Cell Escape – The Real Secret

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1/11/2017 Harvey Hanford

“…I extensively researched Houdini’s seemingly supernatural escapes, concentrating for a period on his remarkable jail cell escapes.   Many authors have put forward theories. Believe me, none have even come close to the real secret! I personally visited the jail cells in England from which Houdini performed his escapes all those years ago. Their locations were drawn from contemporary newspaper accounts made by the reporters who actually witnessed the stunt being performed. And very detailed they are – most running into many column inches. After four years of almost weekly study, at last I had his closely guarded secret! I set about proving this by duplicating his naked cell escapes at every opportunity…”

David De-Val.

Finally this long out of print book is available again!

I’ve just finished reading ‘Cell Escape The Real Secret’ by the late David De-Val and I can tell you it is amazing! I have many books on Houdini’s methods but none of them go into his greatest of all escapes “Prison Breaks!”. In this book De-Val takes you through his journey start to finish and explains how he himself discovered Houdini’s secret and put it to the test in many of the same Prison and Jail Cells that Houdini escaped in England.

It is obvious that Houdini was quite brilliant and bold based on what it would take to pull off a Cell Escape. The preparation before the escape, the risks he was taking, and his ability to continually escape without fail is quite daunting when you think about it. David highlights the risks to an Escape Artists career in the book. One slip up would have ruined his career!

This is a must for the Escape Artist that wants to attempt a Cell Escape or for the Houdini Historian that must finally know the secret. David De-Val was a master escape artist. It is truly remarkable how he discovered Houdini’s Cell Escape methods and proved that they work!

new-cell-front-cover

This improved publication has 78 pages packed with never seen before color photo’s and illustrations. There is also some new chapters including how some modern day escapologists have put David’s methods to the test and succeeded!

The credit for this re-release goes to David’s daughter Rebecca De-Val, and Allan James Taylor. All copies are signed by Rebecca De-Val.

You can order yours from David De-Val Magic

Now to find a Jail Cell that I can try this on!

 

Houdini in Dayton Ohio

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I’m very excited to share with you this wonderful story by Lisa Powell of the Dayton Daily News. click the link to read the full story and watch the video.

Needles, tricks and escapes: Houdini’s history in Dayton

Magicians appearances captivated audiences.

http://www.mydaytondailynews.com/news/news/needles-tricks-and-escapes-houdinis-history-in-day/ns22T/

Houdini UK Tours

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By Harvey Hanford 11/15/2016

Houdini’s UK appearances 1900-1920 on David De-Val Magic.
From the site:
“Below is the most up-to-date list of Houdini’s UK tours, there are lots of dates that have not yet been accounted for. If I have anything missing then feel free to get in touch so that I can add it to the list. The list below comprises my own research along with information from David De-Val, Mick Hanzlik, Frank koval and Derek Tait.”

Go to the link below to see the list:

http://de-val-magic.co.uk/houdini-uk-tours/

Thanks to Allan Taylor for giving me permission to share this!

Harry Houdini – This Week in the News

Updated with more news on 11/01/2016

By Harvey Hanford 10/31/2016

Michigan museum calls on ghost of Harry Houdini — but did he show? Andy Fitzpatrick, Battle Creek Enquirer 8:07 a.m. EDT November 1, 2016

Upper East Side Séance Attempts to Contact Harry Houdini on the Anniversary of his Death By Michael Scotto Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Houdini fans hold annual seance: ‘If anyone could escape the beyond, it’s him’ by Nicole Puglise for The Guardian Monday 31 October 2016

What Killed Harry Houdini? By Evan Andrews History in the Headlines™ October 31, 2016

Seance will call on Harry Houdini at magician’s NYC home by FOX5NY.COM STAFF Oct 31 2016

The real story of Harry Houdini’s Halloween day death in Detroit By Alysa Offman for The Detroit Metro Times on Mon, Oct 31, 2016

90 Years Ago Today: Houdini Dies October 31, 2016

How Did Harry Houdini Die? What Killed The Magician On Halloween 90 Years Ago By Juliana Rose Pignataro 10/31/16

October 31 1926 1:26 PM – Houdini Dies

Harry Houdini, David Abbott and a young Johnny Carson: Omaha has a long history with magicians By Kevin Coffey / World-Herald staff writer 10/31/2016

Unlocking the secrets of Houdini’s life in Stamford By John Breunig October 30, 2016

Happy Halloween: Providence man says he knows where Houdini’s treasure trove is By Donita Naylor Oct 30, 2016

Local history: Houdini made great escapes in Akron By Mark J. Price Beacon Journal staff writer October 30, 2016

William Hilliar and the lost Houdini message code by John Cox – Wild About Harry – Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Official Houdini Séance 2016 details revealed by John Cox – Wild About Harry – Saturday, October 29, 2016

Halloween Séance Calls for Harry Houdini at Home The Wall Street Journal Oct. 28, 2016 6:26 p.m. ET

Houdini Séance Demonstration in Danville, Oct. 31 by John Cox – Wild About Harry – Friday, October 28, 2016

No escape from the genius of Harry Houdini – euronews – 28/10/2016

Actor Duffy Hudson embodies Poe and Houdini – The Daily Courier – by Cindy Barks October 27, 2016

S.A.M. dedicates historic plaque and honors Deborah Hardeen in New York – by John Cox – Wild About Harry – Thursday, October 27, 2016

Magicians Will Try to Channel Harry Houdini at Upper East Side Eatery By Shaye Weaver October 26, 2016

Harry Houdini Honored at Manhattan Home for the 90th Anniversary of His Death by Caitlin Schneider October 26, 2016

Spirit of Houdini: Magician to host séance By Oct 26, 2016 

Illusionists also celebrate on Halloween – Ionia man talks on 90th anniversary of Harry Houdini’s death – By Nicholas Grenke – Oct 26, 2016

A brief, wondrous history of Chicago magic – New York had Broadway. LA had Hollywood. Chicago had magic. By David Witter. October 26, 2016

Houdini the great escape artist couldn’t escape his own painful death – The Daily Telegraph by October 24, 2016 

Magician to recreate Houdini’s famous straight jacket escape in Pittsburgh – By Lisa Wardle October 24, 2016 

Harvey Hanford – 10/29/2016
Updated on 10/31/2016

houdini & hardeen

By Harvey Hanford 10/31/2016

On 10/31/1926 at 1:26 PM Harry Houdini died of peritonitis at Grace Hospital in Detroit.  That was 90 years ago and people still can’t stop talking about the worlds greatest Magician and Escape Artist today!

He would have loved all of the buzz about him this week and on Halloween. I’ve listed links to several stories here. I will continue to update the list as more stories surface on Halloween:

October 31 1926 1:26 PM – Houdini Dies

Harry Houdini, David Abbott and a young Johnny Carson: Omaha has a long history with magicians By Kevin Coffey / World-Herald staff writer 10/31/2016

Unlocking the secrets of Houdini’s life in Stamford By John Breunig October 30, 2016

Happy Halloween: Providence man says he knows where Houdini’s treasure trove is By Donita Naylor Oct 30, 2016

Local history: Houdini made great escapes in Akron By Mark J. Price…

View original post 278 more words

Harry Houdini – This Week in the News

By Harvey Hanford 10/31/2016

On 10/29/1926 Harry Houdini was losing a battle against peritonitis at Grace Hospital in Detroit.  That was 90 years ago and people still can’t stop talking about the worlds greatest Magician and Escape Artist today!

He would have loved all of the buzz about him this week and on Halloween. I’ve listed links to several stories here. I will continue to update the list as more stories surface on Halloween:

October 31 1926 1:26 PM – Houdini Dies

Harry Houdini, David Abbott and a young Johnny Carson: Omaha has a long history with magicians By Kevin Coffey / World-Herald staff writer 10/31/2016

Unlocking the secrets of Houdini’s life in Stamford By John Breunig October 30, 2016

Happy Halloween: Providence man says he knows where Houdini’s treasure trove is By Donita Naylor Oct 30, 2016

Local history: Houdini made great escapes in Akron By Mark J. Price Beacon Journal staff writer October 30, 2016

William Hilliar and the lost Houdini message code by John Cox – Wild About Harry – Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Official Houdini Séance 2016 details revealed by John Cox – Wild About Harry – Saturday, October 29, 2016

Halloween Séance Calls for Harry Houdini at Home The Wall Street Journal Oct. 28, 2016 6:26 p.m. ET

Houdini Séance Demonstration in Danville, Oct. 31 by John Cox – Wild About Harry – Friday, October 28, 2016

