Monday, April 26, 2010
A Visit To Houdini's Grave - Was I pushed? You decide!
Houdini, Harry (1874–1926), U.S. magician and escape artist; born in Hungary; born Erik Weiss. In the early 1900s, he became known for his ability to escape from all kinds of bonds and containers, from prison cells to aerially suspended straitjackets.
I have long had a fascination with Houdini as an entertainer, and later, as a man who (rightfully) debunked some very famous so-called “mediums” in the days when spiritualism was all the rage in the parlors of the United States and Europe. I championed him for unmasking so many of those that preyed on the loss and misfortunes of others. And I felt sad for him as I followed his plight to communicate and receive a message from his own mother on the side.
Over the years, I have collected memorabilia and read a great deal about his life, and one thing I always wanted to do was to visit Houdini’s grave. Not because I’m a medium, as I usually stay clear of cemeteries because I know the dead are not there. (But that is another story for another blog). I wanted to go because it held the spiritual energy of another time and place. The Society of Magicians had a beautiful emblem made, along with a statue bust of Houdini to mount on top of it. Just like Jim Morrison’s grave in Paris, the bust has been stolen by zealous (or jealous) fans a couple of times and not replaced.
Houdini and his entire family are buried in MachPelah Cemetery in Jamaica Queens, a desolate area of blocks and blocks of cemeteries. This one has been closed down for over 20 years and it is certainly not a place I would go to alone, not as a medium or a woman. I didn’t know anyone else who was shared my passion. Then along came my friend, Steve. It was during a reading with me that Steve mentioned his own long fascination with the great escape artist. We were amazed to have known each other fourteen years and never once had either of us mentioned Houdini. I told him Houdini was an Aries, like me. We laughed and Steve offered to take me on the visit to Queens.
There were several signs from spirit once we were on our way, one was especially attention getting. In the middle of the ride, the keys literally flew out of the ignition while we were driving and landed between my feet on the passenger’s seat. The vehicle, btw, was still moving!
As we neared the rows of cemeteries with stones that spread out for miles, I could feel myself getting a little queasy, nervous, and excited. We had to pull off of the main street and into a carriage port circa 1800s and I was begging Steve to stop his pick up truck and turn around. It was overwhelming and unnerving and I could feel my head spin. I began to walk around with the video camera too soon. As you will see in the video, Steve comes around to help me. I am talking and trying to make light of how frightened I am by the energy I’m experiencing. As we move into the gravesite, Steve notices Houdini’s mother’s plaque. Not only was Houdini, my sign, but also it turns out that Steve discovered something about himself and Houdini’s mother!
I draw in for a close up with the camera so I can show all of you what Steve and I discovered and all of a sudden I have no control of the camera. As you will see, just before the end of the video clip, I am asking what is going on. Right after that moment, I felt people whispering all round me, close to my ears, and I felt a hand both push and pull me just before I took a nosedive into the monument steps. My fall was almost in slow motion.
I was lucky to escape serious injury and had to see the doctor to make sure. When I look back on the incident, I believe Houdini’s mother was trying to make her presence known to the first medium to visit there in a long time. Much of that cemetery has spirit lingering and it came as no surprise to me that she would reach out. Perhaps what I experienced is the residual energy of a mother who, even long after she is reunited with her son on the other side, still attempts to communicate with him.