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People are happy to be deceived. Illusionists show that there is no limit to human capabilities - some go through walls, others get out of knots and chains, and still others just guess numbers and cards, and get objects out of nowhere.
It's no secret that the more risky the trick, the more spectacular it is. We will remember the most famous deaths of magicians while performing their tricks.
Charles Rowan. This magician was known under the pseudonyms "Wizard Carr" or "Mystic Carr". He worked in South Africa, demonstrating the talents of getting rid of various bonds and simple magic tricks. Rowan's flagship numbers were freeing from straitjackets, as well as walking on a pile of broken glass. In 1930, Carr performed at Springfontein, Free State. The illusionist has prepared a very dangerous trick. He was placed in a straitjacket, but for the sake of showiness, a car also rushed straight at him. The car started from a distance of 180 meters, accelerating to 72 kilometers per hour. It is easy to calculate that Rowan only had about 10-15 seconds to get out of his bonds and get out of the path of the car. However, this time everything went wrong - the illusionist got out of his shirt too slowly. As a result, the car ran into Rowan and practically tore off his leg. The horror of the situation is that all this happened in front of numerous spectators, including small children. Before dying, the magician managed to relieve the driver of responsibility for the incident.
Madame Delinsky. The pistol trick is a classic magician. The artist creates the illusion that he either catches the fired bullet with his body, or stops it altogether. But this trick is very dangerous. Although initially an illusion, there is still a risk. The viewer does not need to know, but in fact, bullets are not actually fired, since people have not learned to catch them. And as a result of a dangerous trick with a shot, at least 15 people died. One of the most famous cases was with the Polish magician Delinski and his wife. In November 1820, they performed at the German Arnstad for the Prince of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen. The trick consisted in the fact that Madame Delinsky had to withstand the "execution" by six soldiers. The magician promised to stop all the bullets. The couple secretly asked the shooters to insert blank cartridges into their guns. However, one of the soldiers for some reason ignored the request and used an ordinary bullet. Madame Delinsky could not stop her and died two days later from a stomach wound.
Benjamin Rucker. This magician performed on stage under the name Black Herman. His death stands out from the others on our list. The fact is that the African American magician died of natural causes, but no one believed him. At one time, Black Herman was a famous magician. But Jim Crow's legal restrictions allowed him to perform only for black audiences in the South. But they knew the magician in other places. One of his most famous illusions was "living burial." This was done for promotional purposes for future shows. Three days after the burial, Black Herman was exhumed and he continued the show. That is why no one believed the magician when he actually died. In April 1934, Benjamin Rucker suffered a heart attack during the show. But the cunning promoters even decided to profit from this event - they took money from people for attending the funeral. Many believed that this was the next focus of Black Herman. The comedian and magician Tommy Cooper had a similar fate. While performing on stage, he suffered a heart attack, but people considered it part of the show. However, this time there were no funeral attendance fees.
Dr. Vivian Hensley. Amateurs trying to repeat complex stunts only leave dark spots on the reputation of the art of circus magic. After all, to perform a dangerous stunt, you need special training, and just perfect skills. Vivian Hensley, 43, was an ordinary dentist. Who, if not the dentist, should know about the danger of putting various objects in the mouth not intended for this. But it was Hensley who paid with his life for what he swallowed. The doctor showed his little son his trick, called "swallowing a rusty blade". The dentist imitated throwing a blade into his mouth, in fact, placing it in his pocket. On July 6, 1938, during the next execution of this trick, Hensley slipped and actually dropped the blade into his throat. His wife made him eat cotton balls on the way to the hospital. Although quite a few X-rays were taken and two surgeries performed, the blade was never found. And four days later, the unfortunate magician died.
Janaka Basnayake. It's no secret that people need food for life, and even more importantly, air. Failure to understand these simple facts can lead to tragedy. An example is Janaka Basnayake, 24, a Sri Lankan. He tried to break the world record for the longest time spent underground while being buried alive. Usually, when performing such a trick, magicians still calculate their way of departure. Yet such burial is usually an illusion, and people actually spend little time underground. The only exception can be called David Blaine, who spent 6 days in this state. However, he was an experienced professional surrounded by a group of experts and assistants. But Basnayake was an ordinary amateur. On March 5, 2012, he forced his family to bury themselves in a three-meter hole, and then cover it with earth, and even a tree. Seven and a half hours later, the man was dug up and found without breathing. The hospital could only state death. The sad thing is that even the Guinness Book of Records refused to fix this record. Experts consider it too dangerous and do not want more and more daredevils to risk their lives for it.
Royden Joseph Gilbert Raison De La Genesta. This American magician's name was simply Genesta. His most famous and signature trick was releasing from a barrel of liquid. Usually it was water or milk. The essence of the trick was that the escapist was locked in a barrel, and he had to get out of it even before he drowned in it. An accident happened to Genesta in 1930. It turned out that the barrel used this time had serious dents. Because of them, the magician's movements were limited and he was unable to perform the actions necessary to release. Genesta did not have time to get out of the barrel and drowned in it. Surprisingly, the death of the magician only spurred his fellow contemporaries to repeat this trick. Everyone understood that the escapist was in danger of truly mortal danger. So, thanks to the death of the magician, the trick became even more popular.
