How did Houdini die? There are many theories and incorrect information on this topic. How did Houdini die or rather, how did Houdini not die? First there is the Houdini movie starring Tony Curtis. In this movie Harry Houdini dies doing the Chinese Water Torture cell trick. Then there was the talk of a student punching Houdini in the stomach which lead to complications and ultimately him passing away. Then came the speculation that Houdini had a prior condition which would have probably lead to his death anyway. Regardless of how Houdini died, he is an icon very much connected to Northern NYC. After Houdini died, his wife Bessie spent the last ten years of her life in Northern NYC’s own Inwood Manhattan!