World famous escape artist Harry Houdini would have been 137 years old today. And to honor him, you’ll find special graphics on Google this morning.
Fans around the world are celebrating the birthday of escape artist Harry Houdini today. He would have been 137 years old.
Houdini was born in Budapest on this day in 1874 under the name Erik Weisz. He toured the world doing such famous tricks as the Chinese Water Torture Cell. In that one, perhaps his most famous, Houdini would allow himself to be shackled with chains and suspended upside down as the chamber filled completely with water. He had just a couple of minutes to free himself or die. At least that’s the way it looked to patrons on hand for the show.
Most people think Houdini died while doing one of his stunts but that’s not the case. He was visiting Montreal in 1926 when a young man approached Houdini and questioned him about his toughness. Houdini had always said he could take any blow to the body and be okay. So he encouraged the young man to punch him in the belly. Turns out, that was a fatal move. Those blows did what would turn out to be fatal damage to Houdini’s guts.
Houdini developed peritonitis, which is just short of a ruptured appendix. He traveled to Detroit and got sicker and sicker. Despite horrendous pain, he continued to perform and did his last show in Detroit at the Garrick Theatre on October 24, 1926. A few days later, on Halloween, he died in room 401 of Grace Hospital in Detroit at 1:26pm.
He always vowed to “come back” from the great beyond if it was possible. And for many Halloweens after his passing, people waited for a sign. Nothing was ever heard from the Great Houdini!
Related Star Death/Illness Stories: