The Great Wizard of the North

John Henry Anderson was a world-famous 19th Century Scots magician who was one of the first men to pull a rabbit from a hat and bring street magic to large concert halls. It was Sir Walter Scott who christened him “The Great Wizard of the North”. The Great Wizard of the North performed at the Music Hall for a week in February 1846, and again in December the same year. Newspapers declared: ‘On Monday night, The GREAT WIZARD OF THE NORTH’S MYSTIC TEMPLE, was opened, and crowded by a most Brilliant Audience – the Elite of the City;. ‘Hundreds were turned away from the Doors, who could not gain admission!’. He toured America and performed in London and for Queen Victoria before performing a farewell night in October 1869. He died in 1874. Magician Harry Houdini, who was born in the same year as Anderson’s death, revered Anderson as one of his inspirations. When he visited Aberdeen to perform in 1909 he visited the grave and arranged for the upkeep of the gravesite, which had fallen into disrepair. The grave can still be seen in St. Nicholas Graveyard.



February 1846