Since their appearance in the late 1500s, magicians, illusionists, mentalists, artists, fugitives, they all have their element of danger, which makes them interesting to watch.
For centuries, the magicians have convinced the viewers that this is true. Regardless of whether the bullet trap is an illusion or the result of lightning reflexes, it definitely carries a deadly risk. This danger can be fatal for both amateurs and professionals.
Here are top 5 magicians who died doing tricks
1. Dr. Vivian Hensley
Nothing leaves such a black spot in the world of magic as an amateur who tries to do a dangerous trick by climbing into it through his head. Forty-four-year-old Vivian Hensley worked as a dentist in Brisbane, Australia. As a dentist, he probably should have known about the danger of non-food items being put in his mouth. Still, he nevertheless died an excruciating death from what he swallowed.
Dr. Hensley was showing his little son his own trick called “swallowing a rusty razor blade”. He did this trick by pretending to stick the razor blade in his mouth and actually hiding it in the sleeve of his coat.
On July 6, 1938, while performing a trick, he slipped and accidentally dropped the razor down his throat. His wife made him eat cotton balls while he was on his way to the hospital. Despite a series of X-rays and two operations, the doctors could not find the razor, and four days later, he died.
2. Joseph W. Burrus
The lifelong dream of 32-year-old Joseph “amazing Joe” Barrus was to become more famous than his hero Harry Houdini. On Halloween night in 1992, the anniversary of Houdini’s death, he tried to make the escape that Houdini had failed – to be buried alive.
Amazing Joe was handcuffed, locked in a homemade coffin, then placed in a tomb two meters (7 feet) deep and buried alive under seven tons of mud and cement (about the weight of an African elephant male).
Surprisingly, no one could convince him that this was impossible and that he needed some kind of illusion to get out of the trick alive. During his training, a reporter covering the story told him that cement dries faster at the bottom than at the top. So even if it doesn’t crush to death, it still has to overcome a few feet of dirt before trying to punch through a layer of fast-curing cement, all without lack of air.
However, cement was not even a problem for Burrus. The earth and cement fell on him, and he was crushed before he left the coffin.
3.William Ellsworth Robinson
William Ellsworth Robinson, also known as Chong Ling Soo, was an American magician who took the image of a Chinese magician and never broke his character. He never spoke English on stage and always used an interpreter during his interview with journalists. At the time of his death, he was one of the most famous magicians in the world.
A fatal accident took place in London’s Wood Green Empire Hotel on March 23, 1918. Chang Ling Soo was performing his version of catching a bullet. Unfortunately, he did not have time to clean the gun properly after the last time he did this trick.
This caused the accumulation of gunpowder in the shompole tube, which gave him enough strength to fire a bullet into Jong Ling Soo’s chest. For the first time, he broke the character, he said: “Oh my God, put the jacket down. Something happened. He died the next day in the hospital. If this magician seems familiar, it’s only because he appears as a character in the movie “Prestige”.
4. Jeff Rayburn Hooper
On July 7, 1984, 23-year-old magician Jeff Rayburn Hooper practiced an escape trick, which he planned to perform later that day at a biblical conference in Winona Lake. The trick was to escape from the shackles while immersed in the lake.
During the rehearsal of the trick, Hooper cuffed himself and jumped into Winona Lake, near Fort Wayne, Indiana. Then he sailed a hundred yards from the shore. Hooper was able to free himself from his shackles.
He dug out to the surface and called his assistant for help, but because of the strong wind, he could not reach the shore. The wind was also a severe problem when it came to helping him because the rescuers could not get to Hooper. He drowned in 1.6 meters (6 feet) of water.
5. Janaka Basnayake
People need water, food, and, most importantly, air to live, which leads us to the sad story of 24-year-old Janaka Basnayake from Sri Lanka. Basnayake tried to break the world record for the duration of the burial alive.
When most magicians do this, they create the illusion of fleeing, so that they don’t actually waste time on funerals. The exception is David Blaine, who spent 6 days buried alive, but he was a professional with a team of experts. Basnayake was not a professional.
Instead, on March 5, 2012, he forced his family to bury him in a pit three meters (10 feet) deep and then cover it with earth and wood. He was buried for seven and a half hours before he was dug out. They found that he was not breathing and took him to the hospital, where he was declared dead.
The saddest thing is that the Guinness Book of Records does not even recognize this record because it is too dangerous, and they do not want people to even try to set it.