Illusionist postpones Basin Park escape, cites danger
EUREKA SPRINGS -- Illusionist Sean-Paul, whose Intrigue Theater is one of Eureka Springs' most popular shows, has postponed a scheduled escape attempt from an antique 40-gallon milk can scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20 at Basin Spring Park.
The show, free to the public, recreates one of famed magician Harry Houdini's trademark escapes and is part of Intrigue Theater's month-long October celebration of the world's most famous illusionist and escape artist.
"Two weeks ago I escaped from a straitjacket suspended by my feet five stories high atop the Crescent Hotel, the most haunted hotel in America," said the veteran prestidigitator and illusionist. "That was my first tribute to Houdini. This will be the second -- if I survive it."
Sean-Paul, who appears weekly at the historic Gavioli Chapel on the Historic Loop with his wife, mentalist Juliana, says the upcoming escape will involve him being handcuffed and squeezed into a 70-year-old antique metal milk can, barely large enough for the human form.
The canister, filled with water, will then be secured with a lid and padlocked four times. The milk can escape has remained one of Houdini's most famous and iconic escapes to this day.
Sean-Paul's challenge -- issued by the Lovely County Citizen -- is to escape a possible death by drowning. "I've got 90 seconds to do it," he said. "At least one death has been attributed to this escape, and so I have been focusing exclusively on it recently."
The presentation will now take place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27, in Basin Spring Park. The event is free to the public.
Assuming all goes well, on Halloween night at 10 p.m., Intrigue Theater will also present a special performance called "The Intrigue of Harry Houdini."
The event will take place in the Crystal Ballroom of the 1886 Crescent Hotel. The show will include the best segments of Intrigue Theater and will end with a sťance to try to make contact with the spirit of Harry Houdini.
"While there have been perhaps hundreds of Houdini sťances in the past 86 years, we don't know of one ever conducted in a place already as haunted as the Crescent Hotel," said medium Juliana Fay of Intrigue Theater.