How Did Houdini Die? Know The Facts About The Greatest Magician Ever

One of the most prolific magicians that history has ever seen, Houdini died hundreds of years ago but he is still a celebrated artist. Erik Weisz aka Harry Houdini was born on 24th March 1874 but had an untimely death at the age of 52 years old on 31st October 1926 Halloween in Detroit Michigan. The questions surrounding how Houdini died are yet to be solved. A talented Hungarian-born illusionist, escape artist, and performer have always escaped from near-death experiences in the course of his performance. But did he die while performing or is there any other mystery to it?

The Great Career of Harry Houdini

The rise to fame of Harry Houdini can get as epic as it can be. 1891 was the first time Houdini started showing his talents to the world. Fans knew him as the “King of Cards” and then in 1894, he started to pair up with his brother Theodore who was known as “The Brother’s Houdini”. Their performances surprised the world and soon, Houdini started performing escape acts. His most famous performance was the “handcuff act” which gave him worldwide popularity. 

The Great Career of Harry Houdini
The Great Career of Harry Houdini

Over the course of his career, he kept experimenting and escaped from ropes, prisons, milk cans, mail bags, straitjackets and even packing crates. He even had dangerous escapes under death-defying circumstances such as hanging himself upside down from skyscrapers, buildings, bridges, and even underwater. He was a legend in all aspects and there has been no greater magician compared to him. The magician knew how his talents could take him to new heights and his career has been one of the most interesting ones to date. 

How Did Harry Houdini Die? Did Houdini Die While Performing?

Many fans believe that Houdini died while performing his famous water tank mystery named the “Chinese Water Torture Cell”. The 1953 film, “Houdini” which had great actor Tony Curtis was a masterpiece. But it did rewrite the legacy the illusionists have created. In the movie’s final scene, it was shown that Harry died during the performance but that isn’t the truth. Harry didn’t die when he was showing one of the best acts of his life.

How Did Harry Houdini Die?
How Did Harry Houdini Die?

As a matter of fact, Houdini was performing at the Princess Theatre in Montreal. Canada and right before that he was seen nursing his broken ankle. It was the result of his stunt that was performed on 11th October 1926 and had a high fever.  

In fact, just before his show started, he was asked by a McGill University student, Joceyln Gorden Whitehead, if there was any truth to the statement that Houdini won’t feel any pain when punched in the stomach. Houdini agreed and the student proceeded to punch, however, Houdini wasn’t prepared for it. Whitehead did strike the magician multiple times and his stomach couldn’t take it since he wasn’t prepared. The illusionist soon started feeling excruciating pain since his appendix got ruptured, however, he didn’t agree to cancel the performance following that event. So, the magician was in huge pain even while performing and it continued for two days. Finally, he agreed to show a doctor and decided to have an emergency surgery but it was already too late.

But the twist came after years since a recent theory suggests that Houdini’s appendix was already ruptured. In reality, Houdini died because he had Peritonitis and his appendix was damaged beforehand.

The illusionist was just 52 years old at the time of his death and his last words were, “I’m tired of fighting”. After his death on 31st October 1926, he was buried in New York State at the same cemetery where his father, mother, brothers, sister, and even his grandfather were buried. It is a Jewish cemetery named Machpelah Cemetery and on 31st October 1996, the Society of American Magicians executed a huge broken wand ceremony to honor the anniversary of the historical personality.

Harry got inducted into the Magic Hall of Fame as many as two times and was also regarded as the 100 Most Influential People in History by TIME Magazine. He had outstanding accomplishments that hardly anyone could have achieved and even today, he is the most respectable illusionist.

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