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This day in history: Harry Houdini's 1926 Halloween death after final performance in Detroit

Houdini Can Escape Anything
Stone walls and chains do not make a prison --- for Houdini in 1898. (Photo courtesy Library of Congress/Getty Images) / Getty Images

(CBS DETROIT) - As we celebrate Halloween this year, we look back to Oct. 31, 1926, when famous magician and escape artist Harry Houdini died at Grace Hospital, days after he performed his last show in Detroit.

Houdini performed at the Garrick Theatre on Oct. 24, 1926, according to

The magician began the show with a few vanishing acts but started to show signs of pain. After the first act, he collapsed and had a high fever. 

Historians say Houdini finished the entire performance despite not feeling well and then collapsed again after the show was over. 

He was then transported to Grace Hospital in Detroit, where doctors discovered he had appendicitis and peritonitis, which is the inflammation of the abdominal cavity wall. 

Doctors removed his appendix, but the poison from it bursting was already in his system. 

Houdini spent a week at Grace Hospital before he died on Sunday, Oct. 31, 1926.

In addition to this, historians also note that on Oct. 22, days before his death, Houdini was in Montreal when a McGill University student challenged the strength of his stomach muscles and his ability to take hard punches to the stomach. 

The student then punched Houdini in the stomach before he could tighten his muscles and prepare for the punch. 

After the punch, Houdini went on to perform four shows in Montreal before traveling to Detroit by train, where he performed one last time before his death. 

Neither Grace Hospital nor the Garrick Theatre are open today, but both are remembered for their connection to Houdini. 

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