Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Wyman the Wizard's Grave

Here lies a great 19th Century Conjurer John Wyman, known professionally as Wyman the Wizard. He was born in 1816 in Albany NY and according to several magic history books, he was the most successful magician of his time from a financial perspective. I think that Signor Blitz would take the honor of being the most well known of that time, especially with his dozen + imitators. Though a number of newspapers dispute that fact and say that Wyman was THE most popular. Either way Wyman apparently made the most money, and unlike Blitz, Herrmann, Anderson, Heller and others he was American born!

He had the honor of having performed for President Abraham Lincoln four times. Apparently Mr. Lincoln was a big fan of magic as he had seen, Blitz, Compars Herrmann and now Wyman the Wizard! David Copperfield has in his museum, the very coins that Wyman the Wizard used to pass through the hands of Abraham Lincoln during one of his performances before the President. Wyman lived on 6th St in Washington D.C. for a period of time. And his regular performance spot was a place called The Odd Fellows Hall, which was located at 419 7th St N.W Washington, almost exactly half way between the Capital Building and The White House. I assume that his close proximity to the White House and his celebrity status helped him obtain his numerous appearances before not just President Lincoln, but also President Martin Van Buren and President Millard Fillmore.
According to Houdini, Wyman had one particular attribute that made him popular, he was honest! This is an important fact to remember because Wyman presented what were called 'Gift Shows'. Basically, all the tickets that were sold to his shows had numbers on them and every ticket received a prize depending upon the number. Wyman apparently gave out some really good quality items, among them, watches, table sets, family bibles, silver plated ware and more.

To read more about the life of Wyman the Wizard, please visit the following link

Wyman is buried next to his wife in Oak Grove Cemetery in Fall River Mass. His grave is in Lot 105, Oleander Path. John Wyman died July 31st 1881.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Horatio G Cooke's Grave

Photo used by permission of Don Lynch

Horatio Cooke lived quite an exciting life. He was born Feb 1, 1844 in Norwich Conn. By his mid teens he was a school teacher. The break out of the Civil War interrupted his teaching and he enlisted in the Union Army. He eventually became one of President Lincoln's Federal Scouts.

Cooke met Lincoln personally at a meeting he had been called to in Washington D.C. Word had gotten around about Cooke's uncanny ability to free himself after being tied up. At this meeting, Cooke was put to the test and he passed with flying colors.

Harry Cooke went on to be an accomplished magician, escape artist and spirit debunker. Later in life he would become friends with both Harry Kellar and Harry Houdini, as well as many others in the Los Angeles magic scene.

Harry Cooke died June 17, 1924 and was buried in Rosedale Cemetery in Los Angeles. His grave is located in Plot: Sect 5, Lot 66, Grave 2NE.   Harry Kellar is also interned in this same cemetery.

Don Lynch, a contributor at Findagrave.com gave us permission to use the photo.

To read more about the life of Harry Green Cooke, visit

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Grave of FuManchu-David Bamberg

David Bamberg was the last of the long line of the Bamberg Dynasty of Magicians. He was born in England on February 19th, 1904 to Theodore and Lily Bamberg. Theo performed under the stage name OKITO. As a youth David worked in Howard Thurston's show playing the part of a child volunteer during the Eggs in the Hat routine. Later David performed under the name Syko and worked with the mind reading team The Zancigs. He also toured with the Great Raymond. Years later he followed more in his fathers footsteps and became Fu-Manchu and took his own show on the road.

David toured extensively through Mexico and the South American countries. He made several movies while in Mexico. And later he settled in Buenos Aires. After he retired in the 1960s he opened a magic shop and ran that until he died on August 19, 1974. An old issue of Genii Magazine states that David has no grave as his ashes were scattered at sea. However, thanks to Magic Historian Martin Pacheco, I am now aware of the full story. According to Martin, David Bamberg was buried in the Cementerio de la Chacarita in Buenos Aires, Argentina. However, his wife Lolo did not take care of the upkeep of the grave and in fact no one did. Twenty years after David Bamberg had died, a magic society went to the cemetery to pay tribute to FuManchu and this is when they discovered the grave was gone. Sometime in the twenty years after he died, his remains had been moved to a common grave which is unknown. To see a photo of the grave, watch the latest episode of The Magic Detective on Youtube (ep5) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fp3qbUx8pH8

David Bamerg's life story is contained in the book ILLUSION SHOW by David Bamberg and put out by Meyerbooks. Get a copy of the book if you can find it, it's an amazing life story!