See Houdini Escape while underwater on his Birthday!

H A P P Y  1 4 3 r d  B I R T H D A Y ! ! !

On Houdini’s Birthday in 1919, you could see him escape from shackles while under water in the Third Episode of “Master Mystery”.  Today, all you can see is Kino’s George Eastman House footage which is incomplete and suffers from severe nitrate damage.

That said, we know what Harry is wishing for on his birthday:

“Please release a complete version of “The Master Mystery” with all of its episodes complete” [Image:Missing scene from “Terror Island”]

We know Master Mystery is possible, not so sure about Terror Island:

May HH wish come true.  HBD HH!

Related:

Ottawa Manager Uses Horse Race to Boost “The Master Mystery”

According to the Exhibitors Herald and Motography Canadian Film News:

Manager Archie Laurie of the Strand Theatre, Ottawa, put over a neat stunt on the occasion of the presentation of the first episode of “The Master Mystery.”  Laurie seized the opportunity to secure considerable publicity by reason of the fact that a horse named “Houdini” won a race at New Orleans on the first day of the run, Monday, March 10 [1919].  The horse was a 10 to 1 shot, which fact made the boost more interesting.  He got in touch with the sporting editor of The Ottawa Journal, who readily consented to feature the winning of this horse in the report of the races.  The newspaperman also referred to the horse as “The Master Mystery” and then used a portion of his comment column to tell how a local race track devotee had cleaned up a pile of money by noting that Houdini was being featured at the local theatre on the same date as the horse was scheduled to run at Jefferson Park track down South.  As a result of this publicity, all the sport followers around town were talking about the hunch which the Strand Theatre had provided.

Laurie clipped the race report and the sport comment from the paper and placed them in a large frame in the theatre lobby.

Related:

Is the Houdini Museum one of the wierdest?

Here is a story on Penn Live that calls Scranton’s Houdini Museum one of the 9 weirdest museums in Pennsylvania.  In fact they are listed as Number 2.  Sounds awful, but when you read the story by the writer who attended the show he says…

“Scranton’s Houdini Museum features artifacts related to the life and career of magician Harry Houdini. Visitors are guided through the museum which is very small, yet packed with many amazing mementos from his life. The highlight of the museum, however, is the magic show conducted by two of the world’s best magicians, including Dorothy Dietrich, the only woman to ever perform a bullet catch with her mouth and escape from a straitjacket while suspended from a burning rope.”

Well, I had the distinct honor of visiting Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz at the Houdini Museum in 2015 and it was one of my best experiences:

I highly recommend you check it out and decide for yourself.

3 New HoudiniOpoly pawns announced

Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz of the Houdini Museum in Scranton have revealed three more pawn pieces for their upcoming HoudiniOpoly board game:
A Playing Card Pawn, a Trunk and a Plastic Gold Coin.
To go with:
Houdini’s Beer Barrel, Houdini’s Milk Can Escape, and a Hypnotic Eye.
Their kickstarter project ends in  3 days but turns out they keep it up for 2 weeks or more.  So there may still be time to participate at one of the following links below:

HH Fiction: Thoughts and Feelings of a Head Cut Off

Did Harry Houdini write a story titled, “Thoughts and Feelings of a Head Cut Off”?

According to Muriel Eddy:

I remember Mr. Eddy’s painstaking revision of Houdini’s: “Thoughts and Feelings of a Head Cut Off” ….. an experience which the master magician had undergone in his youth. Harry Houdini said in his story that somewhere in his travels he came across an ancient superstition that if a head was severed quickly and unexpectedly from a body, the brain in the head kept on thinking for several seconds!

According to Harry, the natives of Aden-Aden were anxious to test this theory, and when he visited that remote island they ganged up on him and ALMOST succeeded in amputating his head from his body….they must have been anxious to hear what the brain of a magician would think of, after it was separated from the body!

[BTW: Houdini owned a photograph (which can be seen on p. 107 of Meyer’s Houdini: A Mind in Chains) of decapitated sailors. A note on the verso in the hand of Bernard Ernst, Houdini’s attorney, states, “Picture taken on Houdini’s South Sea trip – sailors decapitated for mutiny on high seas.]

I am quite sure this story was never offered for sale by Harry Houdini, as it lacked the ring of veracity …  perhaps it WAS somewhat exaggerated! When we told H.P.L. about it he exclaimed:

“Oh, what I could have done with that story, but perhaps Houdini wouldn’t have liked it if I’d changed it TOO much. I took a lot of liberties with his “Pharaoh” story, but he seemed satisfied….but THIS one!” and a far-away look was in his eyes ……

Later on, we were discussing the possibility of the TRUTH of a brain functioning after death… and Lovecraft averred that perhaps the brain DID function.… for a few minutes after the death of one’s body.  It was a weird subject and there it ended! I sometimes wondered what Lovecraft’s true feelings regarding this matter really were!
[p. 18-19 The Gentleman From Angell Street, Muriel Eddy, 1961.]

According to Chris Perridas excellent HPL blog:

The sitz im leben [creation of alleged context] of the anecdote [short and amusing or interesting story about a real incident or person] has to be after the writing of “Under The Pyramids” (after February 1924) and prior to Houdini’s death (October 1926). Lovecraft was in New York nearly continuously from March 1924 to April 1926. Therefore one suspects that this would have been between April 1926 and October 1926.

There is no obvious reason to deny the veracity of Muriel Eddy’s report, thus it shores up the idea that Lovecraft, C M Eddy, and Houdini were in close communication.

Will this unpublished manuscript surface like the Cancer of Superstition manuscript or is it lost to history?

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