Special Halloween Magic Show & Séance

“HARRY HOUDINI, if you’re not too busy this Halloween, I want to talk to you.”

Get ready! I’ll be conducting a séance the Saturday leading into All Hallows’ Eve in an attempt to contact the long passed spirit of Houdini, the most famous magician of the Twentieth Century. The sitting, as these séances are sometimes called, will take place in the dimly lit main dining room at River Lake Inn restaurant in Colon, MI, a small village long recognized as the Magic Capital of the World.

Limited to 50 living attendees, and 3 dead. Price…$34.95. The Dead come free.

We’ll have a ninety minute magic show first. “A Halloween Tribute to Harry Houdini” is a show specifically designed to celebrate the life and magic of Houdini. Guests will then be invited to help themselves to River Lake Inn’s bountiful salad bar, and dinner will be served shortly afterwards, followed by desserts.

Finally, as everyone relaxes with coffee or wine, the lights will be dimmed, candles will be lit at each table, and the séance will begin. How long it lasts will ultimately be up to Harry.

Reservations: 269-432-2626

On-line Reservations

harry-houdini-03-smallHarry-Houdini-007-smallHarry Houdini died in a Detroit hospital, after a week’s struggle for life, on Halloween in 1926. He was only 52 years old. Before he died, Houdini made a pact with his wife, Bess, promising he would return and make contact from the other side if such were at all possible. Coming from the world’s greatest escape artist, his promise carried weight. For the next ten years, Bess organized a séance every Halloween in hopes of contacting her departed husband.

(We’ll be playing a very eerie recording of one of those original séances at River Lake Inn before our show. It’ll raise the hairs on the back of your neck.)

Bess and Ed Saint at the Final Houdini Seance in front of Houdini ShrineBess was never successful. Houdini never appeared to her, and in 1937 his wife eventually gave up. The tradition she started, however, continued.

Every year, on Halloween night, someone somewhere in the world attempts to contact the great Harry Houdini across the veils of death. The séances continue in part because it’s an entertaining history lesson, in part as reverence and love for Houdini, and in part — well, in large part perhaps — because of the hope this year just might be THE year Houdini finally keeps his promise.

The Halloween séances have been conducted everywhere from Houdini’s childhood home in Appleton, Wisconsin, to his adult home in New York City, to the museum dedicated to him in Scranton, New Jersey, to Bess’s final sitting in Hollywood, California — just about everywhere imaginable.

Everywhere, that is, EXCEPT the Magic Capital of the World!

There isn’t a magician in the world who doesn’t know about Colon, and few who haven’t visited the village or longed to visit it. Even The United States Congress has recognized Colon as The Magic Capital of the World. It all started when Harry Blackstone Sr. moved to Colon in 1926 — the same year Houdini took his final bow on Halloween night. Coincidence?

Perhaps, but personally I believe if there’s anywhere in the world where the greatest magician of the Twentieth Century might decide to finally appear, it almost HAS to be in Colon.

Halloween Evening Highlights

  • The Magic Show & Seance on both Oct. 26 and 31 start at 5:30 p.m.
  • The cost to attend is $34.95, which also includes dinner.
  • Dinner includes a full salad bar
  • Guests have an entrée choice of “Bloody Drippings” (Sirloin Merlot)
  • … or “Zombie Eyes” (Shrimp Scampi)
  • The alcoholic beverage for the evening is a “Vampire’s Kiss.”
  • Dessert, either carrot cake or cheese cake, is also included with the meal.
  • Beverages, taxes and gratuity not included.

River Lake Inn is located at 767 Ralston Road in Colon, MI. There’s limited seating for the show and séance, so call 269-432-2626 or fill in the form below to make reservations on-line. A confirmation will be sent to your email address.


Is this a special occasion? Birthday? Anniversary? Please let us know in the comments below and we’ll try to prepare something special. Also, please let us know if your group includes children and what their ages are — we have magic designed especially for kids.

During October most of our Halloween shows end up with a lengthy waiting list. We have very limited seating available and we try very hard not to overbook (we all hate it when the airlines do that to us).

If it looks like you’re not going to be able to make your reservation please do us the courtesy of calling so we can give your table to someone else? Hopefully, of course, that won’t happen and we can look forward to seeing you at River Lake Magic sometime during the National Magic Month of October.

