Mistake Turns Deadly for Magician Performing Live Burial Trick

Chisom Ndianefo
Man shuffling cards to prepare for a magic trick.
Unsplash | Fengyou Wan

Does true magic exist? However, many people have met an early demise while performing magic tricks, and sadly Joseph Burrus has met the same fate.

Keep reading to find out more.

Comparing Himself To Harry Houdini

Joseph Burrus in a coffin
Unilad | Joseph/ Unilad

A magician who had himself buried within a plastic and glass coffin for an escape trick on Halloween night and compared himself to the great Harry Houdini was killed when the coffin collapsed under tons of earth and wet cement.

Where It All Started

Amusement Park
Unsplash | Devon Rogers

The coffin abruptly fell as 32-year-old Joseph Burrus, a drug addict in recovery, was executing the stunt at Blackbeard's Family Fun Center, a nearby amusement park.

The Horrors Of The Event

Rescuers laboriously dragged Burrus out as shocked trick-or-treaters watched in horror, but they could not get to him in time.

Burrus Pride Himself As An Escape Artist

A person bound in chains
Flickr | carolreader

Before the stunt, Burrus declared,

“I consider myself a master of illusion and escape artist; I believe I’m the next Houdini and greater.”

His First Attempt Was A Success

On Halloween night in 1926, Harry Houdini, regarded as the maestro of escape artists, passed away.

In Oregon, Burrus successfully pulled off the escape from the buried casket act one year prior by covering the coffin solely with earth.

The Trick Included Him Being In A Coffin

Unsplash | The Good Funeral Guide

Burrus was arrested, bound in chains, placed into the transparent coffin, and lowered into a seven-foot-deep pit on Wednesday night while dressed in a white tuxedo.

What The Trick Involved

Before Burrus knocked on the casket lid and requested that they stop, crews began pouring wet cement into the hole from a cement truck.

The Signs Of A Failure

Unsplash | Kostiantyn Li

Sean Henderson, a patient at the Third Floor drug rehabilitation facility, states the patient said the chain was too tight (around his neck) and was choking him.

The Magic Trick Includes Burying Him

“We gave him time to slip the chain from his neck. After he got that done, he wanted the locks back on and asked us to start burying him again,” Henderson revealed to LA Times.

The crews put another three feet of dirt into the hole and then began covering that with three feet of cement.

Magic Gone Wrong

Unsplash | Julius Drost

“As soon as we finished and the truck pulled away the whole thing dropped,” Henderson said. “The . . . cement busted the coffin. It buried him alive.”

All Attempts To Save Him Was In Vain

According to witnesses, the estimated nine tons of cement and soil caused the plastic and glass of the coffin to shatter. The workers labored furiously to exhume the coffin, but their attempts to revive Burrus were in vain.

His Family Witnessed The Sad Incident

Unsplash | Josue Michel

His two children, as well as his parents Bette and John Burrus, we're witnessing the incident in utter horror.

Why The Performed The Trick

Joe, an addict in recovery, had been performing the prank to raise money for the Third Floor drug rehab center. Unfortunately, despite all they did to save him it was already too late.

The Ills Of Magic Trick

Although the world has witnessed incredible magic tricks, considering the risks involved before performing these tricks is very important as some of these tricks can be life-threatening.

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