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April Fools’ Pranks Gone Too Far

April Fool’s Day is a day set aside to celebrate the art of pranks, tricks and general shenanigans. In light of this day that makes your inner child giddy, here are some people who took this art to its limits.

Harry Houdini

Harry Houdini. Photo credit: Wikipedia

No escape artist or magician is as popular as Harry Houdini. As great as his magical reputation was, it was nothing compared to his reputation as an escape artist. Houdini was always working on new and dangerous escapes. He did the “Chinese Water Torture” and “Milk Can Escape” which involved escaping handcuffs, padlocks and chains while submerged in water. Houdini also performed a “Buried Alive” escape three times in his lifetime.

Dean Gunnarson

Dean Gunnarson. Photo credit: Winnipeg Free Press

Early in Gunnarson’s career, he nearly died in a stunt that had him handcuffed in a nailed coffin as it floated down Winnipeg’s Red River. However, this didn’t prevent him from becoming one of the most respected escape artists of all time. Stunts like “Car Crusher”—a stunt that had him handcuffed and chained to the steering wheel of a 1970 Cadillac that he escaped from unchained while it was lifted into a car crusher—have sealed his name in the hall of fame.


Dorothy Dietrich

Dorothy Dietrich. Photo credit: Micky Hades

Popularly known as the “First Lady of Magic”, Dorothy Dietrich is the best-known female escapologist of all time. With a long career that started in New York, she became the first woman to escape from a straightjacket while hanging from a burning rope 15 stories up without a net. Her most notable escape is the “Bullet Catch Stunt”— catching a .22 bullet fired from a gun in a metal cup that was placed in her mouth — which Houdini could not pull off.

Roslyn Walker

Roslyn Walker. Photo credit: YouTube

Walker made a name for himself as the “Gentleman Escape Artist” for his poise and air of sophistication while performing record-breaking escapes. In April 2011, he escaped from nine handcuffs in a minute and later set a world record of most handcuff escapes in an hour by getting out of 677 police handcuffs.

David Blaine

David Blaine. Photo credit: El Paco Times

Blaine is famous for performing stunts that involve the elements which require a great deal of endurance. He is known for daring escapes like being encased in a block of ice for 63 hours and being sealed inside a case placed 30 feet above the River Thames in London for 44 days. He also performed the famous “Buried Alive” stunt entombed in a Perspex box underneath a three-ton water tank. He endured seven days of this taking just two to three

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