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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » High Heels and Houdini's Chinese Water Torture Cell (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Richard Sherry
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There have been modern day interpretations of Houdini's Chinese Water Torture Cell but they all pale in comparison to the original extreme, death defying escape created by Houdini. Since Houdini's unexpected death on Halloween night in 1926, no one - man or woman - has ever attempted to escape from his notorious Chinese Water Torture Cell - until now. Master escape artist Dayle Krall will be the first person in the history of the world to attempt this escape since Houdini's death.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=20......38790357
Chezaday
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Naperville, IL
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Man .. who ever built that cell did an awesome job! Very cool ...

Steve
illusions & reality
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That looks like Richard Sherry built that one - and it is beautiful!

Lou
Ms. Morgan
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You build a mean box Richard.


Ms.M
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Magic Patrick
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Man .. who ever built that woman did an awesome job! Very cool ...

Patrick
Fábio DeRose
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I kinda don't get it. Many people (Incl. myself) have done the Water Torture Cell act, in many different incarnations (which include many very similar to the original) since Houdini escaped from the material world.

Maybe I'm mising something, but w/e. Props to the lady and to the Torture Cell. Both are beautiful!
Fábio De'Rose - Ilusionista
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Banester
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First, why the sales pitch!? As Fabio said a lot of people have done variations of it since Houdini's passing and even the one you created is a variation.

Quote:
his notorious Chinese Water Torture Cell
- was damaged in a fire and then restored. Original Cell

It is a beautiful job you did on the item though!
The art of a magician is to create wonder.
If we live with a sense of wonder, our lives
become filled with joy
-Doug Henning-
Fábio DeRose
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Oh, so that is the original Torture Cell that Houdini has used?

If so, I have a quite bittersweet feeling about the whole idea. You know, it's like restoring then playing a one of Hendrix's electric ladies. Doesn't quite feel right, almost like sacrilege.

Should work like a charm for marketing purposes, although.
Fábio De'Rose - Ilusionista
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Banester
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No Fabio, the one Richard posted was one that he made from scratch based on what the original looked like. John Gahagan restored the original and I am not sure if DC bought that from him or not. Richard's cabinet is beautiful, but not the orginal that's why I was wondering bout the sales pitch.
The art of a magician is to create wonder.
If we live with a sense of wonder, our lives
become filled with joy
-Doug Henning-
Craig Dickens
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John Gaughan restored the original, but is was later destroyed in a fire. All that remained were some metal framework pieces and a charred piece of the bottom. The remnants were displayed at the Conference of Magical History years back. John did make a duplicate that he uses like a curio cabinet to display props in his workshops museum.
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Chezaday
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Now I'm confused .. what are we looking at with Gaughn in the photo? Is that the original cell or the duplicate? Or was the one destroyed in the fire a duplicate?

Did I just say that out loud ...

Steve
Fábio DeRose
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Thanks, Banester!

So, yeah, nopwI'm confused too. As I understand the original was heavily damaged on a fire THEN restoredby Gaughn. Or not?
Fábio De'Rose - Ilusionista
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Banester
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That was my understanding...original destroyed in fire while on display at the Houdini Museum in Niagra Falls, NY. The metal frame was intact and John restored it. I have heard two rumors from that point. One is that David Copperfield bought the item and the other is that it is owned by the same corporation that owns the Houdini shops in Vegas.

Steve, the one that I posted in the photo is the original after being restored from the fire in Niagra Falls. After doing a little checking it seems that Radner owned the illusion and stored it at the Houdini museum in Vegas and later auctioned the item in 2004 and David C was the highest bidder (go figure LOL).
The art of a magician is to create wonder.
If we live with a sense of wonder, our lives
become filled with joy
-Doug Henning-
Banester
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Hey thought this was something pretty cool...

Houdini introducing the Water Torture Cell

This is his real voice and not recreated.
The art of a magician is to create wonder.
If we live with a sense of wonder, our lives
become filled with joy
-Doug Henning-
Craig Dickens
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I will confirm this with the powers that be today. But my understanding was that Gaughan restored the Cell ( it was a Magic magazine cover story) that had lots of water damage and rot ( maybe from a fire?). The prop was then a total loss in a later fire. Not enough left to restore judging by the few charred pieces that were left and displayed at the Conference.
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Kent Wong
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Two fires to the same Water Torture Cell? That thing is jinxed!

Kent
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Banester
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Thanks Craig, would be interesting to find out what happened to it. I also find it interesting how these "prized" items just disappear over time, why do we let history just kind of vanish?!
The art of a magician is to create wonder.
If we live with a sense of wonder, our lives
become filled with joy
-Doug Henning-
Banester
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LOL Kent your not joking! The ghost of Houdini?!
The art of a magician is to create wonder.
If we live with a sense of wonder, our lives
become filled with joy
-Doug Henning-
Craig Dickens
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Magic Magazine, November 1991 features the story of John Gaughan restoring the cell. It had damage as a result of a leaky aquarium that was part of the display in Niagra Falls. A fire at the museum later destroyed the renovated prop. The back inside cover of the magazine shows all of the parts laid out awaiting renovation. Close examination of this photo will reveal the secret mechanics of the effect.
e-mail at:magicaldickens@aol.com
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Fábio DeRose
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Thanks, Craig!

I must confess I could not help but giggle when I read that the Cell had "water damage". I know, I do know what you meant, of curse. But I just could not help but finding it ironic, hehe.
Fábio De'Rose - Ilusionista
www.ENIGMAGICO.com.br

Twitter @Enigmagico
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