Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Can you guess who it is?

This man was born Ehrich Weiss March 24, 1874 in Budapest, Hungary. Ashamed of his birthplace, he later claimed to have been born in Appleton, Wisconsin.

His family was poor and at the age of eight, he went to work to help pay the bills. He sold newspapers and shined shoes until age12, when he left home and began performing magic, calling himself “Eric, the Great.”

He was a mere 5’5″ with a high-pitched voice, but was extremely athletic and charismatic

Soon he became famous worldwide when he astonished audiences with his incredible feats.

In 1926, a member of the audience asked if he could punch the magician in the stomach to test his tolerance for pain. A few single blows caused his appendix to rupture.  Despite the pain, he continued to perform several shows but after one final performance in Michigan, he collapsed and was rushed to a local hospital.

Both of his homes, in New York and Los Angeles are currently said to be haunted by his ghostly spirit, even though one of them burned down after his death.

Harry Houdini died October 31, 1926 of peritonitis.

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