3211 – Houdini Seance Photo: Halloween photo

Physical description:
An A4 black and white reproduction photo showing a seance. Bess Houdini is sitting down in front of a table and three men are around her. They are holding hands.
Museum classification:
Halloween exhibition
26cm x 20cm
Houdini was a legendary escape artist and illusionist. He had a low opinion of mediums and spiritualists generally, having a long running argument with Arthur Conan Doyle about it. When he died, Houdini arranged with his wife that he would return from the grave if the spirit world did in fact exist. For many years, his wife organised a seance on Halloween to try and contact Houdini. They even had a secret phrase that he would say if he really made contact. After many years, his wife gave up and concluded that there was no spirit world or life after death. This photo shows the final seance on Halloween, 1947. Bess Houdini sits in the chair with spiritualist objects on the table in front of her: spiritualist trumpet, chalk board and chalk, pen and paper and a bell.
Photographic paper
Copyright ownership:
Yesterdays Photos?