Friday, October 30, 2009

The "Final" Houdini Seance, part two...

Dr. Edward Saint: Ladies and Gentlemen, in this cathedral-like atmosphere tonight, I wish to remind you that this is a most solemn occasion for the close friends that have gathered here. That the zero hour of the tenth anniversary of our departed friend is fast nearing the end, and that the results of tonight are primarily of a personal and private nature only. No attempt is being made to sway the world, or to convince the skeptics one way or the other. This is a personal gathering aiding Mrs. Houdini in completing her ten-year vigil, and to aid Mrs. Houdini and ourselves to a final and logical conclusion. Nor is it expected or intended that others must necessarily agree. But, this last personal attempt to contact the spirit of Houdini has aroused interest throughout the world, and to that extent will the findings here tonight be publicly recorded. We wish it distinctly understood that in this last and final attempt, we are interested in Houdini coming to us instead of to a stranger. Should Houdini contact a stranger anywhere in the world tonight, we know that Houdini will leave proper identification.

On behalf of Mrs. Harry Houdini, I wish to thank all members of the press, both local and worldwide, the various national magazines, and the hundreds of individuals throughout the world that have aided. I wish to thank the sincere friends in the four corners of the United States, Canada and Europe, in the forming of twenty or more simultaneous seances, coinciding with our final attempt here in Hollywood. I wish to thank the several hundred friends, trained observers, and several dozen renowned psychics and mediums that are present with us here tonight, and especially, the past president of the California State Spiritualist Association, present here tonight, whose kindly advice has been of great value.

Every facility has been provided tonight that might aid in opening a pathway to the spirit world. Here in the inner circle reposes a medium’s trumpet, a pair of slates with chalk, a writing tablet, and pencil, a small bell, and in the center reposes a huge pair of silver handcuffs, on a silk cushion. Facing the inner circle, stands the famous Houdini shrine, with its doors ajar.

The world knows that the Houdinis were always open-minded regarding spirit communication. Houdini sought to communicate with his beloved mother after she passed on, but he found no evidence that he could rely upon. The Houdinis always believed that in their search, if you remove the fraud, what is left must be the truth, and they together were always seekers after truth. Before Houdini’s death, the Houdinis made a compact that the first to go would try to contact the survivor. Houdini had promised to deliver a message in code, to his wife, also to open the silver handcuffs, and other signs, if he should pass over first. It so happens that Mrs. Houdini survives, and she made it a sacred duty to carry out the terms of the compact.

The first year found Mrs. Houdini every Sunday between the hours of 12 noon and 2 o’clock, locked up in the privacy of her own room, seated in front of Houdini’s photograph, waiting for some sign of Houdini, as prearranged in the compact. The truth regarding spirit communication was to Harry and Bessie Houdini a very sincere and profound question. During the following years, each anniversary of his death has been devoted to Houdini. During the last ten years, there have been times that Mrs. Houdini felt that surely, Houdini was coming through, that her hope of communication would be fulfilled. She was willing to believe, but the evidence did not stand up.

At no time has Mrs. Houdini ever received a psychic communication from Houdini, nor has anything occurred anywhere in the world that would lead Mrs. Houdini to believe that Houdini was trying to come through. Yet, hundreds of alleged psychics and mediums have written in and stated that Houdini has appeared to them in some form or other. In Chicago they said he walked boldly into a room. In Kansas City, Houdini was said to have written a long letter to Mrs. Houdini. In Long Beach, Houdini was said to hypnotize the medium, and then delivered a message through her. In New Zealand, he drank a cup of tea. And in Santa Monica, he escaped from several pair of handcuffs by dematerializing his hands.

These things may be. Surely, it is not for Mrs. Houdini to decide. But we all believe, and many prominent psychics agree, that if Houdini has appeared all over the world in spirit form, under every kind of manifestation, and doing this many times every week of every year of the last ten years, then we believe that the great Houdini will, on this last authentic seance, come to the little silver-haired widow -- the little lady who for thirty-three years stood by the side of her beloved Harry, listening to the applause of kings and emperors, and the world at large. A few days before his death in Detroit, Houdini, in a most strong and firm reminder again said, “Bess, Darling, I’ll come back to you, if it is possible -- even if I have to go through Hell to do it.” That was Houdini talking.

Houdini was an editor of the old New York World. He was an honorary Lieutenant of Police, and instructed a class of detectives and officers of the police force regularly in New York City. He was the author of many books, a writer of many magazine articles, a publisher of a national magazine, head of many magical organizations throughout the world including societies in Berlin, London, and New York City. Member of the exclusive Circumnavigators Club, the Masons, the Elks, and many others. He headed investigating committees that led him to appear on the floor of Congress at Washington D.C. "The Houdinis," Harry and Bessie, presented a remarkable magic act in the palaces of Europe and throughout the world. Houdini was working in secret with Thomas A. Edison on a delicate psychic detecting instrument and a process that would permit him to take flashlight photographs in the dark without the flash being visible. A thousand interests had Houdini, besides his search and collecting of rare first editions to make his library on magic and occultism the largest private collection in the world -- which led to the creating of the Houdini Room, in the Congressional library in Washington DC today. Houdini spent much time in aeronautics, wrote authoritatively on the subject, and was one of the first seventeen fliers in the world, owned his own plane, and was the first man to ever successfully fly an airplane in Australia, winning the aerial trophy in Melbourne, Australia, March 15th, 1910. That, in brief, was the man Houdini.

He had safes and vaults in his home, and vaults in banks that his lawyers had access to. But one secret now made public for the first time, is the fact that Houdini had one safe deposit vault, in a bank or trust company in the East, under some familiar name other than Houdini, and of which the secret location rested only in Houdini’s brain. In this vault was kept highly secret papers, and into which was always place a certain glass case of jeweled metals, and a diamond question mark pin with a rare pearl drop -- a gift from Harry Kellar to Houdini. The jewel box was always on display in the Houdini home, but prior to closing the house to go on a vaudeville tour, Houdini always placed this box in the secret vault. Many things were left untold because of the unexpected death of Houdini in Detroit. There is a law, a time limit; Madame Houdini has year by year awaited word, that the federal government had located or opened the box long overdue. Perhaps the vault rent had been paid years in advance; however, this secret vault has never been located to this day. No medium or psychic has ever brought forth information from Houdini, or the spirit world, touching on or leading to its discovery. So if any circle tonight, in any town in the world, believes that they are contacting Houdini, let them identify themselves by bringing forth this information regarding the secret vault. [ be continued... ]

Next time: Saint pleads with the spirits, and Bess reaches a decision.

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