The greatest illusionist of all time was on a strange mission when he suddenly died on Halloween in Michigan.

Houdini's Mission to Expose Scammers

Harry Houdini has been a household name for nearly 100 years.  Many know about his magical ability to escape death during his shows.  His most well-known trick was escaping a large steel drum full of water that was chained and padlocked shut.  Not many people know that Harry was on a mission to catch medium and spiritualist scammers according to bbvaopenmind.com,

His knowledge of magic allowed him to find out the tricks used by spiritualists, whose sessions he attended disguised and accompanied by incognito policemen, to finally light a flashlight that left the deception in the open and stand up to the cry of “I am Houdini! And you are a fraud!

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The Beginning of the End

While Houdini was on tour he was spending much of his time exposing psychic scammers.  It's possible that mission was taking his much-needed focus away from his performances.  On October 11th, 1926 Houdini fractured his left ankle during a show while he was shackled in his water torture cell in Albany New York.  The illusionist continued his tour against his doctor's orders.

After a lecture at McGill University in Montreal on October 22nd, Houdini was hanging out with a small group of students in his dressing room.  That's when one of the students, J. Gordon Whitehead, asked Harry if it was true that he could take hard punches to his stomach.  Houdini said yes, but had no idea what would happen next according to History.com,

Whitehead abruptly delivered “four or five terribly forcible, deliberate, well-directed blows” to his stomach. Houdini was still reclined on the couch and had no time to prepare for the punches, which appeared to leave him in considerable pain.

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The Show Must Go On

In incredible pain, Houdini hopped on a train to Detroit the next day and insisted on taking the stage.  That Detroit show would be his last show.  Houdini passed away on Halloween with a ruptured appendix.

 

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