The art of escape - Houdini
Now that you have tried at least one of our escape rooms, do you think you mastered the art of escape? Have you ever heard of Houdini, though?
Houdini’s life story is a series of legendary escapes with which he gained world fame. How he did it remained a secret forever even to his immediate co-workers, so he could become a true legend.
It all began with card tricks
Few know, and he himself denied that he was born in Budapest in 1874. He and his family emigrated to the United States only at the age of four. As a child, he took on a variety of jobs: he was a ragger, a shoemaker before he discovered his talent and opportunity in magic. His first stunts were card tricks, and the escapes only came into his repertoire later.
Escape from the police
Later on he performed mainly at police events. His talent was that no handcuffs or cells could be found from which he could not escape. He gained real-world fame when he started his shows in England from 1900 onwards. His name was soon picked up by the press, and his fame spread rapidly throughout the continent. The audience and authorities of Scotland, Germany, France, and Russia all wanted the "King of Handcuffs." More than 300 Berlin police officers were amazed that he escaped naked from their handcuffs in front of their eyes. All this in 6 minutes.
His action in Moscow also became very famous when he escaped from his handcuffs on a Siberian slave train in Russia’s oldest prison, Butirkaya. He was also stripped naked, handcuffed in the winter cold, locked in the wagon, from which he got out in less than half an hour, not to the great delight of the local authorities, but to their greater shock.
In five years, Birmingham Blacksmith has managed to manufacture the most modern clamp of its time, the Brama lock. It was claimed that it was impossible to open without keys. It only took Houdini an hour.
Fame and impostors
From 1907, the now world-famous Houdini was again in the United States. He presented his escape shows with great success touring the entire country. He freed himself from ropes, handcuffs and straitjacket with ease. As his productions began to be copied, he set out on increasingly risky innovations. Thus he escaped from his handcuffs hanging upside down from a tank filled with water and sealed - with his hands handcuffed backwards.
Houdini never claimed to have performed his mysterious stunts with supernatural abilities. On the other hand, he always consciously, regularly and prominently drew the public's attention to the constant dangers of his stunts and their possible harmful consequences. He was not afraid of risk, trusted in his strength, flexibility, and flexibility. In addition, he knew the operation of locks, knots and padlocks better than anyone.
"There's no easier way to bankrupt the crowd than to make it public, that at a certain time, in a certain place, someone will try something, and if he doesn't, he'll pay with his life." - Houdini
He died for his passion
He was extremely proud of his physical abilities and this eventually led to his death. He has performed a lot of times to have someone from the audience hit his belly with full power. However, the last stunt went wrong - Houdini had appendicitis, so he died of the spectator punch days later. He refused to see a doctor.
Even though we do not recommend anyone to try all the dangerous performances the great Houdini had, his success was mainly due to his great mind and knowledge on escaping. Something that you can also practice in our escape room Manchester. Which room would you try?