Abbotts Halloween Special

SPOOKSTERS OF MAGIC PAST AND PRESENT

Houdini Seance 1973

by Neil Foster

Members of the Lafayette, Indiana, Magic Society got quite a bit to think about when they staged their first Houdini Seance on Halloween night. The evening saw about 25 local magicians and guests gather in Londons Fun Shop for a recreation of the seance held on the 10th anniversary of Houdini's death. Houdini died October 31, 1926. The setting included a slate, writing tablet, spirit bell, a pair of handcuffs and a picture of Houdini. The eerie scene was lit by a single candle and a portion of a recording made by Dr. Edward Saint was used to set the scene.

"Apparently" nothing was used by the "spirits" to manifest themselves. But, on turning over the slate that had previously been wiped clean, there were two marks made with chalk!

Were the marks an accident made in handling the chalk? Or, as some members theorized, were they the start of the letter "H" for Houdini? Members of the Lafayette Club are still thinking about it -- some discounting it as an accident -- others still have a doubt in their minds.

The seance was attended by I.B.M.'s International President, Robert Hurt. It was staged by area magician, Ron London, and was attended by TV and newspaper reporters.



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