Harry Houdini quotes:

  • To cause the face to appear in a mass of flame make use of the following: mix together thoroughly petroleum, lard, mutton tallow and quick lime. Distill this over a charcoal fire, and the liquid which results can be burned on the face without harm.

  • Flames from the lips may be produced by holding in the mouth a sponge saturated with the purest gasoline.

  • Eating coals of fire has always been one of the sensational feats of the Fire Kings, as it is quite generally known that charcoal burns with an extremely intense heat.

  • A common pickpocket trick is for the operator to carry a shawl or overcoat carelessly over the left arm, and to take a seat on the right side of the person they intend to rob in a streetcar or other vehicle.

  • But then, so far as I know, I am the only performer who ever pledged his assistants to secrecy, honor and allegiance under a notarial oath.

  • Another method of eating burning coals employs small balls of burned cotton in a dish of burning alcohol.

  • But it must not be thought that I say this out of personal experience: for in the many years that I have been before the public my secret methods have been steadily shielded by the strict integrity of my assistants, most of whom have been with me for years.

  • My professional life has been a constant record of disillusion, and many things that seem wonderful to most men are the every-day commonplaces of my business.

  • I am a great admirer of mystery and magic. Look at this life - all mystery and magic.

  • In all feats of fire-eating it should be noted that the head is thrown well back, so that the flame may pass out of the open mouth instead of up into the roof, as it would if the head were held naturally.

  • The pickpocket is usually very well dressed and of prepossessing appearance.

  • The greatest escape I ever made was when I left Appleton, Wisconsin.

  • Only one man ever betrayed my confidence, and that only in a minor matter.

  • What the eyes see and the ears hear, the mind believes.

  • Fire has always been and, seemingly, will always remain, the most terrible of the elements.

  • The great day of the Fire-eater - or, should I say, the day of the great Fire-eater - has passed.

  • The secret of showmanship consists not of what you really do, but what the mystery-loving public thinks you do.

  • My chief task has been to conquer fear. The public sees only the thrill of the accomplished trick; they have no conception of the tortuous preliminary self-training that was necessary to conquer fear.

  • ...the Sun represents the right half of the body and the Moon the left half...

  • A magician is only an actor - an actor pretending to be a magician.

  • Anyone who believes in magic is a fool.

  • How the early priests came into possession of these secrets does not appear, and if there were ever any records of this kind the Church would hardly allow them to become public.

  • My professional life has been a constant record of disillusion...

  • Never try to fool children, they expect nothing, and therefore see everything...

  • It is still an open question, however, as to what extent exposure really injures a performer.

  • No performer should attempt to bite off red-hot iron unless he has a good set of teeth.

  • It is needless to say that women make the most patient as well as the most dangerous pickpockets.

  • I think that in a year I may retire. I cannot take my money with me when I die and I wish to enjoy it, with my family, while I live. I should prefer living in Germany to any other country, though I am an American, and am loyal to my country.

  • I make the most money, I think, in Russia and Paris, for the people of those countries are so willing to be amused, so eager to see something new and out of the ordinary.

  • An old trick well done is far better than a new trick with no effect.

  • Disloyalty in trusted servants is one of the most disheartening things that can happen to a public performer.

  • I always have on my mind the thought that next year I must do something greater, something more wonderful.

  • I am not an irretrievable skeptic. I am not hopelessly prejudiced. I am perfectly willing to believe, and my mind is wide open; but I have, as yet, to be convinced. I am perfectly willing, but the evidence must be sane and conclusive.

  • I do not believe that ghosts or spirits exist.

  • I knew, as everyone knows, that the easiest way to attract a crowd is to let it be known that at a given time and a given place some one is going to attempt something that in the event of failure will mean sudden death. That's what attracts us to the man who paints the flagstaff on the tall building, or to the 'human fly' who scales the walls of the same building.

  • I must fling myself down and writhe; I must strive with every piece of force I possess; I bruise and batter myself against the floor, the walls; I strain and sob and exhaust myself, and begin again, and exhaust myself again; but do I feel pain? Never. How can I feel pain? There is no place for it.

  • I'm tired of fighting, Dash. I guess this thing is going to get me.

  • I'm tired of fighting.

  • Keep up your enthusiasm! There is nothing more contagious than exuberant enthusiasm.

  • Look at this life - all mystery and magic.

  • Magic is the sole science not accepted by scientists, because they can't understand it.

  • Never tell the auidience how good you are, they will soon find out for themselves.

  • No prison can hold me; no hand or leg irons or steel locks can shackle me. No ropes or chains can keep me from my freedom.

  • Pickpockets either work alone or in pairs, or what is called a mob.

  • Rosabelle - answer - tell - pray, answer - look - tell - answer, answer - tell.

  • Some say I do it this way, others say I do it that way, but I say I do it the other way.

  • The eating of burning brimstone is an entirely fake performance.

  • The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method of procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers.

  • They do tricks even I can't figure out.

  • What the eyes sees, the ear hears, and the mind believes.

  • My Brain is the key that sets me free.