Friday, March 23, 2007

Harry Houdini Lives!

Like most kids, I went through a period where I was really into magic. I had a magic set [a real cool one that came in a pretty good-sized suitcase] and put on shows for family and friends [and even strangers]. I read books on magic and magicians. And like most kids into magic, I became fascinated by Harry Houdini.

Houdini was like a rock star in his time. He traveled the world and was known where ever he went. Houdini's shows were the talk of the town no matter what continent he was on. In fact if you ask anyone today [over 80 years after his death] to name five famous magicians, Houdini will probably make the list.

Houdini was not only famous for his magic. He also gained noteriety for debunking spiritualists. Houdini despised those who claimed that they were in contact with the dead and in turn would bilk grieving families who had lost loved ones. In fact, Houdini would often use his stage act to show just how these con artists would perform their "miracles". Needless to say, this created a lot of hostility towards Houdini from the Spiritualists and their followers. Death threats were issued and even Sherlock Holmes author Arthur Conan Doyle, said Houdini would "get his just desserts very exactly meted out ... I think there is a general payday coming soon."

Most folks know that Houdini died on Halloween, 1926, from peritonitis. Or did he? Rumors have long circulated [from just days after he died] that Houdini was murdered. Now, 81 years after his death, Houdini's great-nephew wants to exhume the magician's body and see if the cause of death can be determined. He's gathered a team of experts and hopes to definitvely lay to rest the cause of Houdini's death.

I think that regardless of what they find, Houdini [the showman that he was] would be amused to learn that in the 21st century he was still making headlines.


Jorge said...

Just another of his tricks, maybe.

Craig said...

LOL! If so, it would be his best ever!