Harry Houdini Last Seance Oct. 31, 1936

The Harry Houdini Séance is a tradition that has been carried out since 31st October 1927 with the intention and hope of communicating with the spirit of Harry Houdini. The specific date is symbolic because Houdini died on the same day.

Background information about Harry Houdini

Harry Houdini (also known as Erik Weisz) was an illusionist, debunker, magician, pilot, escapologist, film producer, stunt performer, historian and actor who was born on 24th March 1874 in Budapest, Austria-Hungary.

He practiced his magical acts in USA and also during tours in Europe. Some of the notable acts that he carried out include; swinging on ropes tied across skyscrapers, holding his breath while inside milk cans, getting buried alive and then clawing back to the earth surface, among other stunts.

During his lifetime he published several books, and most of them were written by Walter B. Gibson.

He also stirred in several films such as; The Master Mystery, Man from Beyond, The Grim Game and Terror Island.

Harry died on 31st October 1926 at Detroit Grace Hospital after suffering from acute peritonitis. He succumbed to the condition at the age of 52 years.

Harry Houdini Séances

Shortly before the late Houdini died, he promised his wife that he would resurrect after some time and then get in touch with her. They therefore devised a special coded message that could only be understood by the two of them.

The coded message was to prove to Bess that indeed it was Houdini and not any other party. It was similar to the spelling codes that were commonly used by magicians to pass secret messages to their assistants during their magical acts.

It’s for that reason that Bess started holding the Harry Houdini Séance on 31st October every subsequent year after her husband’s death.

It’s important to note that although Harry was an illusionist, magician and escapologist, he didn’t believe that it was possible to communicate with the spirits of dead people. As a matter of fact, he became a serious debunker of séances and spirits a few years before his death.

However, he strongly believed and even proclaimed that although it was impossible for other dead people to rise from death, he would resurrect after some time.

In the early 1900s, many people living in Britain and USA strongly believed in spiritualism. They believed that it was quite possible to communicate with their departed friends and relatives through séances and other mediums. Many of them had lost their loved ones during the First World War and therefore felt the need to communicate with their spirits.

The 1936 Séance (Audio Provided)

On the night of 31st October 1936, several women and men eagerly sat at a round table with their hands joined together. They were hoping for something that they had been waiting for every night of Halloween since 1926.

After patiently waiting for several hours, one of them finally rose and broke the sad news that Houdini hadn’t communicated and that she had finally lost all the hope that she had.

The woman who made the declaration was Bess Houdini, Harry Houdini’s widow. She had been holding séances every year after the husband’s death in spirited efforts of trying to get in touch with her late husband’s spirits.

When the tenth attempt (held on 31st October 1936) failed, she declared that she had finally given up.

The 1936 ceremony was supposed to be the Final Séance. However, other believers have been conducting the Harry Houdini Séance and other séances every year since 1936.  Harry Houdini has never been known to have communicated with anyone since his death.


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