Legendary magician and escape artist Harry Houdini did his final show in Detroit 95 years ago and died shortly after the performance.

There have been lots of famous magicians, escape artists and illusionists over the past 100 years. Names like David Copperfield, Penn and Teller, Lance Burton, David Blaine and Criss Angel to name only a few, but hands down still to this day, Harry Houdini remains king.

Sure many magicians with technology have been able to do more flashy tricks, escapes and illusions but Harry Houdini was like what Jimi Hendrix was to rock guitar playing, a pioneer.

Houdini really set the standard for magicians and escape artists world wide, especially at a time where news didn't now travel as fast and live events were not as common as they have become pre-Covid.

Not many are considered an icon, but in the magic world Harry Houdini definitely earned the title. Here is a list of his most daring escapes:

  • Escape From the Belly of a Whale
  • East Indian Needle Trick
  • Milk Can Escape
  • The Overboard Escape
  • Buried Alive Stunt
  • Escape From Murderous Row
  • Suspended Straitjacket Escape
  • Chinese Water Torture Cell

In October of 1926 at the age of 52, Houdini performed in Toronto, Canada. Before he was set to perform that show, a couple of college students had heard about his ability to take any punch in the stomach, thought they would put Houdini to the test and punched him in the gut four times.

Being the performer that Houdini was, he still went and performed the show even though he was in severe pain from the punches he didn't see coming. Normally when Houdini would do the punch trick, he was always able to brace himself for the punch. The punches one of the college students delivered, Houdini didn't see coming.

After the Toronto performance, Houdini saw a doctor who diagnosed him with appendicitis. Most people at that point would have received surgery or at least take a break but Houdini insisted on performing the next night.

The next show for Houdini was at Detroit's Garrick Theater. Still in pain from the punches he went on stage to perform.  During the performance, Houdini collapsed on stage but after a short intermission, he came back to complete what would unfortunately be his last performance.

After the show, Houdini was rushed to a Detroit hospital but unfortunately died with his wife at his side on Halloween night in 1926. His final words to his wife were, "I'm tired of fighting."

When his body was transported to New York where he would eventually be buried, he was shipped in the very casket that he used during his buried alive stunts.

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