Touched by the hand of Houdini!
Just think- you can own a piece of magical history- something that was handled by the great Harry Houdini himself! This is a one-of-a-kind collectible, perfect for framing. What a great gift!
See a larger version of the image. Wow, would this look great framed with a photo of the Inn!
In the late 1980's, magician Peter Monticup (owner of MagicTricks.com), purchased Harry Houdini's ornate desk. The desk had been in storage in Houdini's former NYC home from 1926 until it was sold in 1980. Peter purchased the desk from this buyer, along with a number of personal items from the Houdini home.
The desk had a number of secret compartments and hidden drawers. Inside one of the drawers was a stack of envelopes from correspondence Houdini had received. Houdini was a notorious "saver", so it is no surprise that he kept these envelopes. The letters were from all different sources- his lawyers, his fans, fellow magicians, etc. He even wrote notes on some of the envelopes, either noting the importance of the contents, or just scribbling on them as scrap paper. In researching the envelopes, we've found an important connection to an event or person in Houdini's life. Of all the thousands upon thousands of letters he received each year, he saved each of these envelopes for a reason.
This is one of the envelopes found in the desk. It is postmarked June 4, 1925 from Framingham, MA. The return address is from Longfellow's Wayside Inn, South Sudbury, Mass.
Longfellow's Wayside Inn is the oldest operating inn in the United States. Established in 1716, the inn was renamed in 1897 after its most famous guest, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who wrote his book Tales of a Wayside Inn during an extended stay at the inn in 1893.
But the inn is also famous for its resident ghost, the heartbroken spirit of a woman who was abandoned by her true love, and died at the inn, alone and lonely. Reports of unexplained foot steps, soft music, and perfumed scents have led some people to believe that the ghost is the original innkeeper's sister. Jerusha Howe was born in 1797 and died in 1842. While living at the Inn, she occupied rooms 9 and 10. Many people over the years have felt her presence. She is still one of America's most famous ghosts.
In 1925, Houdini's investigations of spirit phenomena were at a fever pitch. Rarely a week would pass without some newspaper headline involving Houdini and his expose of mediums. No doubt the owners of Longfellow's Wayside Inn were curious about their own ghost, and would have inquired about Houdini doing an investigation. Unfortunately, Houdini ran out of time, meeting his own death just 16 months after receiving this note.