Atlas Obscura is organizing trips! Join us on an adventure »
Today Only: 50% off Atlas Obscura books and calendars at Barnes & Noble »
The Perfect Gift for Travelers: Our #1 New York Times® best selling book »

Washington, D.C.

Obscura Day 2016: Houdini Escapes DC

Join us as we explore Houdini's connection to Washington DC and create a little magic of our own.

A frequent stop on his East Coast tours, Houdini always drew immense crowds when he performed in the nation's capitol.

It was said that he attracted over 15,000 witnesses along Pennsylvania Avenue in 1916 - at the time, more than any other event in DC's history aside from an inauguration - to see him attempt a death-defying escape while hanging upside down in a straitjacket. In 1926, he also came to DC to testify before Congress on the subject of spiritualism and the city's fortune-telling laws.

For this two hour event, we will delve into the treasured collection of Ken Trombly, attorney, magic enthusiast and Houdini collector. In an interactive presentation, Trombly will illuminate Houdini's rise, legendary performances, crusade against spiritualism, death and the rumors of his return from the great beyond.

We'll then walk to the former site of Houdini's suspended straitjacket escape outside B.F. Keith's Theater and then a quick stroll to Farragut Park, where a picnic of cherry pie (a Houdini favorite) and a magic show awaits us. Allow escapologist and historian Dean Carnegie to dazzle you by recreating Houdini's stunts: liberating himself from ropes, handcuffs (an authentic pair of Houdini-owned cuffs will be on display), amongst other devices. For his greatest trick he'll ask a volunteer or two from the crowd to participate... if you dare...

Details -

Address: 1825 K Street, Northwest #1150

Cost: $30

Time: 1 PM - 3 PM

Notes for this adventure:

- Our starting point will be at 1825 K Street, NW #1150, Washington, DC 20006. The location is accessible via Metro (near the Farragut West and Farragut North stations) and/or bus. Street parking is tough, so public transportation is highly recommended.

- The Houdini Collection is not to be handled, but photography is encouraged for most of our event.

- The total length of our walk, from the first location to the park, is about a half mile. Please wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather.

- Due to the delicate nature of the artifacts, no children under the age of twelve please.

- Share photos on Twitter and Instagram with us @atlasobscura, @magic_posters, @carnegiemagic and with the hashtag #ObscuraDay

- After a day full of exploring, join us at Georgetown's Tudor Place for music, drinks, and merriment! Click here for information and tickets.

All ticket sales are final. Please direct any questions or concerns to Julie Seigel at julieseigel@gmail.com or Matt Blitz at matt@atlasobscura.com.