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Review of Houdini Museum

Houdini Museum
Ranked #10 of 35 things to do in Scranton
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: RESERVATIONS SUGGESTED! A museum dedicated to Houdini, the famous magician. Includes a film, a guided tour of the exhibit and a 1 hour stage magic show with nationally known magicians,with doves, ducks, a rabbit and a poodle. Lots of comedy and audience participation. Our magicians have appeared on HBO and other network specials. We often sell out and advance phone reservations are discounted. Arrive between 1 PM and 2:15 and see the entire event. Earlier tours are a bit longer.
Reviewed June 25, 2012

We had an awesome times, the magicians were very great at what they do, you can tell they love what they do, it's very interactive, adults and kids will have fun.. Only thing the opening part was a little long in my opinion. I would say if you are half hour late from Start time that would be perfect. Dorothy and bravo were awesome!!!!!

Thank Allstar431
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"magic show"
in 57 reviews
"dorothy dietrich"
in 19 reviews
"old house"
in 9 reviews
"great magic"
in 6 reviews
"gift shop"
in 16 reviews
"his life"
in 7 reviews
"audience participation"
in 3 reviews
"all ages"
in 12 reviews
"extensive collection"
in 2 reviews
"tour participants"
in 2 reviews
"bit corny"
in 2 reviews
"world renowned"
in 2 reviews
"escape artist"
in 2 reviews
"female magician"
in 2 reviews
"great presentation"
in 3 reviews
"intimate setting"
in 3 reviews
"call ahead"
in 4 reviews

112 - 116 of 146 reviews

Reviewed May 10, 2012

If you’re interested in seeing the real America, the kind of America that isn’t centered around an amusement park, then the Harry Houdini Museum should be on your list. It’s a small, one-of-a-kind museum run by Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz in Scranton PA. It’s a converted house in a residential area so be careful not to drive right by looking for a big, commercialized attraction. But inside is everything you’d ever expect in a museum dedicated to Houdini. Dorothy and Dick scour the Earth looking for any bit of genuine Houdini memorabilia from the actual equipment he used in his tricks (such as an actual milk can fron his most famous escapes) to genuine theater programs detailing his life as it was recorded during his lifetime. The museum houses the most complete Houdini collection anywhere.

The Houdini Museum is more than just a walk-through, 25-cent tour. Its proprietors, as well as providing a magic show for its patrons, take great care in preserving the Houdini legend in the most factual manner possible. They told us as much about Harry Houdini the man as they did about Harry Houdini the magician and it is a most fascinating story about a most fascinating individual. I came away with much more respect for this entertainer, entrepreneur and most honorable American.

Operating the museum is a labor of love for Dietrich and Brookz. I doubt they are wealthy people because of it, but they pour their hearts and souls into keeping alive the Houdini legacy and history for us all. The Houdini Museum is truly an American treasure but one that will not last forever. Maybe in a generation it will not be here anymore replaced by a Disney-fied version of Houdini complete with all the embellishments of a comic book hero cleansed of any trace of his real humanity. I fear that once the museum is gone, Houdini himself will be permanently lost so please plan on seeing it soon.

With that all said, I obviously give the Harry Houdini Museum two thumbs up. It’s a genuine slice of America and the perfect afternoon diversion from the theme park scene. Yes, they will offer things like for purchase (we bought a deck of magic cards and a reproduction theater program - both very reasonably-priced) but you can rest assured that every dollar you spend there goes directly back into keeping the museum going.

2  Thank JoeGlab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2012

This was an extraordinary experience to say the least. My daughter (14) and I went to Scranton last summer for the American Idol concert and had tickets to see the Paranormal show on the night before the concert. Having absolutely no preconceived notions of the place, I can say that the building itself is enough to give you the creeps. We were ushered in through the back door (previous reviewer noted the shaky steps), and I was immediately impressed by the absolute lack of predictability in that place. There was Houdini memorabilia EVERYWHERE and the rooms were dark and ominous for sure. The main seating area was a very intimate setting in a larger room in the middle of the building. Plenty more of the Houdini stuff hanging about and seating for about 20 to 25. The group started to coalesce and it consisted of a heterogenous group of men, women, gays, straights, old and young. (My daughter the youngest for sure.) At first I was struck by how "cheesy" the presenters were (Dorothy and an older man, forget his name). I was a little embarrassed for them initially and felt a little foolish for sitting there. That rapidly changed as this gentleman proceeded to capture our attention with one "paranormal" exhibit after another. There was a history to the place which involved a murder or two and the show evolved into a seance with the gentleman "channeling" a man named Walter. I saw things with my own eyes that were nothing short of Hollywood ghosts in action. Chandelier swayed, things flew off a table in front of me, and a tamborine started playing on its own. The evening culminated into a seance in the dark where people actually were screaming and one couple left as the young lady was saying that someone was touching her! I got myself and my daughter out of there and never looked back.
It was inarguably authentic and not for the faint of heart. You will believe, if you can handle it.

6  Thank nurseontheloose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2012

This museum was very small and artifacts were haphazardly arranged there was no description of the items. the magic show however was excellent and the woman who did the magic show did an excellent job very much a vaudville type act it was very entertaining overall very entertaining but somewhat expensive especially for at the average of $15-$16 per person

Thank bporourke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 22, 2012

We visited Houdini Museum during spring break and we loved the Magic show and the Museum tour. Dorothy & Bravo were great. Anyone visiting the area should not miss this great show suited for all ages.

4  Thank Nalaka D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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