News Release - Issued by United Kingdom Escape Artists (U.K.E.A),
On October 31st 2014, UK Escape Artist Weasel Dandaw will attempt to escape the condemned cell at York Castle Prison. Renowned escapologist Harry Houdini was challenged to escape from this very cell and refused.
In March of 1983 UK Escape Artist David De-Val was also challenged to escape from this cell after declaring that he had worked out Houdini's method of escaping from jail cells. In the April of 1983, De-Val was successful and proved he really had worked out Houdini's secret.
This brings us to the present challenge. Weasel was contacted via the United Kingdom Escape Artists (U.K.E.A), by Rebecca Taylor who is the daughter of David De-Val. She put up a challenge to escape the very cell her father managed to emancipate himself from.
Rebecca is a member of the Pontefract Paranormal Group and they were planning to conduct a ghost hunt of York Castle. She had heard that the United Kingdom Escape Artists (U.K.E.A.), a select/secret group of escapologists (the escape artists equivalent of the Magic Circle) were planning their first Houdini séance on the 31st October 2014. The Houdini séances have been held in America every year since Houdini passed away on October 31st 1926 and as Houdini had spent the vast majority of his famed career working in the United Kingdom, the U.K.E.A. wanted to see if they could actually make contact with the great showman. Rebecca said that Pontefract Paranormal were willing to host the séance, but there was one condition. Would one of their members be willing to accept the challenge of escaping the condemned cell that her father had beaten? As Weasel Dandaw has been successful in escaping many cells/prisons all around the globe he was the man selected by the members to accept the challenge.
When asked about the challenge Weasel said, "Although I have done many cell escapes, it has been a few years since I have attempted one and this is going to be the toughest one yet. Not only will I have to escape the restraints I am locked in, I will have to find a way of getting out of the cell. It has walls that are several feet thick, I guess the floor and ceiling are the same, it has a window that has two sets of bars and a solid oak door which is double locked from the outside. This will be my hardest cell escape yet, but I am up for the challenge. David De-Val was a great escape artist who worked out Houdini's method and the fact that he was from the United Kingdom means a lot to the U.K.E.A. I will be doing this as a tribute to him. I hope I don't let him down".
So, on the 31st October 2014, Weasel will be lead to the condemned cell.
The cell will be thoroughly searched, he will have a full strip search by a medic to make sure he has nothing concealed that could aid his escape, be locked in restraints of the period and chained to the wall at the far end of the cell. At the opposite end of the cell, the door will then be double locked.
Will Weasel manage to free himself? We don't know, but if he doesn't, he won't be happy about missing the first U.K.E.A. séance!
1) Houdini allegedly refused the York condemned cell in 1909. His last tour of the United Kingdom.
2) The condemned cell was reported to be the cell Dick Turpin spent his last night, before being executed at the Knavesmire on the 7th of April 1739.
3) This is the first real attempt at De-Val's methods as set out in his notes.
4) Weasel Dandaw is a Guinness World Record Holder. In 2004 he achieved the Fastest Underwater Escape from a 20 metre chain in 10.76 seconds. A record that still stands today.
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