Criss Angel

Houdini Death Escape


In this excellent trick, which was performed live at the Foxwoods Casino, Criss Angel is put in a straightjacket and suspended in the air, head-down. His job is to get out of the straightjacket.

But that is not all! He is in a much more problematic situation. What could be more problematic then being suspended in the air, trapped in a straightjacket, you ask? Well, it looks like this just wasn’t challenging enough for Criss. To spice things up even more, he also had a 50 pound weight hanging from his neck.

The Houdini Death Escape is known as one of the hardest and most dangerous stunts for any magician to perform. Criss has to try hard, but at the end he succeeds and gets out, alive and well.

You have to see it to believe it. Watch the video, then check out our explanation of the trick below:



So, was this a trick or the real deal? Obviously this was done live, so we know he really did it. But was there any trickery involved?

As usually, the answer is yes: there was some deception in this performance. The main point of this illusion is to create an impression of danger. Criss has a hard challenge, and he is not sure if he will even succeed – he might die during this escape. Of course this is completely illusory. As with all his stunts, Criss is perfectly prepared and knows he is not in any serious danger. He did not really risk his life. It should become a bit suspicious by now: he does all this dangerous and risky stunts, yet somehow he always comes out alive. Ask yourself: is he just really lucky, or are these stunts not actually as dangerous as he says they are? You be the judge, but we think the answer is pretty obvious.

The weight is of course not really suspended from his neck, it is probably attached somewhere on the straightjacket. It also isn’t as heavy as it appears.

And what about the straightjacket? That must be really hard to escape from, huh? Well, not really. You might have some trouble, but Criss has practiced this for years and he could do it in his sleep. Or, for that matter, hanging in the air. It is not a real challenge for him, and he is absolutely confident he can do it. It is easier than it looks like.

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