Showing posts with label Graves. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Graves. Show all posts

Monday, October 19, 2020

The Grave of Imro Fox - Comic Genius


My friend Tom Ewing was kind enough to provide me with this photo of Imro Fox's grave. Isadore IMRO Fox is buried in the Oheb Shalom Cemetery in 1321 North Broad St. Hillside NJ. He is buried in Lot 1001, Block 59, Grave #3. His wife Pauline is also buried there in Grave #2.

I had done a podcast on Imro Fox a few months ago and had mentioned that the grave was in a different cemetery. Turns out, that very cemetery was right next to this one. Tom Ewing went out searching at the first cemetery and couldn't locate it. That's when we realized it was in the second. Somewhere over time, someone in the magic world had listed the cemetery incorrectly, and it had been passed on several times, as did I.  NOW however, we have that corrected and here is proof!

If you'd like to listen to the podcast on Imro Fox, click this link...

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Robert Heller RETURNS

I just heard from the folks at the Mt. Moriah Cemetery in Philadelphia and they sent me the above photo! The grave of Robert Heller/William Henry Palmer has been found and is now standing. This is from The Haunt at Mt. Moriah, their FB page is

The grave was first discovered by Harry Houdini, who is seen in the photo on the left. And various others have uncovered the grave since that time. But neglect and abandonment of the cemetery caused the entire grounds to become overgrown and some areas impossible to reach. The Heller grave area was one of those.

Imagine my surprise to get the photo at the top of the page sent to me. I thanked them and sent a message asking for permission to use the photo here, but I didn't hear back and then it occurred to me that many they don't answer messages due to sheer volume. So I'm using the photo and given them full credit and my hats off to all the folks who have worked so hard at this cemetery and than you for uncovering Robert Heller's Grave!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

HELP NEEDED- Magician's Grave Photos

Grave of Compars Herrmann
I am reaching out and seeking help to find photos of graves of our dearly departed magicians. I have been fortunate in the past to receive photos from folks like the photo above of Compars Herrmann's Grave which I received from Heinz König. 

Usually I try to write a bio about the magician and then show the grave photo. All graves that I do find are listed at my other blog,    I wanted to have a central location so that anyone wanting to visit the graves could look up their location and find where the grave was easily. However, I hardly have a large database of graves. I think there are about 60 graves and their locations listed on the site.

The person doesn't have to be a magician but does need to be connected to magic. For example, I have a great photo of Margery the Medium's grave that I received from Norman Bigelow. Margery was not a magician, but she certainly was connected to magic via Houdini. And Houdini had a lot of associates who could easily fall in that category, like Jim Collins, Rose Mackenberg, Daisy White, Franz Kukol and James Vickory.

If you have a photo you'd be willing to share, I'll gladly put it up with your permission. Also, if you know where the particular grave is in the photo, let me know that as well.  You can contact me at
Anna Eva Fay's Grave

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Grave of Compars Herrmann

photo courtesy Heinz König
I received the quite the surprise in my email today from Heinz König who found and photographed the grave of Compars Herrmann. I had a photo from the Sphinx magazine which showed the grave and location but now we have a full color image of what the grave site looks like today. Some of the decorative metal work is missing, and the names have been painted in with gold leaf recently. So I assume that there are repairs going on. Actually, if I'm not mistaken, Magic Christian was working to get the grave of Compars Herrmann repaired, so perhaps we are seeing the grave in transition. It does appear that the top of the structure is missing. There was a marble piece at the top in the shape of an urn or vase.

Also buried in this cemetery are fellow magicians Johann Hofzinser and Kratky Bashik.

