Thursday, October 27, 2011

Harry Houdini - Grave

 This is by far the ultimate in magic graves. It's beyond grand and probably out of place in a Jewish Cemetery. But it's all Houdini. In 1916, Harry Houdini decided have a massive marble monument built for the family plot he purchased at the Machpelah Cemetery in Queens, NY. He had his father and mother and older brother Herman moved to the family plot.

The entire Houdini family is here, with one exception, Bess, his wife. She is listed as being buried here but she is not. Because Bess was Catholic, she is in a different cemetery. There are two graves that have no tombstone, apparently the stones need to be repaired and have remained unrepaired for a long time. Those graves are of Leopold and Gladys.

Recently, the Houdini Museum in Scranton PA took it upon themselves to have the bust recreated and restored to the gravesite. The original has been destroyed by vandals and then a duplicate was later stolen. Suffice to say the Houdini grave has not been treated kindly over the years.

It should be noted that Houdini started the tradition of the 'Broken Wand' Ceremony. This is a ceremony conducted after the passing of a fellow magician. A magic wand is broken to signify that their earthly magic has passed on. As far as I know, the Broken Wand Ceremony is carried out every Halloween at the Houdini Gravesite by the Parent Assembly #1.

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