Harry Houdini Birthday Séance

After his mag­ic show at the LA Ath­let­ics Club, Siegfried told us about some oth­er events to check out. One of them was a guid­ed tour through the Mag­ic Cas­tle, but sad­ly tick­ets for that event sold out before I could reserve one. Short­ly there­after, anoth­er event for the Mag­ic Cas­tle came up, though: the Har­ry Hou­di­ni Birth­day Séance!

Houdini Seance

While I con­sid­er myself curi­ous about the pos­si­bil­i­ty of an after­life, I would not call myself superstitious.


I was not expect­ing a real talk with the great beyond, but I was open to it, espe­cial­ly since Hou­dini’s birth­day also hap­pened to be my grand­fa­ther’s death anniver­sary. Hou­di­ni him­self was famous for dis­cred­it­ing fake psy­chics and medi­ums, so I was not sure how the séance would go.

If you are unfa­mil­iar with the Mag­ic Cas­tle, it is the world­wide mec­ca for magi­cians. Every­one in the mag­ic com­mu­ni­ty wants to come here to per­form or to see their idols per­form. The place is actu­al­ly a Hol­ly­wood man­sion that was slow­ly expand­ed to have sev­er­al show rooms, bars, and a for­mal din­ing area. For those not in the com­mu­ni­ty, the Mag­ic Cas­tle has been com­pared to LA’s Hog­warts. Guests are only allowed admis­sion by invi­ta­tion from a mem­ber of the Acad­e­my of Mag­i­cal Arts, and must be dressed in for­mal wear. Also, all pho­tog­ra­phy is dis­al­lowed beyond the foy­er, for obvi­ous rea­sons. So here is a pic­ture of me in the foyer:

Magic Castle

Since I came around East­er, they had themed dec­o­ra­tions up, includ­ing dress­ing the owl on the book­case in a bun­ny suit. There is no obvi­ous obvi­ous entrance to the main part of the cas­tle, but when you say a code phrase a dis­creet­ly hid­den door reveals itself! Once inside, I checked in with Atlas Obscu­ra agents Erin and San­di and got a drink from the main bar, the NPH-inspired Old Fashioned.

We shuf­fled up to the Hou­di­ni Room, and the show began. I am so sor­ry I for­got the Mag­ic Castle’s host’s name, but he The Mag­ic Castle’s host and res­i­dent medi­um, Leo Kost­ka, was fan­tas­tic! I do not want to give much away in case you have the chance to expe­ri­ence it your­self, but I will say that things moved on their own accord, oth­er things mys­te­ri­ous­ly appear­ing from nowhere, unex­plained voic­es, an inan­i­mate object read­ing a guest’s mind, psy­chic stig­ma­ta left on anoth­er guest, and more! Plus the room was filled with Hou­di­ni arti­facts donat­ed to the Mag­ic Cas­tle, because appar­ent­ly the founders knew him personally.

While I did not get to speak to my grand­fa­ther, I would high­ly rec­om­mend the Hou­di­ni Séance to anyone!

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