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Sometimes they asked the spirit to speak to them, or to make some kind of sound. Often, the medium would charge money in order to try to contact the spirits. He easily discovered that these mediums were using some kind of trick just to make money.

Harry Houdini - Death, Life & Quotes - Biography

He began to give speeches, telling how the mediums were fooling people. He even spoke before the United States Congress. He said:. I respect every genuine believer in spiritualism or any other religion. But this thing, wherein a medium communicates with the dead, is a fraud from start to finish. In thirty-five years, I have never seen one genuine medium.

No one ever collected the money. He became the most famous magician in the world.

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He wrote books and acted in movies. He made a lot of money and lived well. He bought a small airplane and flew it himself. His name was always in the newspapers. It seemed the entire world knew the name of Harry Houdini. But Houdini would not live to see old age. His life ended suddenly in nineteen twenty-six. A group of celebrities pose in front of the star for legendary illusionist Harry Houdini on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He had not felt well for several days. A young college student asked to meet the great magician.

Houdini agreed. The young man asked if it were true that Houdini would not be harmed even if hit very hard in the stomach. Houdini said that was true. The student drew back his fist and hit Houdini in the stomach three times. He fell backward in great pain. In those days, this almost always caused death.


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He lived for a few more days. Then died on October thirty-first -- Halloween. He was buried next to his parents on Long Island. Under his head lay a pillow, filled with letters his mother had written to him. He had said that no one could communicate with the dead.

Yet he had told his wife, Bess, to try to speak with him after he passed into the spirit world. Harry told her two words that he would say to her so that she would not be fooled by some trick. No one but Houdini and his wife knew these secret words. The years passed. Once, Bess said that she thought that one time she had made contact with Harry.

But she then said she was wrong. She had been sick.


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  • She had heard nothing. Finally, after ten years of trying, something unexpected did happen. Bess gave up.

    The Great Houdini

    She said that was long enough to wait for any man. Her last attempt at communicating with him was in nineteen thirty-six at the Knickerbocker Hotel in Hollywood, California. She tried again and again. When nothing happened, she finally said, almost in a whisper:. I now regretfully turn out the light. This is the end, Harry.

    Jim Tedder was the voice of Harry Houdini. Faith Lapidus was the voice of his wife, Bess.

    Quick Facts

    Our programs are online with transcripts and MP3 files at voaspecialenglish. Search Search. Would love to know how the inmates felt about that. Strapped in a standard regulation straitjacket and suspended by his ankles from a tall building or crane, Houdini made his escapes in full view of his audience crowding on the streets below.

    It would only take him three minutes to break free. A combination of his suspended straitjacket and milk can escape stunts, this was his most famous and daring trick yet. Locked in stocks by the feet, Houdini was lowered upside down into a tank filled with water. One can only be so die hard. Are you curious about the circumstances that led up to his untimely death? If so, check out the second episode of Remarkable Lives.

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    How Houdini DIED (in Slow Motion) - Smarter Every Day 108

    Over the course of his illustrious career, these are his most notable and daring eight: 1. Belly of a Whale Escape In , while Houdini was performing in Boston, ten prominent businessmen challenged him to escape from the belly of a whale.

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    Buried Alive Stunt The first time Houdini performed a buried alive stunt it very nearly killed him. Suspended Straitjacket Escape Strapped in a standard regulation straitjacket and suspended by his ankles from a tall building or crane, Houdini made his escapes in full view of his audience crowding on the streets below. Chinese Water Torture Cell a.

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