15 magicians that died during their tricks. In today’s article, you are going to see the magician that drowned in a can of milk, a magician that was ripped apart by a speeding car, magicians that got shot with their own magic trick and so, so much more. Starting off with a dentist that swallowed a razor and working our way up to some of the craziest magic tricks that led to many deaths. Let’s get started with number 15, the dentist that swallowed a razor.
A magician’s lack of expertise is always a risk, especially if they try to pull off a major trick. This was the case of Dr. Vivian Hensley, who died due to his own lack of understanding. The story of this 43 year old dentist who dabbled in magic is difficult to stomach.
Dr. Hensley practiced his own signature magic performance for his kid, which he had termed swallowing the rusty razor blade. And one fine day, instead of sliding the razor blade up to his sleeve, he made a fatal error and dropped the razor blade down his throat. As a dentist, he reasonably should have known about the risk of non food items being put in his mouth.
However, he died an excruciating death from what he swallowed. His wife made him chew cotton balls while they were on the way to the clinic to soak up the blood. Despite a series of xrays and few operations, the doctors could not find the blade and four days later he died moving on to number 14, ripped apart by a speeding car. Charles Rowan was a South African magician who was recognized for getting out of straitjackets, leaping out of the way of speeding cars and leaping into huge piles of broken glass.
I know, right?
What could possibly go wrong? In 1930, he performed a very risky stunt where he’d get out of his straitjacket right in time to Dodge a speeding car. Many people watched as he tried to get out of his restraints, but the last thing they saw was him stumble, fall and get mowed down by the car going 70 km an hour.
His leg was nearly severed in a gruesome event as he laid there dying. Charles took full responsibility for the slip and excused the driver, a legend and a gentleman moving on to number 13. Digging his own grave also recognized as Amazing Joe. Joseph W Burris came to a terrible end when attempting to pull off a massive act of illusion.
Joe decided to tackle the buried alive act, chained up inside a plexiglass coffin and lowered into the ground. For some reason, no one convinced Joseph that it was improbable, that he would require some sort of illusion to come out of this trick. Still moving assistance covered him with seven tons of soil and concrete. But when they were nearly complete, the levels suddenly dropped 18 inches. After a few minutes of excavating, he was found crushed the exact time his plastic coffin was smashed.
His dream was destroyed, too. The dream of surpassing Houdini. On the Eve of Halloween and the anniversary of Houdini’s death, Joseph was crushed alive in his plastic box while his own children saw it’s pretty simple to blame the magician for being a reckless. But remember that pleasing the public is the magician’s goal. If the public wants to see danger, that’s what the determined magician will offer.
Moving on to number twelve.
Killed by the Volunteer no doubt a show stopping skill, the bullet catch has been performed by many daring magicians. Magicians face plenty of skepticism from the public without anything going wrong. But adding volunteers to the trick can add another wildcard element that sometimes backfires.
While an intelligent volunteer in sync with the magician can add to the act, a cynic who already understands the trade secrets could reveal the secret and kill the entire vibe. Sadly, Arnold Buck picked one such troublemaker as his volunteer to put the bullet into the gun. The bullet was blank, however.
The volunteer put a handful of pins into the barrel and shot the gun at magician Arnie Buck. Moving on to number eleven. The milk can escapist this American magician, Janesta, favored the water barrel to escape the early. He took the signature trick from Houdini, who had performed it in 19 eight. It’s a simple plot where the magician is locked inside a container filled with milk, water or glue and tries to get out before drowning. Entertaining stuff.
The idea sounds pretty attractive.
Yet simple, doesn’t it? Sadly, the magician failed to make his exit. The milkhand that was used during his final show was dented. This left him to shut in even less space than usual. When stage hands thought something was wrong, the curtain fell and the assistants pulled him from the can. Genesis failed to free himself, and he drowned in milk only if this trick stopped here.
His death led other magicians and escape artists to do it, some of them using Elmer’s glue instead of milk. Who would want to die drowning in milk? Moving on to number ten. The man with steel Teeth Catching a bullet with teeth sounds daring too, doesn’t it? This wasn’t a big deal for Biala because he has completed this trick over 30 times. In act, he attributed not only to his talent, but to a secret weapon a set of steel teeth he had under his dentures.
Wearing steel gloves, he would make a funnel with his hands before the shot was fired through three panes of glass into his mouth. But ultimately, one of the longterm effects of catching all those shots was that he had circulation difficulties that made him black out.
After a show in 1975, he went for a walk in the mountains. Standing on the side of a cliff and observing the beauty of the Hills before him, the steel tooth magician passed out, falling to his demise.
Moving on to number nine.
Bullet Shots Is it likely for a human being to catch a speeding bullet using the hands or mouth. For centuries, they have been convincing audiences that it is. Whether the bullet catch is the result of lightning fast reflection or an illusion, it definitely comes with fatal risk. In the 1800s, a well known couple traveled Europe.
They were the Dalinskis. Madame Dalinsky met a firing squad in just one of their spectacular acts and walked away unharmed, having caught all the shots. Spoiler alert. To tell this story, it’s important to reveal the method. The duo did this by instructing the soldiers to snap away the bullet and load alternately, a blank shots were heard, but no bullets were shot. Madame Delinsky then showed the people her handful of six bullets she had hiding on her person.
But in the deadly performance in Germany before a Royal court, though they were told about swapping their bullets for blanks. One of the shooters apparently got nervous being on the scene and reverted to his usual way of Loading the gun. When the shot hit Madame Dalinsky in the abdomen, many in the audience fainted. She died two days later and adding to the disaster, she was pregnant and lost her expected child.
Moving on to number eight. A failed world record. Buried alive to try and set the record for the most extended amount of time spent buried alive, he died in his attempt. Ironic, isn’t it? In the spring of 2012, Shanaka managed to convince his family to conceal him in a hole 10ft deep and then throw dirt and wood on top of him.
Keep in mind, Janaka Bayanski was not trained. Most magicians have an illusion to escape that’s how they trick people is that they spend time being buried. But that wasn’t quite the case here. He had been buried for over 7 hours before being dug out with no food, water or air. When they found him, he was dead. Could you even dream of dying in such a tragic way? Trying to get the world record for something that actually ends up killing you?
If anyone watching this is inspired to set a record by being buried alive, you should know that the Guinness Book of World Records does not acknowledge being buried alive as a legitimate feat because it is too risky.
Moving on to number seven.
An explosion also famously known as Balabrega, John Miller was escaping the rungs of the magic ladder in the 19th century, sharing a night show with Harry Houdini. Miller was well on his way to being one of the best. Right before losing his nerve over one trick. Trying to perform it on his own, Miller booked a tour in Brazil after thinking of a trick called The Moth and the Flame, a deadly stunt where the trick used six women as moths luring them into a candle flare to eventually disappear.
Significant quantities of gas were needed to pull off the trick, but unable to find the stuff in South America. Miller got acetylene gas bags while setting up the display. One bag exploded, which completely blew the magician and the assistant. He never really made it big time as he had hoped.
Moving on to number six. To the next post, stay tuned guys.