Terror Island Parts 3 and 4 according to Kino

Terror Island Parts 3 and 4 according to Kino:

terror-card-disclaimer-477x300Below is Kino’s brief explanatory text for Parts 3 and 4 which are considered missing:

TI Part 3A Kino TextTI Part 3B Kino TextTI Part 3C Kino Text

The reality is Kino’s brief explanatory text only covers Part 4 and not Part 3.

In future posts (i.e. four installments), I will share Stills from Part 3 and describe the scenes that lead up to Part 4.


Unpublished, Nineteen-page, handwritten dissertation on “THE CANCER OF SUPERSTITION”.


While researching Houdini material at Abebooks.com, I came across the following listing that you can own for $65,000 plus $4.00 shipping:

CANCER OF SUPERSTITION, THE.” Autograph Manuscript (AMs). 19 leaves. Not dated, but circa October 1926 Lovecraft, H[oward] P[hillips] and C[lifford] M. Eddy, Jr. 


Lovecraft’s handwritten outline (published in THE DARK BROTHERHOOD) and Eddy’s handwritten and typewritten drafts of the first three chapters are extant. This 19-page handwritten manuscript, edited, revised and copiously annotated by Lovecraft, is Eddy’s draft expanded from Lovecraft’s handwritten 4 1/2 page 12-part outline (held by Brown University). It is the version from which the typescript sent to Houdini was made (that typescript, missing three leaves of text, was sold at auction by Potter & Potter 9 April 2016 for $33,600).Eddy’s manuscript is divided into three chapters. Chapter I, “The Genesis of Superstition” (leaves 1-8 of this handwritten draft), published in a slightly altered version in THE DARK BROTHERHOOD (1966), pp. 250-61. Chapter II, “The Expansion of Superstition” (leaves 9-14) and Chapter III, “The Fallacy of Superstition” (leaves 15-19), currently unpublished, comprise the remainder of the manuscript. Part of the manuscript is written on the versos of various discarded drafts, several of which are of considerable interest: (1) verso of leaf 2 is a draft of a letter from Eddy to Houdini, 15 October 1926, asking if he had received “the synopsis of the proposed article on the origin and fallacy of superstition” and if “the requested advance check for $15.00 is on the way together with whatever you wish to offer in the way of annotations & suggestions” (2) verso of leaves 3 and 4 have an earlier draft of “The Cancer of Superstition” (3) versos of leaves 5-8 have discarded pages of a crime story by Eddy (4) verso of leaf 9 is a draft “Questionnaire — Oct. 19, 1926” directed to Houdini about the scope and direction of the “proposed article which you assigned me, while in Providence, on the origin and fallacy of superstition,” and requesting his input (5) verso of leaf 10 is an expanded draft of the “Questionnaire” (6) verso of leaf 14 has a long continuation of the text from leaf 14 in Lovecraft’s hand on a discarded earlier draft of leaf 13. The verso of leaf 1 has the beginning of a letter dated 12 October 1926 to the Boston Sunday Post; the versos of leaves 11-13 and 15-19 are blank.H. P. Lovecraft met Clifford M. Eddy, Jr., a native of Providence, Rhode Island, a published writer of popular fiction and student of mythology and the occult, in 1923 (their first face-to-face meeting, after an exchange of letters, was in Providence at Eddy’s home on 9 September 1923). Lovecraft, who met Houdini in New York City in 1924, ghostwrote Houdini’s “Imprisoned with the Pharaohs” (aka “Under the Pyramids”), published WEIRD TALES in 1924. In 1926 Houdini hired Lovecraft to write an article attacking astrology, for which he paid $75 (the manuscript of the article, which does not appear to have been published, was sold on eBay in April 2009 ). Then he commissioned Lovecraft and Eddy (who may have done work for him at an earlier date) to jointly ghostwrite a full-length book on superstitions. According to Eddy (handwritten statement dated 9 June 1962): “Back in the middle twenties both H. P. L. and I were doing ghostwriting for the late Harry Houdini. Shortly before Houdini’s death, he gave me an assignment to do a complete book for him on the subject of the origin, growth and fallacy of superstition. He furnished me with voluminous notes and ideas that he wanted incorporated in the book and suggested that perhaps H. P. L. whip them into some shape that I could use as a guide. I wrote the first three chapters of the proposed book. The first two were read and approved by Houdini, and the third was in the mail, addressed to him in Detroit, when he was stricken with the appendicitis attack which resulted in his death. About a month after her husband’s funeral, Mrs. Houdini advised me that she would prefer to have the work on the proposed book abandoned. Whatever became of the the three chapters that had already been completed, I never learned. Sometime later, at one of our get-togethers, Lovecraft and I were discussing the subject… Bookseller Inventory # 155672


Was “A Magician Among the Spirits”, co-authored with C. M. Eddy, Jr.?

A Magician Among The Sprits CoverCM EDDY JR

According to the various websites, Houdini’s classic book “A Magician Among the Spirits”, was allegedly co-authored with C.M. Eddy Jr. but he is not credited in the book.  This was news to me, so I decided to see what (if any) involvement Eddy had with “A Magician Among the Spirits”.

The first question that came to mind was when did Houdini and Eddy first know each other?

In Joshi, p. 108-111, Letters From New York, Night Shade Books 2005, we learn from a letter by HP Lovecraft to his aunt (on 10 February) that CM Eddy has come to New York unexpectedly. The date is Sunday, 1 February 1925. He states, “unexpected guest … CM Eddy … on literary business, interviewing magazine editors & stopping with Houdini up in west 113th Street …” Lovecraft continues, “Eddy had an engagement at Houdini’s house at midnight, so we had to hustle … I piloted Eddy to Houdini’s home via the Bronx subway, I then returned …”. [chrisperridas.blogspot]

I could not find any earlier sources, so based on Joshi, Houdini and Eddy first met each other no later than 2 February 1925. But, “A Magician Among the Spirits” was published in May 1924 well before this face to face meeting.

In case you are wondering, Eddy and Lovecraft most likely first met around August 1923. [chrisperridas.blogspot]

BTW: Houdini gave Lovecraft an autographed copy of “A Magician Among the Spirits“:

  • “To my friend, Howard Lovecraft/Best Wishes,/Houdini/ “My brain is the key that sets me free.”

In 1924, Houdini, Lovecraft and Eddy had peripheral connections to “Weird Tales” magazine:

C. Henneberger, the publisher of “Weird Tales”, tried to increase readership of the magazine by bringing Harry Houdini on board. This resulted in three issues featuring Houdini:

Weird Tales Hermannstadt coverWeird Tales spirit lover coverWeird Tales Pharaohs cover

The Spirit Fakers of Hermannstadt” (March to April 1924), “The Hoax of the Spirit Lover” (April 1924) and “Imprisoned with the Pharaohs” (May/July 1924).  The last was by Lovecraft where he rewrote a strange narrative which Houdini related orally to Henneberger.

Lovecraft wrote the story for Houdini in February 1924, and met Houdini in person by October 1924 [Date is from “An H.P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia” by Joshi].

The author or authors of the others have not been identified.  Mike Ashley’s The Houdini Chain found in Postscripts says Walter B. Gibson denies being the author and Mike Ashley speculates that they may have been the work of Clifford Eddy who worked as Houdini’s booking agent [?] at that time [?].  He had sold several stories to “Weird Tales”, some revised by Lovecraft.

Ironically, Mike Ashley also mentions that virtually everything attributed to Houdini was ghost written; He says, that even “A Magician Among the Spirits” was written primarily by Oscar Teale and based upon Houdini’s notebooks, though Houdini cast and editorial eye over it.

We know that Eddy had involvement with “The Cancer of Superstition“.

But so far, I haven’t found any concrete evidence that shows Eddy had any involvement with “A Magician Among the Spirits”.

However, there is evidence that Teale may have played a role.

  • In a letter dated August 10, 1931, Teale writes to Julian Proskauer: “Having originally written Houdini’s ‘A Magician Among The Spirits’ feel that I am fairly conversant with all phrases of the damnable work”.
  • See Potter & Potter August 2014 Auction Descriptions below for Lots 68 and 20.

