Billed as "The Amazing Regurgitator", "The Great Regurgitator" or "The Egyptian Enigma", Hadji Ali enjoyed incredible popularity at the beginning of the twentieth century as a top vaudeville star.
His main act consisted of swallowing a series of unlikely objects such as watermelon seeds, imitation jewels, coins and peach pits, and then regurgitating specific items as requested by his audience. It was impressive and disgusting at the same time.
But it was his grand finale that brought down the house every night. His beautiful assistant would set up a metal castle on stage while Ali drank a gallon of water, followed by a pint of kerosene. To the accompaniment of a protracted drum roll, he would eject the swallowed kerosene across the stage in a six foot arc and the set the castle on fire. Then, as the flames from the burning castle shot high into the air, he would regurgitate the gallon of water and launch the stream of liquid across the stage, extinguishing the blaze.
When Hadji Ali died of heart failure in 1937, his widow attempted to sell his body to the Johns Hopkins Medical Center as a fitting subject for examination, an offer that was politely refused.
Credit: This biography originated on MagicTricks.com. Please credit this source if you use this information.