Compars Herrmann -Born Jan 23, 1816 Died June 8, 1887
Wiener Zentralfriedhof (Vienna Central Cemetery)
: XI. Simmeringer Hauptstrasse 234, Vienna Austria
Section: T1 Group: 6 Row: 29 Grave: 38

 photo courtesy Heinz König

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Grave of Herrmann The Great

photo courtesy of Kenneth Hughes

Over on my DeadConjurers blog, I have posted photos of the graves of Adelaide Herrmann and her husband Alexander, known as Herrmann The Great. But recently I came upon THIS photo on and the owner of the photo Kenneth Hughes kindly gave me permission to put the photo up. Just below this image are two grave markers, one for Adelaide and one for Alexander. But I'd never seen the large tombstone before.

I've written a number of articles on Alexander and his wife Adelaide. I'd encourage you to check them out if you've never read them before!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Episode 2 Additional Information

For the record, I love searching out the graves of dead magicians. Mainly because it's so darn hard to find the graves of living ones. On Episode 2, I showed three photos of graves of magic related people. The first was the grave of Anna Eva Fay Pingree. Anna Eva Fay was a phenomenon in her day. She was born Ann Eliza Heathman in 1851, just at the time that the Fox Sisters and the Davenport Brothers were making news as spiritual mediums. She apparently showed signs of having 'the gift' and was encouraged to move in this direction. Ann met a man who would become her manager and he taught her the actual gifts (the methods used by fake mediums).  They created an act where she would present 'Light and Dark Seances' on-stage for audiences. Among her interesting creations during the 'light seance' was the effect we know today as The Dancing Handkerchief.  Her 'dark seance' sequence was similar to the Davenport Brothers act, she would be tied to a chair inside a cloth cabinet and bells would ring, tambourines would play and other manifestation would occur.

Over the years she would move away from the seance aspect of the show and move more towards mentalism effects, all with a 'spirit' kind of theme to them. She retired from show business in 1924 and settled in Melrose Mass.

The next grave belonged to Mina Stinson Crandon, better known as Margery the Medium. She was the medium who The Scientific American Magazine was going to acknowledge to the world as being  a genuine medium and could really speak to the dead. Well, that is until Houdini got wind of this and he stepped in. Actually, he more than stepped in, he took over the investigation and an all out war ensued! Houdini had a special wooden box built to house Margery and prevent her from causing the manifestations to happen by her own hand. Her spirit guide 'Walter', who was her deceased brother, still spoke however and could be quite the salty tongued spirit.

Houdini successfully prevented the Scientific American Committee from awarding Margery with any sort of authenticity certificate.

She lived on Lime St in Boston and is buried in the Forest Hill Cemetery. The photo was provided to me by escape artist and investigator Norman Bigelow. Norm is currently offering a lecture about Margery and Houdini and other mediums.

Last up is a fellow who I've done a LOT of research on, William Henry Palmer, who performed under the stage name of Robert Heller. He was quite the performer. His show included not only magic, but mind reading and music. You see, Robert Heller was an accomplished concert pianist. The Library of Congress even has several of his pieces of sheet music in their collection.

Heller traveled the world presenting his magic. He actually was from England but his career really blossomed in America. One of his most popular feats was his Second Sight routine. This was an early version of what we think of today as mentalism or mind reading. Heller used multiple methods to read the mind of Haidee Heller, a woman he called his sister but apparently she was not. Incidentally, there is a wonderful story I read that happened between Robert Heller and Haidee. After the musical section of the show one night, he and Haidee got into a quarrel behind the scenes. She refused to come out for the Second Sight routine. So Robert Heller walked out and announced "Ladies and Gentleman, this is the part of the program where Ms. Haidee Heller comes out, except tonight she refuses to do so. Let's wait and see." He then quietly took a seat on the couch and began to twirl his thumbs not speaking a word. A few moments a red hot Haidee came storming out. Heller said "Ah! I thought so" and they continued with the show.

Robert Heller died unexpectedly in November of 1878. He was on tour in Philedelphia and had performed at the Concert Hall on Nov 26th, but showed clear signs of being ill. It was pneumonia and he died the next day. His body was sent to Machepelah Cemetery in Philidelphia and was placed in a vault there. Sometime later it was moved to Mt. Moriah Cemetery where he remains to this day.

