When I first moved to L.A. in 1998, my car was packed to the roof with all of my belongings. It was the season of El Nino Storms and everything was grey and grim. I had no apartment (nor job) lined up, but moved here anyway. I had an old friend who lived at the top of Laurel Canyon who was kind enough to let me stay there for a few days. While driving up to the place one night my friend pointed to a house and said "that's Harry Houdini's mansion over there, I think that it's for sale for 7 million, it's haunted." I'm not sure if it was the magic or the wicked rain, but I became entranced by the mansion. I wondered if all the stories about the secret tunnels and catacombs was true or folklore. I had heard that Harry Houdini's first appearance before an audience as a contortionist and trapeze performer, was on October 28 (my birthday), in 1883.
According to Laurel Canyon the book--Some of the FOLKLORE surrounding the mysterious mansion can be found at this link:
According to wikipedia:
The Mansion is owned by famed music producer Rick Rubin in Los Angeles, built in 1918. After recording the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Blood Sugar Sex Magik with considerable ease and comfortablility, Rubin decided to record many of the albums he has produced here, including; the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Stadium Arcadium, Audioslave's Out of Exile, The Mars Volta's De-Loused in the Comatorium, and Linkin Park's Minutes To Midnight .
In the 1960s and 70s many famous artists such as Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles also stayed there. Many of the musicians who have recorded there have confessed that strange ghostly encounters have happened while residing there.
My favorite of all of the stories about HOUDINI are linked here:
This article states the taboo history behind the first owners and their departure from the home. Plus all of the magical seances and spiritual encounters that may or may not have occcured while HH was there as well as the rumored pools that existed for Houdini to practice his magic escape acts.
So according to the facts- Harry Houdini's death occured on Oct 31st. This past Wedneday on the eve of Halloween I was lucky enough to attend a huge PARTY at the Mansion. Even though I'm still supposed to be taking it easy- I HAD to go.
The house was truly amazing, complete with waterfalls, cobblestone narrow steps winding around curved wooden bridges and magical balconies. The band lineup included WINTER FLOWERS, Devendra Banhart, and ENTRANCE- along with vaudeville acts, magicians, and fire eaters.
There was even a psychedelic wooden yewt tent out back with handpainted opium beds. WOW
the following Black and White dreamy photographs are by my friend Lauren Dukoff-