Curtis Lovell Escapes Death on Halloween

Curtis Lovell is well-known to television audiences.  He cut Paris Hilton in half on her show The Simple Life, provided instructions to escape from handcuffs on the Spike TV show Manswers.  He called out David Blaine and John “I talk to dead people” Edward.

Neither performer had the guts to take him up on a magic duel.

Mr. Lovell made a great impression with his performance of his Cube of Death on the USA Network’s Road Characters.

On the 84th anniversary of Houdini’s passing, Mr. Lovell literally went underground.

By performing an escape Houdini himself said was too dangerous to repeat, Mr. Lovell took an enormous risk — an not just to his career.

The Buried Alive escape is a test of physical endurance and mental focus.  Oxygen is in short supply and panic is a constant enemy; ready to steal the limited amount trapped within the sealed coffin.

Mr. Lovell attempted the escape as part of The Halloween Haunt in Grand Terrace California’s Pico Park.

More than 1500 Halloween Haunt visitors watched Lovell recreate the Houdini stunt. Lovell was cuffed and shackled by a sheriff’s deputy, then placed into a pine coffin with a plexiglass front.

Mr. Lovell’s coffin was buried under more than 200 pounds of dirt.

Many spectators confessed they were very anxious watching Mr. Lovell’s attempt.  Finally after about ten minutes, Mr. Lovell’s hand appeared, and extended out of the coffin.  But it was not until 16 minutes into the attempt that Mr. Lovell finally emerged.

He was greeted by a well-deserved round of applause and sighs of relief.

Acting City Manager Steve Berry was one of the anxious watchers. “I was worried; things took longer than I thought.”

Mr. Lovell’s comments after the escape confirm that it was a tough sixteen minutes.

“The air in the coffin was getting thick. I started to sweat and was worried,” Mr. Lovell told reporters.

“I could barely slip my hand out of the coffin to figure out the combination lock that was connected to the chain and the lid.”

Mr. Lovell said he now understands “more clearly why Houdini never wanted to do the stunt again.”

Check out videos and stills of the escape at  You can also purchase a copy of Mr. Lovell’s instructional DVD, POOF! You’re a Magician – Learn Magic with Everyday Objects at Barnes and Nobles or directly from

There is a great write-up of the escape preparation and execution at The Press-Enterprise Newspapers web site.

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