Murray Walters grave (11th November 1901 to 22nd January 1988)


On the edge of Blackpool main cemetery lies Murray Walters who was once a famous escapologist. He couldn't escape death though and until Planet Earth gets hit by a meteoroid he lies under a shiny headstone. A simple "Murray" is carved into the stone which the stonemason was probably glad about as his real name was Leo Norman Maurien Murray Stuart Carrington Walters. He invented the word "escapology".


He was born in Australia but left school at 14 to start work immediately. He soon came to Britain, specialising in acts of escapes. He launched a successful series of worldwide tours that spanned four decades. His popularity increased after Harry Houdini died in 1926 (many thought him better.) He toured the world with his full evening show in the 1930s and 40s. In Berlin he performed in front of Adolph Hitler. His acts included Shooting Through a Woman, The Pin Cushion Girl, The Girl Without a Middle, Siberian Handcuff Escape and ended with the Escape From a Slotted Box while immersed in a tank of water.  His stunts included escaping from a straitjacket while suspended from a crane above Picadilly Circus, being thrown out of an aeroplane over the Bristol Channel (while locked inside a mailbag) and being locked in a safe and thrown into the sea.


Aged 53 he couldn’t escape from ill health and retired his show. He opened a magic shop called Murray's Magic Mart in Blackpool. The shop was closed in 1987 shortly before his death in 1988. He cannot have been very ill as lived to 86 years old. He’s buried here with his wife and their son.