The Other Stories

The Other Stories
by Leo Behnke

$30 post paid

Available now:

P.O. Box 27716
Las Vegas  NV

The Other Stories by Leo Behnke is now ready for distribution to the magic fraternity.

This latest publication is the sequel to The Magic in Books, published in 2009 that told how his love of books and magic combined to fill his lifetime with memorable people and a variety of performances.

In The Other Stories he offers the anecdotes of just the magic side of his life. The shows (like the Magic Land of AllaKazam and Shazzam), the venues (like the Magic Castle and the Magic Circle), the people (like David Copperfield and Steve Martin), and the great variety (like television, movies, trade shows, and movie cocktail parties) over a 50-year history of professional conjuring. These are the stories that the reviewers asked for, and now they are available.

The book debuted at the Los Angeles Conference on Magic History in November 2015. The publisher is Kirk Kaplan of Las Vegas, and has 144 pages, is 6″ x 9″ in size, has 57 photos and illustrations. The cost is $30 postpaid in the US. Order directly from the Book Group.


Wild About Harry: The secret recordings of Bess


On our last Wild About Harry post, we searched the depths of John Cox’s blog to chance upon an article about Madame Houdini.

While the last article we found was about a time when Madame Houdini spoke, in which she gave her opinion about her stance on spiritualism, today we will read about the time Bess Houdini recorded her conversations (on the sly) with famous magicians, such as Cardini and the Great Leon.

Here’s what John Cox has to say about it:

“Imagine a collection of secretly recorded private telephone conversations between Bess Houdini and the “leading magicians of the day.” Does this sound too good to be true? Well, apparently, it’s for real!

In a 1966 issue of The Linking Ring, John Booth recalled paying a visit to Bessie and Edward Saint in their “small Spanish stucco bungalow” at 8565 Westknoll Avenue in Hollywood (now West Hollywood) in the ’30s. “Mrs. Houdini was a lively little lady of complete naturalness,” recalled Booth.

As they were sitting “engrossed in talk about the late showman”, Booth suddenly heard his own disembodied voice coming from an unknown source within the room. “It was as though radio voices had suddenly begun to penetrate the air around us,” said Booth. That’s when Ed Saint revealed the secret, and dropped a bombshell…”

Read more here.


European History Conference


The history of magic is an ever widening labyrinth of information that gets deeper and deeper as one explores. The few of us tangled in this wonderful maze do it with passion and intense diligence, which is why we collect magic items in dedication and travel to conventions!

Introducing the 5th European Magic
History Conference on Thayer Magic

PLACE:  Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe / “Museum for Arts and Crafts” (Hamburg 2013)

DATE: 28 – 31 August 2013

ORGANIZER: Wittus Witt

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Weekend Updates & News


As we welcome the spring season, we also bring forth more news and updates about our forthcoming Magic Collectors Weekend, May 10-12 in Chicago to be held at the Westin O’Hare. (REGISTER NOW!) Be sure to book your hotel before May 1 to receive the discounted rate.

There are many reasons to attend our weekend May 10-12 in Chicago at the Westin O’Hare. Here are four more:

First, we have a superb list of dealers who include: JP Jackson, Jay Hunter, Joe Hanosek, Arthur Moses, Domenico Dante & Priska Walther, Mike O’Dowd, Potter & Potter Inc., Mario Carrandi, Ken Trombly, Tad Ware, Trevor Dawson, Angelo Iafrate Woodturning, Pierre Mayer, John A. Greget, Byron Walker, and Mark & Nani Wilson. As you can see, there will be quite a range of dealers, so you can be sure there will be something for the collector in each of us.

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October 31 may bring ghosts and goblins seeking tricks or treats, but for magicians and magic enthusiasts alike, the date also marks the untimely death the legendary, Harry Houdini.

To commemorate, The Jewish Museum, in Manhattan, is featuring an exhibition on the great escape artist, Houdini: Magic & Art – which opens tomorrow, October 29, 2010 and  runs until March 27, 2011. The exhibition – the first in a major American art museum – promises to reveal magical apparatus, posters, period photographs, archival films and contemporary art work inspired by Houdini.

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42nd Annual Collectors Weekend

Magicana will be hosting the 42nd installment of the Collectors Weekend in Chicago, May 19 to 21, 2011, where we are delighted to be honoring guests Ray & Ann Goulet and Dr. Gene Matsuura.

We have now opened registration to this limited-capacity event and offer Magicolsubscribers and spouses the same discounted rate of $210 USD per registration. Non-subscriber’s rate is $225 USD. REGISTER NOW

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A Grand Expose

A Brief Update

It has been a while since our last blog entry as we have been tied up with a variety of projects – the last issue of Magicol, producing the Masters of Magic series for Luminato (See the August issue of MAGIC), organizing the next issue of Magicoland, of course, planning the the next MCW.

We will be releasing information on the 42nd MCW shortly so that you can book your room and registration well in advance. We had an excellent turn out this year, and hope to build on that success.

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Magicols Moving Your Way


We are pleased to announce that Magicol No. 175 is now en route to you.

This issue features Walter “Zaney” Blaney and the history of his world-famous Ladder Levitation. Walter gave an outstanding presentation on this topic at the 41st MCW in May and also gave his final performance of the levitation. It was an incredible and historic moment and we are thrilled to have Walter and his story featured in this issue.

You will also (hopefully) find many more interesting articles including Clay Shevlin’s Libarium Magicum, this time featuring an exploration of William Manning’s Recollections of Robert-Houdin (London, 1891) and Conrad Cooke’s Automata Old and New (London, 1893). There are also book reviews on Hellis in WonderlandThe Magic in Books,  Gibecière (Winter 2010) and Magic Goods Collection. James Hagy also shares a treasure from his collection and discusses magician and illusionist, John J. Grinda.

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MCA Hotel Rate Extended

Good news!

The Westin O’Hare, the host hotel for the 41st Annual Collectors Weekend, has extended the MCA discount rate of $115/night for May 13, 14 and 15 until May 4th.

Now’s the time to book your hotel! Click here for details.

If you need to register for the Weekend, you can do so online. If you are mailing in your registration, please mail directly to our Canadian office:

15 Madison Avenue
Toronto, ON M5R 2S2

Make sure your vote gets included! May 3rd t is the deadline to get your votes in on what you would like to do on the Free Friday Night (May 14). Submit your entries directly to our registrar: