Monday, October 30, 2006


Tomorrow marks the 80th anniversary of Houdini's death (besides being Halloween).

Fearing spiritualists would exploit his legacy by pretending to contact him after his death, Houdini left his wife a secret code - ten words chosen at random from a letter written by Doyle - that he would use to contact her from the afterlife. His wife held yearly séances on Halloween for ten years after his death, but Houdini never appeared. In 1936, after a last unsuccessful seance on the roof of the Knickerbocker Hotel, she put out the candle that she had kept burning beside a photograph of Houdini since his death, later (1943) saying "ten years is long enough to wait for any man." The tradition of holding a séance for Houdini continues to this day, and is currently organised by Sidney H. Radner.



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