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 July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More U.S.

The youngest convicted murders released from jail after 15 years Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

At just 12 and 13-years-old, two siblings confessed to killing their father's girlfriend and both were charged with first-degree murder as adults, despite evidence they were sexually abused by a family member. Yesterday, the two first faced the world they once knew. ... continue reading


Satanic statue secretly unveiled in Detroit, drawing Christian protest Watch

Image of Satanists secretly unveiled a nine-foot, one-ton statue of Baphomet, the horned devil god of satanic practice in an undisclosed location in Detroit this past weekend.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Satanists secretly unveiled a nine-foot, one-ton statue of Baphomet, the horned devil god of satanic practice in an undisclosed location in Detroit this past weekend. This has spurred on heavy protest from the city's Christian community. Hundreds gathered at Detroit's ... continue reading


Will Pope Francis be warmly welcomed in the United States? Watch

Image of Pope Francis will be in the United States in September.

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis will visit the United States for the first time ever in his lifetime during September. However, amid the excitement, the American populace may have lost some warmth towards the pontiff, who they once believed revived the Catholic Church in the country. ... continue reading


Will religious beliefs be acknowledged when Boy Scouts starts allowing gay leaders, volunteers? Watch

Image of Jennifer Tyrrell of Bridgeport, Ohio, a Cub Scout den leader who was kicked out in 2012 for being openly gay, embraces her son Cruz Burns.

By Kevin J. Jones, CNA/EWTN News

The Boy Scouts of America is moving to change its leadership standards in order to allow openly homosexual adult leaders and volunteers. While the organization promises that individual church-affiliated councils can choose their own leaders, at least one critic ... continue reading


THE THIRD VIDEO: The latest and most shocking footage of Planned Parenthood's abortion practices (WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO) Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

First there was a video revealing Planned Parenthood Federation of America's Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola casually discussing selling aborted baby organs over lunch, and admitting to using partial-birth abortions to get her hands on intact ... continue reading


Planned Parenthood HACKED, private employee information revealed Watch

Image of

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Planned Parenthood's website was hacked by a group of hackers who managed to gain access into Planned Parenthood and acquire the site's databases, including the names and email addresses of employees. These details were released by the hackers to the public. MUNTINLUPA ... continue reading


Threatening note promising revenge attacks found on U.S. military serviceman's car Watch

Image of The anonymous note comes just a week after the tragic shooting at military locations in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Under the windshield wiper of a car, owned by an unidentified serviceman, was a note warning the military of a revenge under investigation. Authorities believe the car was targeted because of the license plate identified the owner is a part of the military service. ... continue reading


Missouri Sheriff's 'inspiring' phrase on police patrol cars enrages atheists Watch

Image of Stone County police cars now have

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Missouri sheriff made the decision to adorn all of his station's police patrol cars with the words, "In God We Trust." It has quickly sparked up a major debate and inevitably, atheist activists are quite frustrated about it. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES -The Missouri ... continue reading


Humility not Haughtiness: Dana Milbank is Absolutely Wrong about Rick Santorum Watch

Image of Pictured: Rick and Karen Santorum at campaign launch

By Keith A Fournier

Dana Milbank was wrong in insinuating that Rick Santorum's use of the third person in referring to his campaign was akin to a - royal we. To the contrary, it reveals the heart of a humble man who deeply cares about others. Humility is such a rare quality these days ... continue reading


Does Planned Parenthood Contribute Anything of Value to Society?

Image of Margaret Sanger

By Matt C. Abbott

Granted, the Church's infallible teaching on the intrinsic immorality of contraception is derided by the libertine left, and too few Catholics assent to it. (At least some of the blame for this sad reality falls on weak and dissident clergy, but that's a subject ... 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

Gospel, John 11:19-27
19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 29th, 2015 Image

St. Martha
July 29: "Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus." This unique ... 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