Lot 68:


Description: Houdini, Harry. A Magician Among the Spirits original manuscript. Likely a second or third draft of Houdini’s last book exposing and explaining the history of modern spiritualism and the methods used to defraud the public by an array of underhanded individuals who claimed an ability to communicate with the dead. Included here are original typescripts and carbons of over half of the book, including the following chapters: “Introduction” and a synopsis, “The Fox Sisters,” “The Davenport Brothers,” “Odelia Diss Debarr,” “Palladino,” “Slate Writing,” “Spirit Photography,” “Ectoplasm,” “Investigations – Wise & Otherwise,” and “Exposé of Methods.” Many chapters include a one- or two-page summary. Hundreds of handmade corrections in pencil and ink are scattered throughout, and include considerable underlining, strike-throughs of entire paragraphs, and corrections. Dozens of pasted-in additions, mostly in the form of footnotes, have been added to the original 4to pages. Some corrections likely in the hand of Houdini himself, though the bulk of the holographic notes are most likely in the hand of Oscar Teale, a well-known magician and author in his own right, and Houdini’s secretary and aide in investigating the spiritualists and their methods. A Magician Among the Spirits was published in 1924. However, based on a comparison of the text in these pages, the manuscript more closely reflects a revised edition Houdini was preparing at the time of his death, as the prose more closely matches a working manuscript of that edition published posthumously, in 1996 (see lot 20). The text here is strikingly similar, but not identical to that manuscript. Hundreds of pages in all, typed on rectos only, some with plain manuscript wrappers and bound at tops of sheets, wrappers hand lettered with title names, other chapters loose.

Lot 20:


Description: Houdini, Harry. A Magician Among the Spirits. The Original Manuscript. [Washington, D.C.]: Kaufman and Greenberg, 1996. Black cloth with photograph of Houdini and matching slipcase. From an edition of 1000 copies. 4to. Very good. A facsimile of the manuscript for a revised edition of Houdini’s book exposing fraudulent mediums.


When first published in 1924, Houdini’s manuscript was dramatically cut from 175,000 words down to 75,000 words. That is, the editors at Harper & Brothers rearranged, rewrote and above all cut out huge portions of the text. Displeased with the published work, Houdini was preparing this typescript for a second edition at the time of his unfortunate, and untimely, death. The typescript contains several holographic notations in Houdini’s hand as well as other revisions in the hand of his assistant Oscar Teale [or is it in the hand of C.M. Eddy?].

Houdini’s Book of Magic times three

In the 1920’s, Houdini wanted to write three books of magic for beginners. Each book would be dedicated to clearly demonstrating simple magic tricks that the reader could do. Magician Walter Gibson collaborated on the project.

thurston200Gibson had just done research on such tricks for Howard Thurston for the ghost-written book 200 Tricks You Can Do and had literally hundreds of extra tricks as a result of his research: thus there would be no duplication in Houdini’s books.

The first book was to be composed of simple card tricks that could be done with an ordinary pack. The second book was to contain tricks with special packs of cards.  The third book was to cover simple tricks of various types. By early October, Gibson had the first book complete and was ready to deliver it when news came of Houdini’s sudden death in Detroit, on October 31, 1926.

popular_card_tricksLater, the book was published by the E.I. Company under Gibson’s own name, with the title Popular Card Tricks. This forty-eight page book included 91 various card tricks with suggestion on presentation.

Conjurors Magazine March 1945The material for the second was all outlined and twenty years later, Gibson wrote up many of the tricks for a series of articles in a revival of Houdini’s old Conjurer’s Magazine, which he edited, with Hardeen as Emeritus.

Houdinis-Book-Magic-mainThe third was published in 1927 by Houdini’s wife who found the manuscript among his papers. It was titled, Houdini’s Book of Magic And Party Pastimes.

Houdinis BLB MagicLater, another publisher, Whitman obtained rights to the manuscript in 1933 and arranged to print it in the Big Little Book (BLB) format but the material proved insufficient to fill the required number of pages. So, the first 114 pages are from the Houdini manuscript.  The added tricks and puzzles are from other magicians.  The BLB title page retains the original 1927 copyright date.


The Great Houdinis Book of Magic 1976 w Gibson IntroPublished during the “Houdini renaissance” of 1976, there is also the paperback edition of Houdini’s Book of Magic with a great cover (above) and intro by Gibson in which he tells the story of how the book came to be.  It also carries the 1927 copyright.


  • eBay listing for Houdini Big Little Book of Magic
  • The Great Houdini’s Book of Magic with Introduction by Walter B. Gibson [1976]
  • Walter B. Gibson and the Shadow by Thomas J. Shimeld


When was the first time that Harry Houdini appeared under his real name?

To answer that, we first need to know when Houdini legally changed his name from Ehrich Weiss to Harry Houdini.

He petitioned the courts for a name change, which would go into effect during his Atlantic crossing.

HH Sailing Jul 8 1913 Unknown Newspaper

July 5, 1913 The Billboard page 13

On July 8th, 1913, he departed NYC on the Kronprinzessin Cecilie (after giving his mother a farewell kiss) and landed in Hamburg about a week later, where he and Bess took a midnight train to Copenhagen.

Now, we just need evidence of his first performance. According to a number of sources, Houdini opened at the Cirkus Beketow in Copenhagen.

16 July 1913 Copenhagen newspaper Ekstrabladet ad for HH

16 July 1913 Ad promoting Houdini (Copenhagen newspaper Ekstrabladet)

At 8 pm (CET), Jul 16th, 1913 Houdini performed in Danish, before a circus audience at the Circus Beketow in Copenhagen that included the princes of the royal family.

And then at noon (CET), the next day at a Press reception, Houdini received news of his Mother’s Death, who had passed away 15 minutes passed midnight in Asbury Park NJ, which was 6:15 am (CET) in Copenhagen.  The shock of Houdini’s mother death had been followed with an attack of a “chronic kidney disease”  and Houdini was released from his contract and returned to the states.

However, the performance in Copenhagen was not his first appearance with the legal name of Harry Houdini.  You see, he performed at Sea on July 12th 1913 at 9 pm as evidenced by the following program:

Swann 2006 Catalog Log 166

Swann 2006 Catalog Lot 166 – Program for a performance by Houdini onboard the Kronprinzessin Cecilie.

For reference and additional information, please refer to the following sources used in this post:

Houdini’s Most Wondrous Effect

hh margery cropmargeryhoudinicrop

According to Margery, the Witch of Lime Street:

During the magician’s last visit to Lime Street the two of them sat briefly alone in her son’s room, where she suggested that he, clearly exhausted, could take a nap prior their final Charlesgate séance.  While reclining on John’s bed, Houdini told her about his most wondrous effect.  It had occurred, he recalled, on the Fourth of July at Seacliffe, Long Island – when rain began to fall just as his nephew and other children were preparing to set off fireworks.

See my post from last fourth of July to read about Houdini’s most wondrous effect:

H A P P Y  4 T H  O F  J U L Y  !


  • The Witch of Lime Street (page 412), by David Jaher

S.A.M. Collectible Card and Houdini Commemorative Stamp

SAM Collectible Card front

In July of 2002, the Society celebrated its Centennial Year in New York City and issued a collectible Houdini Card.  The back of the card reads as follows:

The man who would become “Houdini” was born in Budapest, Hungary, and immigrated to Appleton, Wisconsin as an infant.  He later moved to New York. Early on, he was inspired by Robert-Houdin books (he took his stage name from Houdin). He worked his way up as a Vaudeville entertainer.  His accomplishments included: highly successful overseas and American tours; crusades against spiritualists; developed and named the tenth branch of magic–“escapology”; starred as a movie actor and owned a movie company; and wrote many books and articles.  As National President (1917-1926), he promoted the S.A.M. and encouraged local clubs to affiliate.  He was elected to the S.A.M. Hall of Fame.


Also in July of 2002, on the 3rd, the US Postal Service issued a Houdini Commemorative Stamp during the Centennial Celebration.  The Houdini postage stamp contains a hidden image (4 chains wrapped around Houdini’s body) that can only be seen with a special stamp decoder the United States Postal Service sells.

HH stamp plus decoder image