Before legendary magician and escape artist Harry Houdini died on Halloween in 1926, he told his wife, Bess, that if there was a way to contact her from beyond, he’d find it. Harry and Bess came up with a secret code so Houdini’s “ghost” couldn’t be faked by a phony but convincing spiritualist and others couldn’t claim to have had bogus contact.
Each Halloween for a decade after Houdini’s death, Bess held seances, secret code in hand, but nothing ever happened and she gave up trying to get in contact with her late husband — at least until her own death in 1943.
Now, Harry Houdini may finally reappear — probably not the way Harry would have wanted, but you never know.
It has been a long held belief by many that Houdini died as the result of being punched in the stomach, which resulted in peritonitis from a ruptured appendix, but rumors have been floating since Houdini’s death that he was actually poisoned by one or more psychics and/or spiritualists who were angered at Houdini’s career spent debunking their claims of contact with the dead.
So, Houdini’s great-nephew is working through some legal channels in order to have Harry’s body exhumed and tested.
I can’t help but envision the exhumation of the great Harry Houdini.
Eighty-one years after being lowered into the earth, the coffin will be pulled from a New York cemetery and carefully taken to a laboratory at the local coroners office. Descendents of Houdini will gather in a chilly room, along with a team of medical examiners and possibly even a few chosen reporters.
Pry bars will be placed under the lid of the time-worn casket, and, ever so slowly, it will be opened. An eerie creak will punctuate the silence that had befallen the room. Tensions will mount, and those in attendance will lean in to peer into the casket, at which point Houdini will pop up and yell “Ta daaa!”