The secrets behind Harry Houdini’s adventurous stunts

Harry Houdini was the escape master of the early 19th century who mesmerized generations by performing seemingly impossible stunts such as lock picking, escaping from boxes and straitjackets.

However, his method is said to be more ingenious and impressive than the magic itself, highlighting its complexity. subway.

In honor of the magician’s 150th birthday, here are three of Houdini’s greatest stunts and how he performed them.


Harry Houdini stood on the edge of the dock in chains, ready to jump into the water. — Metro via Corbis

Houdini was famous for his ability to escape any handcuffs, and he often incorporated rivers or lakes into his tricks.

Despite local police urging him to restrain him, he managed to escape twice in just over an hour, and even disposable handcuffs with a key could not restrain him.

In the end what happened

Houdini was good at picking locks from an early age. He can knock the handcuffs hard enough or use a string to pull a screw from the locking mechanism to open the handcuffs.

Most of the time, he would have a master key hidden in his hand or sleeve, and for special handcuffs that had only one key, he would inspect the cuff and hand the key to his assistant, who would then choose one from his vast collection Similar looking keys.

Houdini would then return a similar key before using the real key.

Escape from a restraint upside down

Houdini pulled off his hanging straitjacket trick. — Metro via Corbis
Houdini pulled off his hanging straitjacket trick. — Metro via Corbis

Straightjackets are meant to restrain people, and seeing a man in a straitjacket suspended high in the air with a rope tied to his feet is an impressive feat.

The famous stuntman performed the move in public during the evening show to increase crowd numbers, showcasing his skills in performing such stunts.

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In the end what happened

Houdini used a unique method of putting on the jacket, which involved crossing his arms, inhaling to increase chest size, and pinching the jacket material to remove any slack before buttoning it on.

He then used brute force to pull his right arm over his head, using his teeth or “hands” to cut the straps and buckles before putting on the jacket.

Houdini’s upside-down stunt worked in his favor because gravity worked in his favor.

underwater tank

This stunt combines all of Houdini’s strengths – handcuffs, locks and breath control. He was placed in a wooden box, secured with ropes and chains, and hoisted into the river.

The crate sank, and after what seemed like an eternity, Houdini surfaced, free of the box and the handcuffs.

In the end what happened

Houdini escaped from handcuffs before holes were drilled into the box to quickly fill it with water, and it was even nailed shut.

There is also a hidden panel on the side of the box that opens once the box falls into the water, allowing Houdini to escape. He then waits to build suspense before appearing.

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By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

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