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GALLERY: Houdini's

In 1904, thousands watched as he tried to escape from special handcuffs commissioned by London's Daily Mirror , keeping them in suspense for an hour. Another stunt saw him buried alive and only just able to claw himself to the surface, emerging in a state of near-breakdown. While many suspected that these escapes were faked, Houdini presented himself as the scourge of fake spiritualists . As President of the Society of American Magicians , he was keen to uphold professional standards and expose fraudulent artists. He was also quick to sue anyone who imitated his escape stunts.

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