Final installment of the ‘Houdini’s My Homeboy’ mini-series. Here’s photographs taken from Fall 2009, at the annual Broken Wand ceremony.
The term ‘broken wand’ is used when a magician dies. Since Harry Houdini was a president of the Society of American Magicians (S.A.M.), the organization continues to gather at Machpelah cemetery every year to mark his passing.
The broken wand ceremony for Houdini is usually held sometime around Halloween. The exact date itself varies because Houdini was Jewish. Therefore S.A.M. follows the Jewish calendar in honor of him.
The exact ceremony itself only takes a few minutes. A small speech is said, then silence as the wand is symbolically snapped in half.
At the time these photos were taken, the original bust of Harry Houdini’s head was missing. Due to the bust being vandalized four times, S.A.M. kept their own copy. Their bust would only be taken out and put on Houdini’s burial site during special occasional such as this. Since then, a new replica has been made, and discovery of another Houdini bust came to light.
If you’re curious about burial grounds in the outer borough of Queens NY, here’s another link. Dated June 2013:
Previous installments of the Houdini photo essays: