Who Killed Harry Houdini?

Roman Amstrong investigates Houdini's death.

Black and white image of harry houdini

The Hungarian-born illusionist and escapologist became world-renowned for his death-defying stunts and nail-biting escapes. Nearly a century after his death, his most recent stint as the title of Dua Lipa’s hit song shows that Houdini's cultural relevance isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

But as with his lauded career, his death is also shrouded in mystery. This tale involves prophecies, enraged psychic mediums, the author of Sherlock Holmes, and rowdy university students. So grab your straight jacket and strap yourself in for this thrilling whodunit… or shall we say… Houdinit…

Born Erik Weisz, Houdini died in October 1926 at the age of 52. The story goes that, on October 22nd, moments before heading on stage to perform in Montreal, Houdini invited some university students to his dressing room.

One particular student questioned Houdini to see if the illusionist could truly withstand a punch to the stomach. Houdini claimed that he could, but the student repeatedly hit the magician before he was ready, rupturing his appendix.

Later on, through intense pain, Houdini performed the scheduled shows in Montreal before heading to Detroit for the rest of the tour. But consequentially, after the blow to the stomach, Houdini experienced insomnia, a severely high temperature, and acute appendicitis.

This post is for magicians only

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