Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
ENCYCLOPEDIA
Glossary
What's New
Most Popular
List of Articles

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

March / April 2014 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: houdini

DEFINITIONS

Houdini: Born Ehrich Weiss (1874–1926) in Budapest, Hungary, and moved with his family to the US in 1878. At 9, he made his public debut as a trapeze artist. He also spent time working as a locksmith. Houdini started performing magic tricks professionally, especially with cards and coins, in 1891. He added handcuff escapes. Met and married Bess Rahner in 1893. He and Bess had an act where she was a psychic medium, but they abandoned it when their agent tells them to focus on escapes. They go to Europe and by 1904 he became a huge star.

Many conjurors today acknowledge that Houdini was not the best magician of his day, but he was certainly the best advertiser and publicist. Even so, by the 1920s his career was flagging and he needed a new publicity focus. Combining his knowledge of magic, locksmithing, and earlier work as a fake medium, he started to debunk small-time mediums and psychics. When he went up against well-known medium “Margery” (Mrs. Mina Crandon), a furor took place. At first, she was declared real by a scientific committee, but after Houdini participated in tests with her, the declaration was rescinded. Houdini’s assistant at the time, James Collins, alleged that Houdini had him place false evidence against her during a test. There is still a great deal of debate over Margery.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, became a friend of Houdini. However, Doyle’s belief in mediums and Houdini’s antipathy toward them eventually broke their friendship.

Houdini died on Halloween in 1926 from appendicitis and peritonitis. A recent book claims that Houdini was also a spy and that his death was murder.


ARTICLES

Spiritism
Spiritism, or as it is more commonly known, Spiritualism, is a religion which holds that it is possible to communicate with the souls of those who have gone through the transition known as death. Although some occultists would disagree with this ...
Relevance:  3 % 3%


Review of the Dark Grimoire Tarot
Summary: As dark and mysterious as the mythic world created by H. P. Lovecraft, The Dark Grimoire Tarot is strongly recommended for those mature enough and brave enough to examine their darker sides, and by coming to know and control those aspects ...
Relevance:  2 % 2%



When we are told we are being taken to a haunted location, long before we reach our destination, our mind will have already created its own ghosts and demons. In fact, the mind is the common denominator where any respectable paranormal investigator is concerned; and whether you are a sceptic or believer, you can never be certain exactly what... read this article
7 Ways to Welcome Spring with Crystals and Gems
The Witch's Broom: Magic for Everyone
Astrology: The Energy of Color
How to Get Rid of a Ghost: 3 Easy Ways
A Healing Spell for Your Cat

Most recent posts:
The Angel of the River Thames
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Billy Roberts, author of The Holistic Way and the new Ghostly Tales. Today the subject of angels is...

Marseille Cat Tarot
The Marseille Tarot is very popular in Europe and is now gaining popularity in the US. Some people think that Marseille style decks are harder to...

The Four Elements
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Donald Tyson, author of a vast number of books, including The Serpent of Wisdom, The Demonology of King...




Llewellyn's 2014 Moon Sign Book Llewellyn's 2014 Moon Sign Book
Conscious Living by the Cycles of the Moon

By: Llewellyn
Price: $10.99 US,  $12.50 CAN
$2.75 US,  $3.13 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2014 Herbal Almanac Llewellyn's 2014 Herbal Almanac
Herbs for Growing & Gathering, Cooking & Crafts, Health & Beauty, History, Myth & Lore

By: Llewellyn
Price: $10.99 US,  $12.50 CAN
$2.75 US,  $3.13 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2014 Magical Almanac Llewellyn's 2014 Magical Almanac
Practical Magic for Everyday Living

By: Llewellyn
Price: $10.99 US,  $12.50 CAN
$2.75 US,  $3.13 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2014 Witches' Datebook Llewellyn's 2014 Witches' Datebook
By: Llewellyn
Price: $10.99 US,  $12.50 CAN
$2.75 US,  $3.13 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2014 Astrological Calendar Llewellyn's 2014 Astrological Calendar
Horoscopes for You Plus an Introduction to Astrology

By: Llewellyn
Price: $13.99 US,  $15.99 CAN
$3.50 US,  $4.00 CAN On Sale!