In keeping with the spirit of Houdini
Believers carry out Halloween seance tradition
HOLYOKE - The council of 12 clasped hands, closed their eyes, breathed deeply, and waited. The room became tomb-silent. The air began to chill. And then, the dead spoke. (Note to you skeptics out there: Please suspend your disbelief.) Harry Houdini defied just about every worldly restraint he could: ropes, locks, webs of chains, straitjackets, in the air, underwater, upside-down, crammed into milk jugs, tied to pillars. And, as evidenced by a ritual seance held every Halloween night for more than three-quarters of a century, some believe the escape artist has the ability to spurn his otherworldly confines as well. Since he died at age 52 on Oct. 31, 1926, Houdini’s family, friends, and fans have ceaselessly tried to rouse the legendary showman and magician from the dead. This Halloween, the 85th year, they once again attempted the feat at the Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke, welcoming, among other guests, the mute magician Teller, and local female escape artist Alexanderia the Great.