Illusionist in 'Water Torture Cell' Has a Close Call
Spencer Horsman said to have nearly drowned in promo for Criss Angel show
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2015 10:17 AM CDT

(Newser) – With just a rubber band and a piece of bent wire, Spencer Horsman entered a 30-by-30-inch Plexiglas tank filled with 100 gallons of water on Tuesday in handcuffs and chains, hoping to pull off a feat that would excite crowds for an upcoming show with illusionist Criss Angel, New Jersey 101.5 reports. But things went terribly wrong for Horsman, a former America's Got Talent contestant, in front of New Brunswick's State Theatre when he nearly drowned during the stunt and had to be yanked out of the tank by a rescue crew, CBS Baltimore reports. As Horsman's tank hovered above the crowd, he tried to unlock 16 locks and free himself from what was called the "water torture cell," but he started having trouble two and a half minutes in—right after he had unlocked the final lock.

"It looked like he was just not able to get a good grab on that lock, which I'm guessing is him starting to lose consciousness," a WJZ reporter on the scene noted. Horsman came to as responders tended to him, and he flashed a peace sign to the crowd as he was rushed to an ambulance, per CBS Baltimore. He's apparently doing OK, according to a tweet sent out by Angel that shows what looks to be the two of them hanging out in Horsman's hospital room with the caption ".@SpencerHorsman recovering well." It's not the first time Horsman has gotten in over his head with this Houdini-inspired trick: He lost consciousness in June while performing the feat in Connecticut and had to be freed by Angel and some helpers, NBC New York notes. Angel's show, with Horsman included, is still set to go on this weekend, though no one's sure yet if this stunt will be included, New Jersey 101.5 reports. (This buried-alive stunt was another close call.)