Magicians are known for defying physics and achieving feats that most men would never dream of. However, some magicians run into bad luck and unfortunate mistakes. For these five magicians, their last trick was their very demise, and they died while performing tricks. Read their haunting stories below.
Number Five: Gilbert Genesta. In 1930, magician Gilbert Genesta thought he was just performing his routine and signature trick. He impressed crowds by telling them he could escape any water barrel or milk can before drowning. However, on this fateful day, he crawled inside a dented barrel without realizing it and could not escape before he drowned.
Number Four: Madame DeLinsky. Madame DeLinsky was renowned for her ability to catch bullets in mid-air before they struck people. However, she wanted to go one step further and hired six men to fire at her so she could do a trick involving her catching six bullets. To help her with the trick, she asked the men to fire blanks and not real bullets. One gunman accidentally loaded his gun with a bullet and shot her, and she died a few days later.
Number Three: Vivian Hensley. Australian dentist Vivian Hensley was quite the performer, and his signature trick was swallowing a rusty razor. Though he wouldn’t actually swallow the razor, he would hold it above his mouth and covertly slide it down his sleeve. One day when he was doing the trick for his son, he accidentally let the razor drop down his throat. He was taken to the hospital and died shortly after.
Number Two: Charles Rowen. South African magician Charles Rowen was incredibly deft at getting out of straitjackets in short periods of time. His signature trick was to lie down in front of a car and maneuver his way out of the straitjacket before the car could hit him. One day in 1930, he was performing his trick but could not get out of his straitjacket, and the car hit him going 35 miles per hour, severing his leg. He died from an infection a few days later.
Number One: Joe Burrus. In an homage to Houdini, magician Joe Burrus performed an amazing trick that involved him being buried alive and escaping from his coffin. He went one step further, though, and decided he wanted to have cement poured over him while he was lowered into the ground in a see-through plastic coffin. However, there was one key thing that Joe underestimated: the strength of the plastic coffin. The cement crushed the plastic coffin and subsequently killed him.