Then in 1963, Milt Larsen, along with his brother Bill, opened the Magic Castle. Carlyle joined a year later, and soon became friends with Larsen. Of special interest to Carlyle, was Larsen's idea of one day creating a séance room at the Castle dedicated to the memory of Harry Houdini. When the séance room was finally completed, nearly ten years later, Larsen approached E. Raymond Carlyle to be the first Resident Medium. "I'd known Ed for sometime," says Larsen, "and he was doing great Mentalism, and it just seemed like a very good idea. He had been doing some mentalism around the Castle, and we asked him if he'd like to take a whack at it! He became our first, and for quite a long time, our only Medium".
Larsen and Carlyle based the Castle séance on the "Final Houdini Séance” conducted on October 31st, 1936 on the roof of the Knickerbocker Hotel in Hollywood. That event Milt’s father, William Larsen, Sr. was instrumental in arranging with Dr. Edward Saint and Houdini's wife, Beatrice. The Magic Castle séance was designed to be a complete show, beginning with dinner and ending with the return of Houdini's spirit.
Leo Kostka, the current Resident Medium of the Castle, describes Carlyle in action: "When he walks into a room, you know he's there. He just takes total control and is resonant. He is very articulate, and has a sharp sense of knowing what people want to hear."
He's got a great, very deep, voice and he’s my dear friend.
Who is E. Raymond Carlyle?
E. RAYMOND CARLYLE'S interest in Houdini began at an early age. His father was a tool and die maker for Harry Houdini during the early 1920s. Carlyle recalls his father telling strange tales about Houdini's interest in spiritualism towards the end of his career. However Carlyle was born five years after the death of Harry Houdini, and his fateful association with the famous magician's spirit was destined for the future.
Over the next several years, Carlyle became an accomplished magician with a special interest in mental magic and mentalism. Moving to California during the late 1950s, he soon became a popular mentalist and medium at Hollywood parties, performing for movie stars and studio executives.