The Houdini Estate – Los Angeles, California - Atlas Obscura

The Houdini Estate

A master of deception, Harry Houdini's greatest trick may have been living in two places at once. 

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California’s Laurel Canyon is where Harry Houdini decided to settle down while making films in Hollywood in 1919. However, there has always been a bit of mystery surrounding exactly where Houdini lived.

Truth is, the mansion and gardens located at 2400 Laurel Canyon Boulevard, which has come to be known as the Houdini Estate, actually belonged to a good friend of the legendary magician. Ralph M. Walker, a department store owner, constructed and owned the estate. It’s believed that Houdini and his wife Bess stayed with Walker while he worked on the films, The Grim Game and Terror Island. The couple may have actually resided in Walker’s guesthouse at 2435 Laurel Canyon, although the house no longer exists today. Despite possibly not owning the mansion, it was equipped with a deepwater tank so Houdini could rehearse his underwater routines. 

The mansion also contained underground tunnels that may have been used by Houdini to secretly move between the guesthouse and main mansion.