Incidentally, these three folks were all connected in two ways. First they all had a connection to Houdini. Anna Eva Fay and Houdini were friends. Margery and Houdini were friendly enemies. Houdini re-discovered the grave of Robert Heller. Second connection is they all presented seances!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Margery the Medium's Grave

Long before the Long Island Medium got her own TV show, there was Margery The Medium. I've written about Margery before, but I wanted to show  you this wonderful picture of Margery's grave. The man in the photo is famed escape artist Norman Bigelow and he graciously has allowed me to post the photo here.

Margery was kind of Houdini's arch nemesis. She had everyone at the Scientific American Magazine fooled into believing she was a legitimate medium. Houdini got wind of that and said "NO WAY!" and forced himself into the investigation and proved that she was using trickery. The battles between Houdini and Margery were priceless, though all these years later I can't help but wonder how much of that was for show.

An interesting note on the grave stone itself is the name above Margery's. By the way, Margery's real name was Mina Stinson Crandon. The name above hers on the tombstone is WALTER Stuart Stinson.
If you're familiar with the story of the seances that she put on before the Scientific American Committee and Houdini, Walter was her brother and spirit guide. Walter was also known to use some rather politically incorrect language. But he was dead, so no one cared, lol.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mysteries of the Houdini Grave

We are fast approaching another anniversary (Oct 31) of the death of Harry Houdini. I thought I'd take some time and share with you some information about his grave site. His grave has been in the news quite a bit recently due to the wonderful work of the Houdini Museum in Scranton PA. They have taken it upon themselves to restore the Houdini bust to the grave site.

Let's take a trip back in time. It's 1885 and Houdini's half brother Armin/Herman died of turberculosis. Young Erich offered up his entire life's savings ($10) towards his half brothers funeral. Herman had a typical shaped tombstone with a rounded top. Seven years later, Houdini's father dies in 1892 and is buried next to Herman in the Machpelah Cemetery in Queens NY. The father was given a tall pillar shaped tombstone as can be seen in the photo. Between the Weiss grave and the tree on the right is Herman's tombstone.

In 1913, Houdini's mother Cecelia Weiss passes away. Those familiar with the Houdini story know how this affected him and altered the course of his life. Cecelia was buried in this plot also. Cecelia's name was added to the large pillar like tombstone.

Houdini though was devastated. He visited the grave often and eventually came upon an idea of buying a larger family plot and erecting a monument to the family. This was called the 'exedra' which means resting place. The design however was done by a friend of Houdini's Oscar Teale.

Oscar Teale was an architect by trade. But he was also an amateur magician. He served as the fourth President of the Society of American Magicians and wrote a book called 'Higher Magic'. It's said that Oscar Teale was also Houdini's Ghost writer on a number of project including the tome 'A Magician Among the Spirits'. He designed the exedra for Houdini. The finale cost of the monument was $40,000.00. It was installed at Machpelah Cemetery on October 1st 1916.

One interesting addition to the exedra was the inclusion on each side of the monument of part of the original Weiss Grave. On the far left is the gravestone face for Cecelia Weiss. On the far right is the gravestone face for his father Mayer Samuel Weiss.

Another unique feature is the emblem of the Society of American Magicians which is in the center of the monument just below the bust of Houdini. Harry Houdini served as President of the Society for several years and was the current president when he died in 1926. I can't help but wonder if the emblem was added after Houdini's death. It wouldn't make sense to have it on there in 1916 when the monument was erected. There is one photo in the Silverman Houdini book which shows Houdini sitting on the exedra as it was being built. No circular hole is there for the emblem. So it likely was added later.

Houdini had his family moved to the new site and made arrangements for the rest of his family to be buried there upon their individual deaths. The only spouse however that was accorded a grave was Bess Houdini. Her name was added to Houdini's gravestone, but truth be told she is not there. Because Bess was Catholic and Machepelah was a Jewish cemetery, she was buried elsewhere.

