Magician Spencer Horsman comments on Harry Houdini routine that sent him to the hospital for five hours
Were you at Illusions: Magic Bar & Lounge Friday night? If you weren't, you missed a 20-pound beam come down on 24-year-old illusionist Spencer Horsman.
Horsman told me what happened.
On Friday, 50 minutes into his magic act at the bar he runs with his father Ken in Federal Hill, Horsman started to do the old Houdini straitjacket routine for the finale.
The routine involves escaping from a straitjacket while hanging upside down.
On Friday, the house was packed, Horsman's father Ken told me later. Two minutes into the routine, Horsman was almost finished.
"I had fully escaped the jacket," Horsman said. Upside down, "I bent in half in order to unhook my ankles so I could turn myself back up."
But then, a bolt came loose from the rigging, and Horsman fell a foot. The kicker was that the beam that he was hanging from also fell about five feet and hit him on the forehead.
"I didn't realize how bad it was until I took my hand off my forehead and the blood gushed all over the straitjacket and stage," he said.
After the jump: Horsman on recuperating, his next show, and video of the Houdini routine.
The accident happened, he said, because he hadn't used the hanging apparatus often. And, the stage is a larger space Illusions debuted recently to accommodate more people.
After the fall, he spent five hours at the emergency room, and came out with 16 stitches and a 2-inch gash on his forehead.
"The bruise below the cut itself has swelled up and the bridge of my nose is sore," he said. "If I yawn, or sneeze, or wrinkle my forehead, it hurts. It's bad, but I'll live."
On Friday and Saturday, he'll go back to performing at Illusions. "I won't be hanging upside down, but I'll be doing some escapes," he added.
Below, Horsman performing the Houdini routine two years ago:
Photo: Spencer Horsman attempting the Houdini routine Friday, October 29 (Monica Lopossay for The Sun)