Harry Houdini visits Aberdeen, Scotland

In 1909 Houdini dove into Aberdeen harbour and escaped from shackles underneath the waves.

Harry Houdini 1989
On 1st July, 1909 Harry Houdini, a famous illusionist and escapologist got chained and handcuffed, and thrown into the sea in Aberdeen Harbour. Thousands of people gathered to see the unbelievable escape attempt. The prevailing storm made Houdini’s stunt even more dramatic. Aberdeen police were ready to stop him from the attempt to face death under the water. Time spent under the water made spectators realise his chances of survival were very small.
He resurfaced unscathed.

Houdini’s stage appearances at Palace Theatre in Bridge Place after the underwater escape were jam packed.


Houdini visited the grave of Scottish master of magic – John Anderson “The wizard of the North”

“John Henry Anderson (1814–1874) was a professional magician, born in The Mearns, Scotland. Anderson is credited with helping bring the art of magic from street performances into theatres and presenting magic performances to entertain and delight the audience.” – Wikipedia

John Anderson died in the same year that Harry Houdini was born. Houdini considered Anderson to be one of his great inspirations and during his visit in Scotland in 1909 arranged for the upkeep of the gravesite, which had fallen into disrepair.

Anderson’s grave still exists at St. Nicholas Kirk. See the photos below (one with myself standing next to the grave stone and the one on the right with Harry Houdini and Anderson’s relative next to it). The original background has been replaced with a part of St. Nicholas Shopping Centre’s wall.


Houdini and Radek Makar


Till the next time!
Radek Makar: Conjuror