Monday, December 6, 2010

Houdini Grave Videos

You never know what you'll turn up when doing research. I found this site which is filled with online video clips of Houdini's Grave. Actually, one of these clips caused me to head in a new direction on research (can't say what that is yet). The very first clip is John Cox from the famous and fantastic blog. It's kind of funny watching the various videos because some of the people who are visiting are either magicians or Houdini fans and know their stuff while others are not too knowledgeable. Still, I found it interesting. Also, there is a video there of a look inside an old BF Keith's Theatre in Flushing NY. It's really wild, kind of sad also at the same time. That video has nothing to do with Houdini that I know of, it just so happens to be listed on this site.

You'll find out if you didn't already know that Bess has a gravestone with Houdini but she is not there. She was Catholic and thus not buried in the Jewish cemetery. She is buried at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne NY. Harry Houdini had two birthdates and two places he was born, but Bess out did him because she has two tombstones! (is that morbid? sorry)

Just a little historical note, not far from Houdini's grave in Machpelah Cemetery is the grave of magician Signor Blitz. He was such a popular magician that upwards of 13 other performers were traveling the country and using his name and some were using his promotional material. Blitz wrote his own autobiography which is called ‘Fifty Years In the Magic Circle". There is a famous exchange between Blitz and President Lincoln. Lincoln was present during a show Blitz was doing for a group of children, among the children was Tad Lincoln. Lincoln asked Blitz how many children he has made happy. Blitz replied that it must be thousands. President Lincoln follows with "I fear that I have made thousands and tens of thousands unhappy." This exchange took place as the Battle of Gettysburg was being fought.


  1. Such a handsome young man. :)

    How about that inscription on the back? That was a real surprise. Also, the "room for one more" at the end was presumably where Leo was supposed to be before Houdini banished him. Maybe that spot was being held for Elise Hardeen? Wonder where Elise is?

    And to correct myself, the busts weren't smashed, they were stolen (although news accounts of the day reported they were smashed). One bust turned up under some guy's bed not too long ago.

    I had forgotten about Blitz when I was there. I should have checked that out.

  2. Apparently Leopold is there as is Gladys but their gravestones are being repaired. I don't see their gravestones in ANY of the videos so I wonder how long it takes to repair one of these things. I wonder if money ran out for the repair work. I actually didn't think Leo was buried there until I found a schematic of the site which shows otherwise.

  3. You know, I didn't think about where Gladys was when I was there. Poor Gladys.

    So Leo made it? That's news to me. Wonder how? He killed himself in 64, I believe? Sadie was long gone and I don't believe he had kids. Wonder who put him there? Regardless, I'm glad he made it.

  4. BTW, I was wrong about Elise. Per Houdini's instructions, wives were not allowed (except Bessie of course).

  5. I guess by 1964 there was no one around to complain about Leopold. The graves of Leo and Gladys were near the tombstone for the Grandmother on the end with the two benches. Did Gladys have kids?

  6. No, I don't think Gladys ever married.