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Topic: Did Houdini Really Do This ?
Message: Posted by: Rennie (May 9, 2008 12:33AM)
I have been reading a very interesting book called "The Great Entertainers". Of course Harry Houdini is included. In the story it explains that Houdini had an impending sense of death. He saw strange omens, an unexplained sound of his mother calling his name and the bizarre reactions of animals in his presence. Now, I will quote the book on the following. " In New York, on a rainy night in October, 1926, he phoned Joseph Dunninger, the famous magician and mentalist, and asked him to come to his house. When Dunninger arrived, Houdini explained that he wanted Dunninger to help him take some boxes to a storage place on the other side of the city. As they were driving away, Houdini suddenly told Dunninger to turn back. They arrived before the house, and Houdini got out of the car. He stood silently in the rain and then got back in. "I just wanted one last look", Houdini said. "I'll never see it again alive".
Can anyone substantiate that this is what happened. I had never heard this story.
Message: Posted by: pepka (May 9, 2008 03:50PM)
I've never heard that. It sounds like a tall tale. I prefer the one where Vernon locked Houdini in a phone booth at a hotel and said "There, escape from that."
Message: Posted by: Eric Fry (May 9, 2008 05:32PM)
I believe it appears in Gresham's biography "The Man Who Walked Through Walls." The problem is you'd have to believe Dunninger. No one else, reportedly, was present.
Message: Posted by: JasonbytheOcean (Jun 12, 2008 12:07PM)
The story also appears in the recent "The Secret Life Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero," written by William Kalush and Larry Sloman. Unfortunately, I don't have the two-volume set, which I think contains details on their references. It could very well have been one of those already mentioned.

I believe the story about him also being locked in a phone booth is also in there, though someone else is given credit for the prank.
Message: Posted by: Eric Fry (Jun 17, 2008 02:11PM)
An early draft of the Kalush/Sloman book is online. Their reference is Gresham, who seems to be referring to an interview he had with Dunninger. You have to consider that Dunninger craved publicity, would want to associate himself with Houdini's fame, and liked to imply that psychic abilities exist.
Message: Posted by: TonyMc (Jul 4, 2008 05:14AM)
Rennie, I've just finished a portrait of Houdini and, if I wanted publicity, I could say that Houdini appeared to me and told me to paint it or maybe every time I hung the picture it turned its face to the wall. Magicians tell lies!