December 1996 in their daily paper of the "HOLY SEE", called the Osservatore Romano,

Quote ; "According to the modern catechism the Church has decided not to forbid anymore to dialogue with the deceased; this is as a sequel of new discoveries within the domain of the paranormal" ; unquote.

So there it is now official, OK FOLKS, it is alright to use a Medium because the Pope says so.

So that means the burning and persecution of Mediums has officially been put aside.

We the ordinary people have known this for our lifetime and throughout history MATE, we don't need YOU to tell us!!!!

I wonder how long before the catholic church, or any other church for that matter, has their own Mediums on the platforms and rostrums proving that life continues after we so called die, just like the Spiritualist churches do now. It will come. I have been told by the Spirit World, they will try it as an experiment, just as they will more so with healing and laying of hands in Jesus name. How religious times change with the weather. Lets see! this was written by me on 26 9 07.




While his tricks are not mind-shattering by today's standards like they were during the early days of vaudeville, he was the master showman of his field. He knew how to promote himself and his efforts are still studied by innumerable magicians of today.

His life has been well-documented by various histories and biographies, but a lot of public misconceptions remain. How well do you know Houdini? Chances are that only true magicians or advanced historians will know all of the facts listed below.


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Houdini was born on March 12, 1874 in Budpest, Hungary, with the name of Ehrich Weisz. He was one of six children and the son of Rabbi Mayer Weisz and his second wife, Cecilia Steiner. In 1876, Mayer Weisz immigrated to the United States with the dream of a better life. He found work as a Rabbi and changed his last name to Weiss. In 1876, the remainder of the family joined him in the United States.

The family moved to Milwaukee when Ehrich was eight years old. During his early years, Ehrich sold newspapers and shined shoes to help support the family. On October 28, 1883, nine year old Ehrich made his first appearance on stage, performing a trapeze act. He billed himself, "Ehrich, the Prince of the Air." At 12, Ehrich hopped a freight car and ran away from home. A year later her returned to New York and continued to help support his family by working as a messenger, necktie cutter, and photography assistant. Nothing is known of his year away from his family.

About this time, Ehrich and his brother Theo began to pursue an interest in magic. As a stage name, Ehrich Weiss became Harry Houdini by adding an ìiî to the last name of his idol, French magician Robert Houdin. Harry is simply an Americanized version of his nickname, Ehrie. At 17, Ehrich, now known as Harry Houdini, left his family to pursue his magic career. By the age of twenty, Harry had been performing small acts throughout New York. He soon married and joined a circus where he began to develop and perfect his escape tricks.

Through the years, Houdini gained fame after repeatedly escaping from police handcuffs and jails. Harry was even given certificates from various wardens for escaping from their prisons. After making his name in America, Harry toured Europe, where he expanded his repertoire by escaping from straitjackets and coffins. Eventually, Harry was able to accomplish his dream of having a full show dedicated to his magic.

In his later years, Harry took his talent to the film arena, where he both acted and started his own film laboratory called The Film Development Corporation. Years later, Harry would receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In addition, Harry showed interest in the field of aviation and was the first person to ever fly over Australian soil.

Houdini's Many Acts and Illusions

Harry Houdini began his professional career at age 17 doing magic shows before civic groups, in music halls, at sideshows, and at New York’s Coney Island amusement park, where he sometimes performed 20 shows each day. For a time he worked with his brother Theo as The Houdini Brothers. This changed when Harry met Beatrice Raymond, a teenaged singer and dancer who was also attempting a career in show business. Harry and Bess married in 1894 and Bess joined the act as Harry’s new partner. (Theo started a solo career as a magician under the name Hardeen.) Harry and Bess remained devoted companions for the rest of his life. He depended on her to care for him and handle the necessities of life. Harry gave her the credit for his success, and developed the habit of writing her a love note every day.

In 1895, the Houdinis joined the Welsh Brothers Circus for six months. Harry did magic, Bess sang and danced, and together they performed a trick called “Metamorphosis,” in which they switched places in a locked trunk. Not satisfied with the small scale of the act, Harry continued to work on new tricks and to develop his speaking voice and showmanship. He also became an expert at handcuffs. Arriving in a new town, Houdini would claim the ability to escape from any handcuffs provided by the local police. His easy escapes provided excellent publicity for his shows. Houdini offered $100 to anyone who provided handcuffs from which he could not escape, but he never had to pay. Through his increasingly complex escapes and his shrewd use of publicity, Houdini became a headliner on the vaudeville circuit, playing in cities across the country. Not satisfied with that low level of fame, however, Houdini decided to gamble by taking his act to Europe.

In 1900, Harry and Bess sailed to England with no bookings and only enough money to survive a week. Houdini was able to get an engagement at a London theater, but his breakthrough came when he successfully broke free after being wrapped around a pillar and handcuffed at Scotland Yard. The publicity from the journalists he had invited to see him escape caused the theater to extend Houdini’s booking. His fame quickly spread and he eventually played there for six months. During this period he found out the value of having friend in the media. He quickly saw another opportunity in the way the press were hounding the Spiritualists of the day, so he befriended as many journalists as he could who came to his shows and started to go to local seances and went back to his friends in the press; who were always looking for easy stories; and said he had found out how they brought out all their phenomena whether it was true or a pack of lies the press men were ready to fill their papers with anything.  following all this soldout engagements quickly followed in Germany and then throughout Europe. Wherever he went, Houdini called upon local police to restrain him, but he continually confounded the authorities and escaped. To increase publicity, he also jumped into rivers while handcuffed and chained. Allowing the suspense to build, Houdini remained underwater long after many observers were certain he couldn’t survive, only to spring up, waving the chains over his head. Whenever his publicity waned he went after the Spiritualists in their seances and spun yarns to his eager press friends who were only too willing to publish most of his lies.

By the time Houdini returned to the United States in 1905, he was an international celebrity. Among the stunts performed to publicize his American appearances, Houdini escaped from the prison cell that held the assassin of President James Garfield, squirmed from a straitjacket while hanging upside down, and broke free from a packing crate that had been nailed shut and immersed underwater. This showmanship also extended to his act. As a regular feature of his performances, Houdini was shackled and lowered into an oversize milk can filled with water and then hidden by a curtain. Though he was usually able to escape in three minutes, Houdini frequently stayed behind the curtain for up to a half hour, making his re-appearance all the more dramatic. On one occasion in England, Houdini allowed the milk can to be filled with beer rather than water. As someone who never drank alcohol, Houdini was not used to the effects of the beer and had to be pulled to safety by his assistants. It was one of his rare failures.

Houdini was able to perform his difficult feats by remaining in excellent physical and mental condition. He pushed himself relentlessly. To develop his capacity for holding his breath, Houdini installed an oversize bathtub in his house so that he could practice regularly. Through extensive training, he was able use his left hand nearly as well as his right. While casually chatting with friends, he would perform card and coin tricks without looking at his hands, or allegedly tie and untie knots in pieces of rope with his feet. [so his widely publicised myth went]. Determined to stay on top of the entertainment field, Houdini refined techniques he had already mastered and continually developed new and more daring escapes. It was said at the time by many in the American press. "This man certainly knows how to hustle". Houdini would do and say anything at all to bring publicity to himself.


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