No escape from the genius of Harry Houdini – euronews – 28/10/2016

Actor Duffy Hudson embodies Poe and Houdini – The Daily Courier – by Cindy Barks October 27, 2016

S.A.M. dedicates historic plaque and honors Deborah Hardeen in New York – by John Cox – Wild About Harry – Thursday, October 27, 2016

Magicians Will Try to Channel Harry Houdini at Upper East Side Eatery By Shaye Weaver October 26, 2016

Harry Houdini Honored at Manhattan Home for the 90th Anniversary of His Death by Caitlin Schneider October 26, 2016

Spirit of Houdini: Magician to host séance By Oct 26, 2016 

Illusionists also celebrate on Halloween – Ionia man talks on 90th anniversary of Harry Houdini’s death – By Nicholas Grenke – Oct 26, 2016

A brief, wondrous history of Chicago magic – New York had Broadway. LA had Hollywood. Chicago had magic. By David Witter. October 26, 2016

Houdini the great escape artist couldn’t escape his own painful death – The Daily Telegraph by October 24, 2016 

Magician to recreate Houdini’s famous straight jacket escape in Pittsburgh – By Lisa Wardle October 24, 2016 

Harvey Hanford – 10/29/2016
Updated on 10/31/2016

Houdini was a Spy and was Poisoned according to Glen Beck!

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10/14/2016 by Harvey Hanford

Glen Beck talks about Houdini on his hiSTORY show.

Beck says he wanted to be a Magician as a Kid as he fumbles trying to shuffle a pack of cards and produce a fan.

According to Beck:

He says Houdini fooled the Police in Boston using a fake finger to hide keys and picks for jail escapes. Houdini wrote about this fake finger method in his book “Handcuff Secrets” but it has never been proven that he actually used this method himself.

He says during the Metamorphosis, Bess is placed in Handcuffs, Tied in a bag, Locked in a Trunk and Houdini ends up in the bag and she on top,.. but then corrects himself after making that blunder. This might seem trivial but this would mean Bess was the actual escape artist not Harry!

He pronounces Robert Houdin “Robert Whodeen”. It’s pronounced “Whoden” or “Whodan”. Houdini made this same mistake which is why he pronounced his name “Whodeenee”.

He says Houdini’s famous handcuff escape in Scotland Yard was actually a Job interview to become a Spy for MI5.

He claims Houdini’s traveling shows were planned around breaking up Counterfeiting Rings.

He does not believe in the “punch” theory. He claims Bess and Harry were both being poisoned slowly, and that Houdini was poisoned to death. He says ask any doctor if it would be possible to punch somebody in the stomach and “pop their appendix! I don’t think so!”

Much of his information is conjecture and seems to come from the 2007 book “The Secret Life of Houdini” and the Adrian Brody made for TV series “Houdini”.  Both of which are packed with some far fetched stories about Houdini being a spy, the poison theories, conspiracy, and other ridiculous notions that have never been raised until these came out.

While Beck makes some historical mistakes, and supports some of the newer, wilder theories, his talk was interesting and entertaining.

Check out his hiSTORY Video here

Book Review: Houdini’s Final Incredible Secret by Bob Loomis

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Yes another book has been written about Houdini, but this is not just another biography about Houdini. This book is a an organized log of twenty years of research Bob Loomis did to answer the riddle of how Houdini fooled Sir Arthur Conan Doyle with the famous Slate Trick!

In this book we enter the mind of the author as he takes us through his painstaking process to research and come up with several theories of the “What, Why, Who and How” this baffling trick was conceived, created, practiced, performed and who was involved!

Is this just a book about a Magic Trick with an explanation of how it was done? No not by a longshot! While the Author set out to solve how Houdini fooled Doyle on that day, he also found and documented a ton of historical material and references that will be appreciated by the Houdini enthusiast and Magician alike.

His research presents new theories about Houdini the man himself. It opens us up to complex areas about Houdini’s thought process, his method of creating and practicing his art, his ego, his temper, his need to perfect and execute without fail.

The “Who” section of this books is full of gems. Bob writes about Houdini but also about Doyle, Ernst, Carrington and their roles.  He tells us more about invisible men and women working behind the scenes such as Robert Gysel Houdini’s “Dirty Tricks” man!

