Two Houdini Seances circa 1932

By Tom Razzeto

These two transcripts are claimed by others to be of seances held by Dr. Wickland circa 1932. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the famous author of the Sherlock Holmes novels and a prominent Spiritualist may have been present at one or both sessions. Doyle was a personal friend of Harry Houdini, the world famous escape artist and magician for a few years before they had a falling out over the subject of spirit communication and the effectiveness of Doyle's wife as a medium. Houdini died in 1926.

The transcripts of the first seance were published in a magazine unknown to this webmaster.

No claims are made by this webmaster as to the accuracy or the genuineness of these transcripts.

Houdini - It seems cruel that a man in my position should have thrown dust in the eyes of people as I did.

Since my passing I have gone to many, many mediums but the door is closed to me. When I was on earth I closed the door with double locks by ridiculing psychic phenomena and mediums. I have been able to open the door once or twice, but only for a little while. When I try to tell people of the real truth they say I am not the one I claim to be, because when I was on earth I did not talk that way.

I ask you here to give me good thoughts, strength and power to undo my mistakes. I cannot progress until I have acknowledged the truth. I must, I must do it!

I found an avenue through that most wonderful medium, Arthur Ford, and gave my wife the code we had agreed upon.

I have done great harm to many mediums. How I wish I could go to every one and tell them that I did a wrong thing, that when they worked for the good of the cause I tried to expose them to the world as humbugs. God help me for having done that.

I see my mistakes but I cannot get out of my present condition until I do good to the ones I ridiculed. I try my best to correct my mistakes but it is very hard.

Dr. Wickland - Do you recall the talk you had with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle shortly after you passed out? You spoke then through this same instrument.

Houdini - I tried my best to get through the opening but at that time I was so bewildered I did not know where I was. In my own soul I am so convinced of the wrongs I committed. Many do not know what awaits them on the other side of life, what the sleep of death is. When one has an understanding of death, there is no waiting, no hindrance.

At first I was so confused that everything which belonged to memory was forgotten for quite a long time. (This is commonly reported by spirits.) Later, things came clearly to me, the things I had promised to do, and I tried very hard to get a message through. I wanted to tell the truth and undo my former error.

I found a wonderful instrument in Mr. Ford. I talked through him and my wife was in a receptive spirit to accept me. I was very happy but suddenly the door was shut.

How I also wish I could say a few words to another very wonderful medium, Margery. (Mrs. Crandon, of Boston.) I did much harm to that poor woman. How she has suffered because of my antagonistic thoughts.

I tried to upset her and once I nearly killed her, but I did not think much of it at the time. I wish I could undo the wrong I did her. She is a very wonderful medium.

I lectured and charged money - for what? To blind the eyes of the people. They would pay to hear me lecture and run down poor, honest mediums. (Covering face with hands.) Oh, it is awful!

Dr. Wickland - Do not carry on that way, mend. You are controlling a medium and must be more careful. Do not over-excite yourself.

Houdini - I see things so differently now. Everything I did stands out before me.

Dr. Wickland - Change your attitude and look for the intelligent spirits around you. Do not think of your troubles all the time. Work you way out of them.

Houdini - But it is as if I am in a prison and cannot see anything.

Dr. Wickland - You will see in time. Ask the intelligent forces to give you strength and power to overcome so you can carry on.

Houdini - (Features brightening.) Thank you! I can see more clearly now. Standing here is a very beautiful little lady (spirit) and she says she will help me. (To spirit.) You say you will take me to your home?

Dr. Wickland - Does she say who she is?

Houdini - (Addressing an invisible.) What is your name, pretty little lady? She says her name is Miss Dresser. (Former member of our circle.) And you say you will take me and help me? I knew better in my heart than to lecture as I did. I did it, however, for money, money I was so selfish.

Dr. Wickland - You can overcome that.

Houdini - Beautiful lady, will you really help me? How peaceful your soul must be. You are like a transparent angel!

Dr. Wickland - Her mind was occupied with higher ideals while in the physical body.

Houdini - She seems to float, not walk, and here I am, as heavy as lead.

Dr. Wickland - You must not think of that all the time. You made mistakes, but from now on determine to see the better side. Do not be so discouraged.

Houdini - You will give me your help, little lady?

Dr. Wickland - Of course she will. That is why she came here tonight. Until recently, she met with us in this little circle.

Houdini - Will you all send thoughts to me for strength? I know I did wrong, and I knew I was wrong at the time. If I had done what my conscience urged me to do, I would not be where I am now. I was a psychic, and I knew it. I was helped in my work by the Houdini forces, but more by the materially minded forces, those who could work magic. But I shut the door to the higher intelligences. Little lady, you who are so beautiful and bright, will you help me? Another one comes to me now.

