Houdini performed most of his stunts at the beginning of the 20th century. There was no internet then and televisions were still a few years away. Yet Houdini became world-famous for his ability to escape “impossible” situations. Here are four of our favorite Houdini escape stunts (and just for the record, DON’T TRY ANY OF THESE):
- The Handcuff Escape
The concept is simple. Someone handcuffs an illusionist’s hands behind his back and he works his way free. What made Houdini stand out from the crowd was his ability escape handcuffs in a matter of seconds. At Room To Escape, that’s what we call “Leaderboard Material!”
- The Overboard Box Escape
Houdini shocked and delighted crowds with his Overboard Box Escape. In the summer of 1912, Houdini arranged to have his hands and feet shackled before being locked inside of a weighted, wooden box. The box was then thrown into New York’s Hudson River. Whether Houdini used illusion or true escape technique for this stunt will never be fully known. What is known is that he escaped to safety in under one minute.
- The Vanishing Elephant
The Vanishing Elephant trick was a fun diversion from Houdini’s typical escape acts. While some magicians were making rabbits disappear, Houdini upped the ante by creating the illusion of a disappearing elephant. This was a well-orchestrated trick that required the aide of several stage assistants. Just like in the escape rooms of today, teamwork was key to success!
- The Milk Can Escape
Houdini was no stranger to confined spaces. He performed the Milk Can Escape early in his career, as it didn’t require any special location use or permission from city officials. In 1901, Houdini was handcuffed and stuffed into a milk can half his height. Assistants then filled the can with water and closed the lid. Houdini reportedly escaped in two minutes, and presumably had to hold his breath the entire time.
Think you’ve got what it takes to win at an escape challenge? Our escape experiences won’t have you holding your breath, but they will have you thinking, solving puzzles, and enjoying time with your teammates. Book a game at Room To Escape today and channel your inner Houdini!