Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/31/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Owner of four-story home tired of magical acolytes who hang about the house every Halloween

This Halloween, if you just have aggressive trick-or-treaters to contend with, just be glad you're not 71-year-old Fred Thomas in New York City. His four-story house on West 113th Street is the former "permanent address" of legendary magician Harry Houdini. With the world famous escape artist's passing on Halloween of 1926, the house has become a pilgrimage for fans the world over. 

This four-story house on West 113th Street (inset) is the former 'permanent address' of legendary magician Harry Houdini.

This four-story house on West 113th Street (inset) is the former "permanent address" of legendary magician Harry Houdini.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/31/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Houdini, death, New York City, magic, escape artist


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Thomas, who now lives at Houdini's former house, Uptown at 278 west 113 St, says that there's no ghost haunting the place - just a frustrated old man.

His Harlem home becomes the city's premiere tourist attraction every Halloween, in observance of his death.

Houdini originally bought the four-story home for the then-kingly price of $25,000 in 1904.

"The lady who sold it to me never told me Houdini lived here. The neighbor told me after I moved in," Thomas says. "People are always outside talking pictures of the house. I've developed a callousness."

Houdini, the stage name of Budapest-born escape artist Ehrich Weisz lived at the home with his wife Bess. He resided there until his death.

When Thomas bought the place in 1991, the tools of Houdini's trade, such as shackles, handcuffs and the like were long gone.

Thomas did keep some original features of the 19th-century house between Frederick Douglass and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevards.

"I wanted to keep things original," Thomas says. He quickly dispels the main reason mystics flock to the building every Halloween: "There are no ghosts. There are no spirits," he said.

"Houdiniphiles" in search of "Houdiniana" can still observe the illusionist's memorabilia at the ad-hoc Houdini Museum of New York inside Roger Dreyer's midtown magic shop near Herald Square.

The 52-year-old Dreyer started his 3,000-item collection as a teen buying the goods from various magicians who were close to the elite family.

Among the most prized possessions in Dreyer's collection is the "Siberian Chain Escape," a 12-inch steel rope which would wrap around the magician's wrist and the "Metamorphosis Trunk," a four-foot-wide piece of luggage that Houdini used to trap himself inside.

Dreyer framed Houdini's business card, which lists W. 113th Street as his "permanent address."

"Harlem birthed some of the city's top entertainers," Dreyer said. "And during the early 20th century, no one was bigger than Houdini."

A birth foretold: click here to learn more!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More U.S.

Islamic State's seduction, recruitment of Americans under scrutiny Watch

Image of At least 25 Probable American recruits have been detained since January.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

U.S. prosecutions of would-be recruits to Islamic State has grown exponentially. ISIS has used both brutality and perceptive propaganda to attract members worldwide, in ways that are far more sophisticated than al-Qaeda and other jihadist adherents. LOS ... continue reading


'Man of peace, tenacity and courage,' Cardinal Francis George dies aged 78 Watch

Image of Polio during childhood had left the prelate with a weakened leg and a pronounced limp throughout his life. With his death, the College of Cardinals has 223 members, of whom 121 are under 80 and thus eligible to vote for a pope.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Retired Archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal Francis George has died after a decade of battling cancer at the age of 78. The first native Chicagoan to head the archdiocese, he is being remembered as "a man of peace, tenacity and courage" by his successor Archbishop ... continue reading


Genetic rescuing considered for shrinking wolf population on remote Michigan island Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There are only three wolves left on Isle Royale, a small island in Michigan Lake's Superior, according to biologists. Researchers said that they do not know what to do or what should be done in order to save the wolves from dying and disrupting the ecology. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


Another scandal shakes Hillary Clinton's presidential ambitions as IRS reports she took millions from foreign governments Watch

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has taken another hit to her reputation with new information coming out that could compromise her chances at becoming president or even the Democratic nominee. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Recent information has ... continue reading


Controversial 'Killing Jews is Worship' posters soon to be seen plastered around New York City Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

After being the center of a legal debate, posters with the statement, "Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah" are going to soon be seen plastered on New York City buses and subways due to the victory of American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) against ... continue reading


Where will the next big quake be? It may not be in California Watch

Image of The American midwest is seeing a rise in the number of earthquakes, likely caused by fracking for oil and natural gas.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Central and eastern portions of the U.S. have been suffering from a spate of earthquakes over the last few years, and the U.S. Geological Survey believes that human activity may be responsible for this uptick. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Geological ... continue reading


Bishop Robert Finn's resignation officially accepted by the Vatican Watch

Image of Bishop Finn served a two-year suspended sentence and the diocese was fined $1.1 million. Finn remained at his administrative duties until just recently and did not serve any jail time as a result of the conviction.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Vatican has announced the resignation of Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St Joseph. "The Holy Father has accepted the resignation of Bishop Robert W Finn from the pastoral governance" of his diocese, the Vatican said in a statement. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


'Spill all of their blood' Suburban American girl joins ISIS, encourages others to terrorize 'non-believers' Watch

Image of Hoda Muthana was described as a quiet girl in school.

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hoda Muthana, 20, shocked her entire suburban community when she joined the extremist Islamic State back in November. Muthana was allegedly brainwashed by the terrorist group when she fled to Syria using her university tuition fee. The young American refused to go back ... continue reading


5.3 MILLION chickens euthanized on Iowa farm as bird flu epidemic devastates Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The H5N2 bird flu virus took its biggest toll on a farm in northwest Iowa, in Osceola County. There are seven other Midwestern states that have been hit by the virus. The number of deaths in chickens and turkeys caused by the bird flu virus has been counted to around ... continue reading


Defend Marriage! Sign the Pledge in Solidarity for Marriage, Join the March

Image of Did you read that these defenders of marriage faced tear gas and clubs from the riot police of the French Socialist regime? They sang La Marseillaise, the French National Anthem, and called for the resignation of the President. Most US news sources did not even report on the Paris March. It was led by a growing movement in France called La Manif  Similar marches have occurred in Taiwan and around the world.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

One of the leaders I have the privilege of calling my friend is a great evangelical Christian and constitutional lawyer named Mat Staver. Mat is the Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel and Liberty Counsel Action.  We have joined together on many fronts, ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Peter 5:5-14
5 In the same way, younger people, be subject to the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 89:2-3, 6-7, 16-17
2 for you have said: love is built to last for ever, ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 16:15-20
15 And he said to them, 'Go out to the whole world; ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 25th, 2015 Image

St. Mark
April 25: The second Gospel was written by St. Mark, who, in the New ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter