George Hardeen and a poster by Theo Hardeen
Ask most people to name a famous magician and many will say Houdini, who died on Halloween in 1926.
For many years, George Hardeen, one of Houdini’s few living blood relatives, was invited to attend the annual seance to reach his great-uncle. On Halloween night in 2001, he finally agreed.
"They had a big round table. They had some articles that belonged to Houdini," he says. "They had a medium, and he was very entertaining, calling upon Houdini in a very dramatic way. They would beseech him to just show a sign, move something on the table."
After about half an hour, he says, "they threw in the towel, and then it was over." The group went to a really nice bar, drank some scotch and just talked. "And I think that’s the purpose of these seances to give an opportunity for folks to come back and talk about Houdini," he says.
That was a bit strange for him, because admittedly, he knows little about his great-uncle. "I felt ignorant in their presence. But that didn’t matter to them, because I’m the guy that’s got the DNA."
Read or Listen to the entire story: Houdini Relative Unlocks Some Family Secrets, NPR