Focusing on “Where” he builds a picture of Houdini’s library at his Brownstone on 278 West 113th Street in Harlem New York where the illusion is performed. He attempts to determine the exact path Doyle took around the block and where he might have stopped to write his secret message!

The Magician will learn the Secret (or at least the best theory of this day) of this famous illusion and be very entertained throughout every twist and turn of this book. The Magician will also appreciate the study of how the illusion was selected and the creative process to build it into a routine and perfect the performance.

For the Houdini Historian, or “Houdini Nut” (Yes I admit I’m one of those…), you will find this book fascinating and littered with several Rabbit Holes to go down and several points to argue with your other Houdini fanatic friends!

Bob Loomis Amazon Biography: 

Magic Circle Librarian Bob Loomis is a Canadian living in England. He has lectured on Houdini to Hollywood superstars Catherine Zeta Jones and Guy Pearce, and claims to have held her hand (okay, okay, and Guy’s as well)! Although recently appearing as himself in Lorna Gibb’s novel A Ghost’s Story, he insists that he is definitely not a figment of her imagination, but would love to be a cartoon character.
In the magic world Bob is:
* A feature article writer for The Magic Circular
* Editor of The Magical Spectator
* A Magic Circle Librarian
* One of only three Honorary Associates of the Inner Magic Circle
* President of the Association of International Magical Spectators
* Holder of the Order of Merlin Excalibur of the International Brotherhood of Magicians

328 Pages

Available on Amazon.com

Get away, get away, I’m Pat Houdini!

From my collection a newspaper article marked “7-9-38”. Apparently Bess Houdini had a Parrot that “Pulled a Houdini”. Pets making escapes have been labeled as “Pulling a Houdini” for years. I had a cat that escaped a large cardboard box and was named Houdini because of it. If you search “Houdini” on facebook you will be flooded with references to pets making escapes. Perhaps Pat Houdini was the first Pet Escape Artist!

July 9 1938 Houdini Parot Article

Rare 1901 pictures of Houdini Manacled

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I recently purchased a rare 1901 magazine featuring an article about Houdini published January 5th, 1901. According to Wikipedia: “Black & White Budget was a Victorian illustrated weekly printed and published by W.J.P. Monckton in London. The first issue appeared on 14 October 1899 under the name Black & White. Thereafter it continued as Black & White Budget until 30 May 1903, after which it appeared as Black & White Illustrated Budget until 17 June 1905. There was one more issue on 24 June 1905 under the name Illustrated Budget, at which point it was discontinued. The weekly provided English readers with coverage of the AngloBoer War.”

2016-04-25 12.00.53

A 25 year old Harry Houdini posing in several handcuffs, leg irons, and a restraint for the criminally insane.2016-04-25 11.57.07

Handcuffed in the infamous Bean Giants!2016-04-25 11.57.40

Shown here in the Lunatic Restraint, and escaping from two pairs of handcuffs.2016-04-25 11.59.09

A pair of Palmer Irons sit on the ground, an unknown leg Irons on his leg (possibly an early plug or Lily Leg Iron) and in his hand, and a lunatic restraint sits on the ground to his left.2016-04-25 11.57.47

A rare sight to see Houdini with only one pair of German Berliners on both wrists (below). It has been noted by the historians that Houdini did not typically use just one pair placed on both wrists. Instead he would use several pairs linking them together. Speculators believe the reason for this might be that it is very difficult to escape with both wrists restrained so tightly. I disagree having escaped a pair of Berliners placed on both wrists. If you know the method you can get out! Another more likely reason might be that he used several pairs for a visual impact. I found it difficult to use just one pair of Berliners on both wrists in conjunction with several other old pairs of cuffs. The fact that they restrain the wrists so closely doesn’t allow room for the other cuffs to be applied.2016-04-25 11.57.53

A pair of Berliners from my collection.2015-10-27 16.57.30

Other pictures (not from the Black and White Budget article) of Houdini in Berliners and several other cuffs. As you can see if the Berliners were on both wrists it would be impossible (or at least very painful) to apply the other cuffs.

Below Houdini restrained in a pair of Lily Irons:2016-04-25 11.59.39

Here he is being manacled with Palmers and the Lily Irons on his wrists and the Lily Irons on his biceps.2016-04-25 11.59.52

This interesting lunatic restraint. It appears to cover the manacled hands in order to protect you and others.2016-04-25 12.00.00

2016-04-25 11.59.44