Grace Hospital & The Majestic
With the words “I’m tired of fighting” Erik Weisz died at 1:26 in the afternoon of October 31, 1926, in room 401 in Detroit’s Grace Hospital.
Weisz, better known as Harry Houdini, suffered from peritonitis as result from a ruptured appendix. He was punched in the stomach by J. Gordon Whitehead, a student at McGill University, who had taken Houdini up on his claim that he could withstand being hit there. Unprepared for Whitehead to punch him, Houdini wasn’t able to flex his abdominal muscles in time. Also, Whitehead punched the famous magician in his side as opposed to straight into the gut.
Houdini’s last performance was at the Garrick Theater in Detroit on Woodward Avenue. Today there have been a few changes to the facade of the Garrick Theater as well as to its name. The Garrick is now known as the Majestic and patrons and staff of the Majestic claim that the building is haunted but at least one ghost, but they don’t know if it is Harry.
For years, until the hospital was razed to allow for construction of a modern facility, Houdini’s faithful followers, fellow mediums, the curious, and his wife, would conduct séances in room 401 or within Grace Hospital in hopes to communicate with him.
Another location which is reputed to be haunted is the former W.R. Hamilton Funeral Home where Houdini’s body was embalmed and prepared for burial. The W.R Hamilton Funeral Home is located on the corner of Cass and West Alexandrine Street in Detroit, only a few blocks from where the former Grace Hospital once stood. Ghost hunters and psychics seem to think that Houdini’s ghost might actually inhabit the old building but then so do at least a half dozen other spirits whose bodies were laid out on the slab there.