The master of sleight of hand tricks and other magic Harry Houdini strongly opposed the charlatanism of spiritualists in séances, which were very popular at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.
To get to their séances, he, being already a world-famous illusionist, had to disguise himself in order to expose the scammers.
A huge number of tricks performed by Houdini had been invented personally by him, and he was convinced that magic did not exist, and all tricks were based only on the sleight of hand and practice, plus excellent physical shape. But they also sometimes fail.
In 1926, while on tour in Canada, local students came to his dressing room and asked if it was true that he could withstand the most severe blows. Houdini confirmed, but did not expect that his words would be checked there and then.
One of the students, a college boxing champion, unexpectedly gave him several hard punches in the stomach. Houdini stopped him, tightened his stomach muscles, and then took the next blow. The student did not hit again, bumping into the steel muscles of the illusionist.
Alas, the first blows, that Houdini had taken without preparation, were enough to rupture his appendix and develop peritonitis. Nine days later, he passed away, making sure that the spiritualists could not exploit his name after his death.
A certain “secret code”, without which access to his spirit is impossible, he told only his wife.