Popular Examples of Theatrical Séances
Theatrical séances are very popular at Hallowe'en and are often offered for fright value. Private magic cabarets may offer this type of performance, including:
The Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brooks (entertainer) Psychic Theater in Scranton Poconos offers theatrical séances year round. Its production of "Haunted! Mysteries of THE Beyond!" is one of the longest running performances of its type having started in 2003. The Fall 2008 issue of the Pennsylvania Pursuits Magazine put out by the Pennsylvania Tourism Office of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania picked the location of Psychic Theater at 1433 N. Main Avenue in Scranton, Pennsylvania as one of the 10 most haunted places in Pennsylvania, placing it at number 9.
The Houdini Museum offers yearly Houdini séances geared specifically toward "contacting Houdini." The original Houdini séances were done by Houdini's wife Beatrice (Bess) for ten years after Houdini died. She found doing the Houdini séance each year very stressful, possibly hoping against hope that if anyone could escape from the other side and return in a séance, it would be Houdini. At the end of ten years she passed the honor, legacy and tradition of doing the Houdini seances to friend, confidant and Houdini ghost writer, Walter B. Gibson. She announced "ten years is long enough to wait for any man!' Gibson was also writer of The Shadow series that became a series of pulp novels, comic books, a radio show, a TV show and a movie that starred Alec Baldwin. From the 1970's on Gibson would attend the Houdini seances at New York's Magic Towne House, run by Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz. Before Walter died he passed on the tradition to magician, escape artist and co founder with Dick Brookz of The Houdini Museum in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Dorothy Dietrich. Dorothy Dietrich continues to do the Houdini Séance each year.
A Houdini seance has been presented by Neil Tobin, Necromancer at Excalibur nightclub annually since October 2001. This event is presented on behalf of the Chicago Assembly of the Society of American Magicians during the last week of October to commemorate the late magician's death; Houdini helped found the Chicago Assembly in 1919.
A short theatrical seance also concludes Supernatural Chicago, a popular interactive theater show by Neil Tobin. It is currently in its seventh straight year of performances.
Los Angeles' Magic Castle has a separate room dedicated to theatrical séances. Their evening séance program entitled, "Demons" is a recreation of a Victorian-era séance replete with mediumistic staples such as table-rapping, slate (writing), spirit photography, eerie inexplicable sounds and many other "psychic" experiments.
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