Jeff Raiburn Hooper. This 23-year-old aspiring magician decided on July 7, 1984 to try the release trick. On the same day, Jeff Hooper planned to surprise the guests of a Bible conference in Winona Lake with him. The magician had to get rid of the shackles while in the waters of the lake. But Hooper was never able to get into his performance. During the rehearsal, he jumped handcuffed into the waters of Lake Fineon, near Fort Wayne, Indiana. After that, the guy swam 90 meters from the shore. Only he did not manage to free himself from the shackles. Due to the strong wind, cries for help did not reach the assistant. And when the rescuers arrived, it was also not possible to get quickly to the magician. As a result, Hooper drowned at a depth of only 1.6 meters.
Joseph Burrus. The 32-year-old magician performed under the name Amazing Joe. Burrus dreamed of becoming even more famous than his idol, Harry Houdini. In 1992, on Halloween night and the anniversary of his famous predecessor's death, Burrus attempted a release trick that Houdini himself never did. The American ordered to bury himself alive. To do this, Burrus put on handcuffs and was locked in a homemade coffin. He was placed in a grave two meters deep and covered with seven tons of mud and cement. Approximately, by the way, the male African elephant weighs. But the magician was convinced of the riskiness of such an event, that it was necessary to resort to illusion for a successful outcome. And during the preparation, one of the journalists noticed that the cement would begin to dry out from the base. The magician, who hoped not to be crushed by the mass of earth, would have to dig out a thick layer of mud and then fight his way through the hardened cement. At the same time, the person somehow had to not suffocate due to lack of air. But the cement that hardens quickly did not become a problem for Burrus - the whole mass of earth simply crushed the coffin before the magician could get out of it at all.
William Ellsworth Robinson. For the audience, this magician was known as Cheng Liangsu. The fact is that under the guise of a Chinese illusionist, an ordinary American was hiding, who did not leave his usual image. On stage, Cheng Liangsu never spoke English and even used the services of an interpreter in interviews. At the time of his death in 1918, the magician was one of the most famous in the world in his profession. Cheng Liangsu showed his version of catching a bullet on March 23 in London's Wood Green borough. But after previous use, the magician did not properly clean his pistol. As a result, enough gunpowder was left in it for the bullet to actually fly out. To everyone's surprise, the "Chinese" magician suddenly said in English: "My God, lower the curtain. Something went wrong". And the next day, William Robinson died in the hospital. And you can see what the cult illusionist looked like in the film "Prestige".
Sigmund Neuberger. The pseudonym of this German artist is "The Great Lafayette". At one time, Sigmund Neuberger was the highest paid magician in the world. It is known that he adored animals, but most of all - his Beauty Terrier. His Grand Lafayette was presented by Harry Houdini himself, who appreciated the skill of the magician. I must say that the owner extremely spoiled his dog - he had his own costume, his dinner consisted of five courses, and the collar was inlaid with diamonds. But four days before the show opened in Edinburgh, the animal died. Then Lafayette was able to negotiate with the city council so that in exchange for the right to bury such a wonderful person as him in the city cemetery, Beauty was also buried in the nearby cemetery in Pierchel. The show opened on May 9, 1911. But while performing the signature trick "The Lion's Bride" there was a fire. The magician managed to quickly run out of the burning building, but immediately came back. Lafayette wanted to save the horse that was part of the program. As a result, the artist died, as did ten other people. And all because the magician categorically ordered to close the side doors so that no one would secretly enter the hall. So the wish of the Great Lafayette was fulfilled rather quickly, which he clearly did not plan.
Washington Irving Bishop. Bishop's becoming bishop was practically written in the family. His family was spiritual, and his mother also turned out to be a practicing medium. Bishop himself at one time worked as a psychic, after which, knowing all the ins and outs of the profession, he decided to start exposing competitors and their tricks. But over time, Bishop moved away from this chase and became a mentalist. Only he himself honestly admitted to the audience that he did not have any special mystical features, unlike those psychics whom he exposed. Success came to the artist thanks to his ability to read muscle movements. Bishop simply took the viewer's hand and asked him questions. The artist immediately recorded the sharp reactions of the muscles, as if interpreting them. And on May 12, 1889, while performing at the Lamb Club (New York), the mentalist magician suddenly fainted. It was known that Bishop suffered from catalepsy, and the doctor who was present on the stage regarded this behavior as natural. This mental disorder is very similar to death, and the person loses consciousness only for a while. Indeed, Bishop soon woke up. But the continuation of the performance was interrupted again - the magician lost consciousness, this time finally. This is where the most mysterious part of the story begins. Three doctors, without the knowledge of their relatives, quickly conducted an autopsy, giving the widow the body of a magician already without a brain. Doctors were very interested in this part of the body, because they wanted to understand how a person could read minds? However, they never achieved the fame of pioneers. But the relatives immediately filed a lawsuit against the Aesculapians. They believed that Bishop did not die at all, but simply fell into a coma again. And the hurried doctors simply killed him by autopsy. In addition, the magician always had a leaflet with a description of his illness and instructions in relation to his body. In particular, it was forbidden to open it. Only this paper was never found. At the trial, the opinions of the jury were divided, and the case was closed due to the lack of evidence of the doctors' guilt.