Category Archives: Hank Moorehouse

Hank Moorehouse

Hank Moorehouse died in Bejing July 2, 2011 and his passing had saddened us and many others greatly. Our hearts go out to Jackie and his family. His career is wonderfully documented in  the MUM link, so I won’t go into that as it has already been done but I can tell you about our relationship with him. He was with us when Perfect Magic opened its doors 35 years ago. Phil called him for something and mentioned he was opening a store. Hank wished  him luck and asked if he wanted him to come down to do a lecture to kick it off. No charge, just to give us a boost. That was the kind of guy he was!

Hank introduced us to his lovely bride Jackie in Toronto at a Passport To Magic Convention. I say bride because they were on their honeymoon. They had a booth  there and Jackie laughed about it. “What new bride would go to a magic convention on her honeymoon!”

From the left, Jackie & Hank Moorehouse, Dave Cresey, Phil Matlin

Phil says that without Hank there probably would not have been “Magie Montreal”, the  magic  convention that took place in Montreal for 19 years, thanks to Phil and his partner in that endeavour, Wim Vermeys. When Phil needed advice regarding acts, who was good, who was reliable, etc,  Hank always gave it to him straight.

Many years ago Phil and I were on our way to a Convention in the States not far from where Hank  and Jackie lived. We phoned them and said we would like to meet them for dinner in Kalamazoo and they said no, if you’re so close you’re coming to our home. They insisted we spend the night there, which we did after we all went to a lovely restaurant in Three Rivers for dinner.

Many of you probably met Hank at Magie Montreal.

Hank at the close-up table

Hank entertaining

He had been there a few times, when his busy schedule permitted. I have posted some of the photos of him and you’ll notice how much fun his volunteers are having with him on stage. He knew how to make people feel at ease, young or old. Enjoy the memories!


Phil Matlin, Hank Moorehoue and Wim Vermeys

Hank's world famous escape act.


Filed under Hank Moorehouse, Magic, Magic Conventions, Magie Montreal, Perfect Magic, Phil Matlin


In the early years of Perfect Magic, when we had our shop in the basement of our home on Kent, we had a lot of escape effects on hand. Hand Shackles, Foot Shackles, Neck To Hand Shackles, Handcuffs, Thumbcuffs, Strait Jackets, all kinds of interesting stuff. Zanadu stuff, I think.

The escapes were on the wall opposite the counter on which the cash register sat and where we usually were when there were customers present. We kept the keys to the locks and escapes in the cash register.

One day, back then (1977), Hank Morehouse,  (See photos below), called and said he heard we were opening a magic shop and he would come to Montreal to do a lecture for us if we wanted. We thought it would be a great opportunity to get the magic community together and accepted the offer and rented a lecture room in one of the Montreal hotels and had a terrific time.

The only thing was that we were open on Saturdays then and couldn’t get word out to everyone that we would be closed. My eldest daughter who was about 18 at the time said she would stay in the store while we were at the lecture. Problem solved.

But another problem surfaced. While she was minding the store a customer came in and was interested in the escapes. His back was to her but she could see him handling the different items and she noticed he was there for an unusually long time.

Can I help you? She asked.

He turned he head around but kept his back to her (one of those magic tricks, I guess) and said he tried on something but he couldn’t get out of it.

Oh, don’t worry about that. Come here. We have the keys. He turned around sheepishly with his hands locked together and my daughter opened the cash register for the key. Only there were no keys. There were no cell phones then either and she didn’t know where the lecture was taking place.

She searched high and low, while the poor fellow sweated and finally she found the keys and everyone lived happily ever after. I don’t even remember who it was. If you’re the one…fess up! We’d love to hear your side of it!


Filed under Hank Moorehouse, Ronna Matlin McKinnon