Contacting Houdini From Beyond
Hungarian-born Harry Houdini (nee Ehrich Weiss) was the world's greatest conjurer of magick, performing deeds beyond human comprehension. But he wasn't in any way, shape, or form a believer in the paranormal. His tricks were all cunningly designed, and his body was trained to withstand rigors that would make a Navy SEAL squeal "momma!"
Houdini lived in an age when Spiritualism ran rampant. He battled mediums in court, because he could easily see through the tricks they used to fool the gullible. After all, Harry probably invented a couple of them. He duplicated the medium's act, debunking them in the witness box and on public stages.
In fact, he was an original member of the Scientific American committee that offered a cash prize to any medium who could successfully contact the dead. No one has ever collected on the dare.
His friendship with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ended in a bitter breakup because of their opposing views on Spirituality. Doyle was a great supporter of spooks interacting with the material plane; the Great Houdini thought contacting the spirit world was just pure hokum.
Oddly, Harry debunked a seance that Doyle attended so well that Sir Arthur though Houdini himself wasn't exposing, but channeling, the supernatural. You just can't win.
On Halloween, October 31, 1926, Harry Houdini joined the netherworld spirits he had spent so much effort fighting, dying of a ruptured appendix. He was buried in a coffin he used in his show for one of his bits of derring-do.
Houdini was interred in the Machpelah Cemetery in Queens, New York, with the crest of the Society of American Magicians inscribed on his gravestone. To this day, the Society holds its "Broken Wand" ceremony at his resting place every Halloween, the anniversary of his passing.
But the great escape artist, despite his skepticism, had one more trick up his sleeve. Before his death, he set up a code that he'd contact his wife Bess with if he could somehow wriggle through the wall separating the living from the dead. She would pass the same code on to him if she died first.
Partially, he hit upon the idea because he never passed on a challenge. But practically, Houdini came up with the encryption so that Spiritualists couldn't claim to have made contact with their great nemesis once he was on the other side and couldn't defend himself in this earthly vale.
The cypher was based on an old vaudeville trick and something that only he and Bess would know. The message was, "Rosabelle-answer-tell-pray, answer-look-tell-answer, answer-tell". Sounds kinda mysterious, but for an old show biz couple, it was simplicity exemplified.
The inside of Bess' wedding band was engraved with "Rosabelle", the name of a popular song she sang in her act when they first met. The other words represented an alphabetic code used by the magician and his assistants to pass asides without the audience knowing. In stage shorthand, the rest of the message spelled out "Believe."
Bess Houdini held annual seances on Halloween for ten years after Houdini's death, but Houdini never showed. Oh, once a Reverend Ford claimed to be in contact with Houdini and his mom, code and all, but it ended up that Bess had inadvertently let the message slip to newspaper writers the year before.
In 1936, after a last unsuccessful seance on the roof of the Knickerbocker Hotel, she put out the candle that she had kept burning beside a photograph of Houdini since his death, later saying "ten years is long enough to wait for any man."
Then again...at the moment she snuffed out the candle, a violent thunderstorm broke out overhead, with boomers, lightning, and a torrential downpour. They would later learn that the cloudburst didn't occur anywhere else in Hollywood, just above the Hotel. Was it a freak storm or did he show up after all?
Anyway, the tradition of holding a seance for Houdini continues by magicians throughout the world to this day.
The yearly Houdini Seances are most notably held at the Houdini Museum in Scranton by magician Dorothy Dietrich, who had sat for them at New York's famous Magic Towne House. Bess had asked Walter Gibson to carry on the tradition after her fruitless decade, and before Gibson died he asked Dietrich to continue the mystic circle after him.
And yes, the seances have joined the modern age of internet magick. The museum is asking that serious channelers ("no kooks, please," it requests of participants) try to contact Harry and e-mail the results to the museum.
A web seance...we think it's time to let the Great Houdini get some rest. Maybe he finally got himself into one spot where he can't escape. But then again...
Some say that the shade of Houdini roams where his old Laurel Canyon home once stood. Those that pay a visit on Halloween claim to see a dark figure standing on the spectral staircases or walking in the garden grotto.
Many believe that this shadowy shape is that of Harry Houdini himself. The magician always said that if it would be possible for him to come back, he would. Maybe he has. - Reader submission
Escape!: The Story of The Great Houdini
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Entity Above My Bed
Maybe this isn't the right place to post this, since it's more like a dream, but I've been thinking a lot about an experience that happened to me a few months ago and don't really have anyone to talk to about it.
I was asleep and dreaming. There was nothing unusual about the dream. I was cooking pasta on the stove in a woman's kitchen, but she wasn't home, so I tried to hurry up. I'm boiling water and a pretty blonde woman appeared and said it was okay to use her stove. It's just some nonsense dream, until she stops and stares at me and looks at me with intense concern and says, "Here. Let me get it out of you," and raises her hand toward me, as if to remove something from my hair.
I wake up and I'm staring at the ceiling. In between my body and the ceiling is this black ink-like mist that is symmetrical, like an inkblot. It's morphing and hovering there. It's completely non-human... Just a lively intricate design. I bolt up straight in my bed and scream bloody murder at it. It vanishes.
I was terrified but that fear went right to anger and my first instinct to protect myself was to shriek at it. I woke the whole damn house up that night. I used to have night terrors as a kid, so my mom thought nothing of me screaming, which is a little troubling, but whatever.
What are your thoughts? Has anything like this happened to anyone else? Did some nice lady remove this crazy looking thing from me? I wonder how many other blobs are in there. - Reddit.com
The mysterious animals of cryptozoology examined
Inside the international scientific community, cryptozoology – the study of animals whose existence has not been recognized yet by zoologists – is seen as a futile hobby for naive and romantic people.
However, the simple consideration that just about 250 years ago the classified animal species amounted approximately to one thousand, should lead to a more conservative and less dogmatic approach, not forgetting that still nowadays new species are being discovered every year.
The purpose of this article is to analyze evidence and testimony concerning some peculiar animals and then, in the second part, examine reports about the alleged presence of strange beings that do not seem to be mere animals. Continue reading at OpenMindsTV
Submissions / Newsletter
Hi folks...if you've had an experience that you'd like to share with the readers, I am accepting submissions for consideration for publication. I also accept original well-written, well-researched article submissions. It's a great opportunity for you to receive exposure. Phantoms and Monsters is read by 25K+ readers each day...through the blog, syndication, feeds and the newsletter.
NOTE: As far as the newsletter goes...I've decided to remain at status quo for the time being. If the readers feel that my work is worthy of a donation, then I'll accept it. I'm still considering GoFundMe as an option. Lon
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