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How To Escape From a Straitjacket

Popularized by escape artist Harry Houdini, the straitjacket escape continues to be an amazing trick.


  • Step 1: Twist your arm up over your head and unbuckle the sleeve buckle with your teeth.
  • Step 2: Free your arms and then unbuckle the remaining straps. Then just step out of the jacket.
  • FACT: In 2007, a magician escaped from a straitjacket in 16 seconds, setting a world record.
  • Step 3: Shrug your shoulders forward, inching the loosened material up your back and shoulders.
  • Step 4: Once the jacket is on, relax your tightened muscles and breathe out. There should be a generous amount of give, and the jacket should feel looser than it did as it was being tied around you.
  • Step 5: Have an assistant put the jacket on you. Puff out your chest and flex your arm muscles when the jacket is being buckled to guarantee an adequate amount of slack.
  • TIP: Make sure your dominant arm is folded over your weaker arm.
  • Step 6: Use a straitjacket a few sizes larger than your actual size. Make sure to inconspicuously gather fabric at the armholes and in front when you begin the trick.

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