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Harry Houdini

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Will Houdini Escape From Queens?

Houdini's Grave
The descendants of escape artist Harry Houdini want to exhume his body to determine if he was poisoned. Houdini died on October 31, 1926, of a supposed burst appendix (the result of a punch in the stomach), but the performer's great-nephew believes it was murder. An autopsy could determine if Houdini was poisoned by his rivals for debunking the Spiritualists, a group that claimed to communicate with the dead. Houdini's grave, above, is in Machpelah Cemetery in Glendale. NYC Exhumation Could Determine If Houdini Was Poisoned [AP via Newsday]

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Breaking: Séance Fails to Conjure Houdini!

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They sat there for a half-hour, fourteen writers, mediums, magicians, and old showgirls gathered around a circular table, 28 palms clasped together, 28 eyes shut, everyone waiting for the great Harry Houdini to come back from the dead. There was silence (save for the pesky clicks of a New York Times shutterbug). And there was more silence. (Click, click.) And then there was nothing. The Great Houdini never showed.

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The Magician Was a Spy? Ask Him Today!

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The latest tale conjured about Harry Houdini, who died 80 years ago today, is that the famed magician and showman was actually an American and British spy — and that he was murdered as part of an elaborate plot concocted by his arch-enemies, a trans-national clique of turn-of-the-century mediums supported by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. And perhaps at the annual Houdini séance this afternoon at the Center for Jewish History, in Chelsea, ol' Harry will come back from his Long Island grave to answer shed some light on these new charges.

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