Reservations: 269-432-2626

On-line Reservations

“What a time of laughter and amazement was had by all tonight at ON BROADWAY Little Black Box Theater as RON CARNELL delighted us all with his comedy and magic show, Two Devious. Playing to a packed house, Carnell left us all wanting more. He has promised us a return show soon, so don’t miss his return. A great time was had by all. What a night it was!”
Susan Hanna Frook Union City, MI
“Rubiks routine was amazing!”
Bill & Cindy Fox Union City, MI
“Ron was fun and greatly entertaining. We really enjoyed his show, as well as the history of magic, etc. He is a very sweet, hospitable host.”
Tom & Mary-Jo Marick Battle Creek, MI
“It was GREAT!”
Robert Claywell Florence, AZ
“The best part of the night was the humor and magical surprises. And delivery of the magic.”
Patricia Stiff Battle Creek, MI
“Very good show — liked ending best with predictions.”
James Leonard Marshall, MI
“Fun & interesting! Audience participation is fun. Love the history about magic. Will be back!”
Regis & Stephenie Klingler Battle Creek, MI
“A fun and entertaining evening. Ron has a great way of mixing magic & comedy. Thanks also, Ron, for the pizza and table magic at the Broadway Grille ‘after show’ party. Looking forward to your return.”
Bruce Gezon Caledonia, MI
“Great show. Had a great time!”
Vick Alfredo Union City, MI
“Love watching you perform Ron, Great magic, Great food, and dining among friends, makes for a wonderful evening.”
Randy Burritt Leonidas, MI
“It was a lovely way to spend my birthday, Ron. And I definitely think you should work in more of these adult themed shows.”
Kim Forde Kalamazoo, MI
“Had a wonderful time. You were great Ron!”
Tracy Oakley Sabol Colon, MI
“What a fun night! Good food, good friends and Ron’s magic! I love being your assistant Ron Carnell. Those little girls did indeed steal the show! You just seem to get even better with every show I see.”
Paula Alexander Colon, MI
“You put on a wonderful show Ron, I’m so glad we came! Dinner was delicious as well! We had a terrific time from beginning to end. Thanks for all the laughter and smiles.”
Kit Detering London, Ontario
“Ron you were so entertaining, A fantastic night of magic and good dining. It was well worth the drive.

“It’s not just about the magic effect, though that is important, it’s the entertainment, the heart that goes into it, I’ve been told that it’s 10% props 90% heart, I saw a lot o’ that last night, thanks again for a great evening.”

Randy Morris Gobles, MI
“I just got home from the most enjoyable evening… A friend and I went to the River Lake Inn for dinner and Magic… If you’ve never gone, get a group together, and do it… Ron Carnell is a great entertainer, we had the best time. He does an awful lot of interaction with his audience, I even got to go up and be part of his act…Seriously this would be a great evening for anyone…Dinner was wonderful. I enjoyed it so much, I just wanted to share.”
Carol Campbell Colon, MI
“It was a great night of fun, friendship and magic.”
Gary Laundre Grand Rapids, MI
“Lunch in the Signature Room at Schuler’s was preceded by a live magic show given by local magician, Ron Carnell, who both amazed and amused–a truly wonderful performer.

“You were in top form today, Ron. Hope we can do it again sometime.”

Bradley L. Taylor
Associate Director, Museum Studies Program at University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI
“Great Show!”
Anne Riopel
“Ron…Congratulations on your continuous “Excellent” Magic Shows at “River Lake Inn”.

“What I like most about you is the fact that you are an entertainer ala (Karrell Fox) ..no complicated moves..no fancy cuts and displays of a deck of cards…no…you entertain!

Marien Hopman Chatham, Ontario
“Ron Carnell it was a absolute great night! We appreciate your talents. My name was the funny punch line for the rest of the night. We will definitely be back again.”
Thomas J Klaiss Coldwater, MI
“Yes my wife and I loved the show you showed us some tricks I’ve only see on tv shows it was very cool”
Levi Wilcox Coldwater, MI
“Great show! :)” Amanda and Todd

Reservations: 269-432-2626

On-line Reservations