Harry Houdini is one of the most famous magicians and escape artists of 1900s.
But did you know he was fascinated by the paranormal and after his mother’s death he went looking for ways to communicate with her?
This lead him to many spiritualists and physics, but after many attempts in trying to reach his mother he found that the spiritualists and physics were using many of his own tricks that he used in his shows.
This leads him down the path to debunk all the fake spiritualists out there, but not debunk all things paranormal. He hated the idea of people making money out of other people’s sorrow in losing a loved one.
He joins the Scientific American Committee that offered a reward for actual proof of the paranormal, but this has never been collected.
Now enter Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: the creator of one of the most famous detectives of all time – Sherlock Holmes. Doyle was a firm believer in the Paranormal.
Some reports say the two became close friends while other reports suggest they didn’t see eye to eye on debunking these so-called fake Spiritualists. and Doyle claims that while he and Houdini saw many mediums around the country, there was never anything fake behind them.
After a show in 1926, some students went to see Houdini backstage where one of the students asked him if it was true he could withstand any punch in the stomach; Houdini replied yes, but with some notice beforehand. The student took this as saying it was OK to punch him repeatedly in the stomach. After, Houdini refused to see a doctor and still carried on performing. Days later he caught a fever and died of a ruptured appendix which he got after being punched several times on Halloween night.
Before he died, Harry made a pact with his wife that whoever died first would come back and make contact. Houdini even gave his wife a secret code so his wife would know it was him.
His wife Bess held a seance for ten years every Halloween Night with no success, then on Halloween night on the tenth year with still no success, said: “ten years was long enough to wait for any man”.
Still to this day groups of magicians still hold seances on Halloween night waiting for a reply from Harry.