Listen! Listen to that beautiful music! This little lady has brought two others who are now singing. Such music! At last my soul is at peace and I can go on. I have much work to do to right the wrongs of my past.

But listen, such beautiful music! Heaven is opening! I cannot describe this music because I never heard anything like it before. And see those most beautiful flowers! Never, never, have I seen such beauty. Heaven is surely opening for me!

Dr. Wickland - You will find many wonderful things in your new life but you will have to work your way out of your present condition. Realize your mistakes and profit by them. Life is a school.

Houdini - Can you hear that wonderful orchestra playing? They tell me it is an orchestra that plays to open the eyes of those in darkness so they can see the beauty of the spirit world. Oh, how I do wish I could tell my wife that I can see! It would make her so happy to know that I have found peace.

Dr. Wickland - We will all send you helpful thoughts.

Houdini - One thing I must ask all of you, and that is, do not be doubting Thomases as to my identity. I have enough to combat now. I am Houdini. What place is this?

Dr. Wickland - This is The National Psychological Institute in Los Angeles, established for research in normal and abnormal psychology to ascertain the condition of spirits after transition.

Experience has shown that intelligent spirits play an important role for good in human affairs; on the other hand, many spirits, owing to ignorance, often unwittingly act as contributing factors in many mental aberrations. This is also a clearing-house where intelligent spirits, in cooperation with mortals, can enlighten the perplexed spirits who are often unaware of their transition.

Houdini - Now they tell me I must leave. But before going I want to thank you for the help I have received. God bless you all! Good-bye.

Ten days later the spirit of Houdini again came through Mrs. Wickland.

Houdini - I have come to thank you for the help you have given me.

Dr. Wickland - Did we help you?

Houdini - Yes, and I am much happier now. I had denied facts which I knew in my heart were true. I wanted to be original and have everybody think I was scientific so I denied facts and criticized others.

When you have the truth, acknowledge it. Now I have acknowledged my mistakes and I want to ask forgiveness of the ones I tried to harm.

I thank you for publishing that article and letting the public know that I came back. I am glad it was given out to the world that I confessed I wanted to ruin that little medium, Margery, (Mrs. Crandon) who lives only for the truth and sacrifices her life to demonstrate her work.

I tried trickery with her but WaIter (Mrs. Crandon's spirit guide) found me out before hand.

God bless the Crandons and God bless you! I am so glad that article was given out to show that poor Mrs. Crandon was persecuted. That is now known.

Dr. Wickland - Many believed that you were a wonderful medium yourself and that spirits helped you in your work. Was that correct?

Houdini - Yes, but I would not acknowledge it. Whenever I was going to do something spectacular, if I did not hear a voice telling me to go ahead I did not dare go on. Many times I did not perform my tricks because I did not hear the voice. When I heard it I knew that everything was all right. I cannot tell you exactly how I did my tricks because I do not know myself I was in a semi-trance when all that took place.

Dr. Wickland - I should like to know how you got out of the tank of water and came up on the stage from the front. I claim that could not have been done without spirit agencies.

Houdini - I do not even know myself how it was done. When I was in the tank of water I could hear the voices talking but I could not hear what was said. Up to a certain point I was myself, but not after that. From the time I was tied and locked up until I was free I did not know what took place. But I could not have told that. People would have wondered what was the matter with me and that is the reason I did not dare say anything. I wanted them to think I was doing the tricks myself, but the spirits were the ones who acted through me.

Dr. Wickland - You are making progress now, are you not?

Houdini - Yes. I have progressed far enough to give enlightenment to some and I do all I can to help the unfortunate ones. I have certain duties to do to help others before I can progress to new development. I am happy but in a way I am restricted because I have to find those who are in trouble and help them and give them strength.

I do work now that I should have done in earth life. If I had stood for the truth and given credit to spirit power, the world would have been more enlightened, because the spirits did wonderful things through me.

Dr. Wickland - Have you contacted the spirit of Sir Arthur (Conan Doyle)?

Houdini - Yes, and I have also asked him to forgive me. I said many unkind things about him. I was down on all Psychic Research and on every good medium. If I had happened to know you, Dr. Wickland, and your wife, you would also have gotten something. Those who escaped only did so because they had not come under my notice I thought I knew it all and that there was nothing more to learn. I want to tell you, whenever you reach that state of mind where you know it all, ask God to help you out of it. When you feel you know everything and condemn everybody and have the idea that you are the only one, it is very bad. There is always some thing to learn. The more you learn the better it is for you.

I am more than glad that the world knows I came back and have asked to be forgiven. That means more to me than I can explain. I thank you for the light you gave me. Now I will not take up any more of your time but I thank all of you.

Dr. Wickland - We all wishes you well.

Houdini - Thank you and goodnight.

Read the full essay: The Houdini Afterlife Experiment - Did It Work?