Many mysteries surround important figures in our history. Harry Houdini is no exception. The famous magician escaped death countless times during his performances and still, many wonder how he truly died. The Houdini museum houses many aspects of his life, but not all the mysteries that surround the great magician.
So how did Houdini die? You might find out the truth by reading the following article, which includes several other answers to questions you might have.
1. Where was Harry Houdini born?
Harry Houdini was born in Budapest, Hungary, under the name of Erik Weiz. Later on, he moved to Germany where he changed it to Ehrich and finally to Harry. His last name was taken from another famous magician, Robert Houdin, at the suggestion of Jack Hyman, Harry’s partner. In spite of this fact, Houdini claimed that he was born in the United States, more precisely in Appleton, Wiscounsin. Many have argued that he lied because of the high levels of xenophobia before and after the First World War.
2. How was his character?
Harry Houdini had a very romantic character. He married Wilhelmina Beatrice Rahner after only two weeks after he met her. Later on, she also became his stage partner. The two exchanged countless letters during their marriage which lasted for 35 years. What is even more impressive is the fact that Wilhelmina attempted to contact his soul after he passed away. The couple came up with a code word in order to be able to tell if they were fooled or not by spiritual advisers.
At work however, Houdini was a very strict man. The magician was said to be quick tempered and very secretive. His assistants would always have to sign contracts through which they were vowing to never disclose Houdini’s stage secrets. They were also instructed to subdue intruders in the backstage by using chloroform.
3.What are the less known facts about his performances?
Houdini’s first performance took place when he was only 9 years old and it consisted of picking up some pins with his eyelashes. This was soon followed by others, as well as his first escape trick, when he had to get out of a dead whale’s belly.
Houdini was always concerned about his safety and protection during performances. It is well known that he had very high demands of his assistants, but also of himself. He did train a great deal, managing to become ambidextrous in order to be able to escape from straightjackets and chains. Furthermore, the magician was incredibly fit and could hold his breath underwater for a long time.
Another less known fact is that he produced a couple of silent movies, in which he also starred. The affair didn’t prove to be very profitable, although cinema was undoubtedly a great opportunity for achieving fame.
4. What did he expose?
Houdini was a non-believer in matter of spiritual seances and would often attempt to expose the false pretenders. During his investigations, he managed to bring out the truth about the floating megaphone and the random bell that rung. He also exposed the famous levitation trick of Daniel Homes. But he didn’t stop here and continued debunking false spiritualists who claimed they could contact the dead. These mediums were making a lot of money from the hopes and tears of grieving people who wanted to have one last chat with their dead loved ones. As a result, he earned the title of “ghostbuster”.
5. How did Harry Houdini die?
One of the most popular myths about the great Houdini was his death. Many claimed that he passed away during or after a trick involving a Chinese Water Tank. This happened mainly because of a movie from 1953 with Tony Curtis in the role of the magician, which was seemingly semi-biographical. But how did Houdini die?
Other sources claim that his death occurred as a result of punch he received in the stomach from a college student from Canada. The student was apparently trying to see whether the magician could take a punch as he claimed. However, further investigations proved that Houdini had appendicitis. His appendix was already inflamed at the time he was punched. Furthermore, the appendix does not rupture from trauma.
One way or another, Houdini was brought to the Grace Hospital in Detroit where he died from appendicitis on Halloween day. As in every famous case, some spiritualists revealed a conspiracy: that the magician passed away on this special day because the spirits of the dead were avenging them.