Houdini did not want his brother Leopold buried there because of the personal feud they were having. Houdini felt that Leopold disgraced the family by marrying his brother Nathan's ex-wife on a few days after they divorced. But apparently, Leopold is there, though his gravestone is not. Houdini's sister Gladys is also buried there but her gravestone is missing as well. Those two stones were taken out to be repaired and have never been returned.

There are 9 Weiss's buried in that family plot; Mayer Samuel (1829-1892), Cecelia (1841-1913), Herman (1863-1885), Willie (1872-1925), HOUDINI (1874-1926), Nathan (1870-1927), Theo/Dash Hardeen (1876-1945), C. Gladys Weiss (sister) and finally Dr. Leopold Weiss.

But there is a tenth person buried in the cemetery that never is mentioned. Perhaps people have forgotten about her. Hannah Steiner, Cecelia's mother is buried there. Houdini had her disinterred and then placed next to Cecelia sometime between 1913-1916 as a 'birthday gift' to his mother. Strange, sure, but this was Houdini. There is a gravestone there which reads Grandmother 1821-1887. This was Houdini's grandmother, his Mom's mother. She is between one of the marble benches and Herman's grave.

Houdini paid for perpetual care of his family plot but the care stopped a long time ago. The SAM Parent Assembly #1 was originally taxed with the duty of taking care of the plot or paying for it's upkeep. But for reasons which remain 'cloudy', the Parent Assembly has not paid for upkeep in a very long time and has a strenuous relationship with David Jacobson who takes care of the cemetery. However, others, like the Houdini Museum, have recently contributed greatly to the gravesite and are responsible for the restoration of the bust which now adorns the site once again.  I do have a fear that Machpelah may end up like Mt. Moriah Cemetery in Philadelphia, some day, and the magic community owes to the memory of the greatest magician of all time to care for his grave.

For those of you interested in a short guided video tour of the grave site, please visit the following link:
This video is from John Cox the man responsible for the incredible site Please watch the video because John shows the back of the exedra which is rarely seen. Enjoy!
Houdini Grave Today

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Upcoming Articles and other stuff

In the new few days & weeks, I'll be posting a bunch of new stuff. I've got an article coming on the magic used during the Civil War which is proving to be a lot of fun to research. In September I'll have a biographical piece on Walter Truman Best, better known as MARO Prince of Magic. Also coming is a biographical piece on Anna Eva Fay. Plus, there may just be one or two new Houdini articles, but you'll have to wait for those.
Over at my DeadConjurers blog, I just added the graves of Samri Baldwin, the White Mahatma and Maro, Prince of Magic. Please go over and check those out. I believe most of the graves on that blog also show the location of the grave. There are a few exceptions because at least three people listed over there were buried at Sea, so no grave exists.

I'm trying to get together a group of volunteer magicians to help with the clean-up of the grave of Robert Heller in Philadelphia. I've contacted a woman who is a member of the Friends of Mt. Moriah Cemetery, and she is helping me with that. If you are in the Philadelphia area or anywhere nearby and you might be interested in donating your time in the clean-up of the grave/grounds please contact me at I'll give more details as they come.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Kellar's Last Mystery

Something is terribly wrong in magicland. This concerns the first Dean of Magicians Harry Kellar. Today, March 10th, marks the 89th Anniversary of his passing. He was cremated and his remains are in Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery in Los Angeles CA. All of that is accurate. What follows is the mystery.

As you may or may not know, I collect photos of the graves of magicians who have passed on. I think we should pay homage to those who have done so much for the profession and have now gone into eternity. I had posted the image below from the Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery on one of my blogs in the past. This is the headstone for Harry Kellar's grave. It can be found near the road under a small tree in Section L, directly to the right of the front of the mausoleum.