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Hadji Ali

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Hadji Ali

Hadji Ali (fl. l920s-30s), known as the Egyptian Enigma, was a famous for his regurgitation act he performed during the 1920s and 1930s in the U.S. vaudeville circuit.[1]


A 1913 Friedlander poster showing a water-spouter billed as "Aly" from Egypt is probably of him.[2]

A short-subject color film of his act was shown in U.S. movie houses in the late 1930s.[3]

Ali, who acted with Douglas Fairbanks Jr. in "Scarlet Dawn" (1932), performed in the Spanish film "Politiqueri" spouting kerosene on a flaming pyre and putting it out by then spouting gallons of water.[4]

The medical fraternity was interested to the point of investigation and several of the doctors from Johns Hopkins and Maryland University examined Ali to see if there was a possibility of fraud. The doctors also felt that it was necessary to have expert assistance and asked a the Society of Osiris for help. A committee was appointed and the examination took place with the final result finding that no trickery was discovered.[5]

He died in the United States some time in the 1940s. His wife tried unsuccessfully to sell his body to Johns Hopkins Medical School in Baltimore.


  1. The Illustrated History of Magic by Milbourne Christopher (1973)
  2. Who's Who in Magic: An International Biographical Guide From Past to Present by Bart Whaley (1990)
  3. Magic a pictorial history of conjurers in the theater by David Price (1985)
  4. Magic magazine, December 1996, page 46
  5. THE SPHINX, February, 1926, page 454