The home where Harry Houdini lived when he died in 1926 is currently for sale. It could become yours, assuming you can make $4.5 million appear out of thin air. Abracadabra!
Curbed points out that the Harlem townhouse, where Houdini and his wife lived for two decades and change, has just hit the market for the first time since 1991. When the magician lived there, “An oversized bathtub was installed so that he could perfect his underwater escape tricks, and he kept a vast library of books on magic,” according to Atlas Obscura. Obviously all his stuff is gone and the building has been converted to a three family. But it looks like it still retains a fair bit of original detail, as well as a lovely back terrace.
One of the biggest catches, sounds like, is the Harry Houdini fans. In 2013 the New York Daily News spoke to the current owner:
“The lady who sold it to me never told me Houdini lived here. The neighbor told me after I moved in,” said Thomas as he led The News on a rare tour. “People are always outside talking pictures of the house. I’ve developed a callousness.”
At the peak of his fame in 1904, Houdini, the stage name of Budapest-born escape artist Ehrich Weisz, bought the four-story house for the then-fantasmagorical price of $25,000. The magician and his wife Bess stayed uptown for two decades until his death.
By the time Thomas bought the place in 1991, the tools of Houdini’s spellbinding trade — shackles, handcuffs and the like — were long gone.
What’s more, “There are no ghosts. There are no spirits.” But no one could blame you for knocking on walls and tapping on corner floorboards, just in case.