William Weiss

William Weiss (June 5, 1872 – ? ), also known as “Lobster Bill” (because of his ruddy complexion when drinking alcohol), was Houdini’s older brother and an accomplished accountant. A year after Will got married, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis (also called consumption).

Tuberculosis was often regarded as vampirism because people who had it exhibited symptoms similar to what people considered to be vampire traits: red, swollen eyes (which also creates a sensitivity to bright light), pale skin, extremely low body heat, a weak heart and coughing blood, suggesting the idea that the only way for the afflicted to replenish this loss of blood was by sucking blood.

After Will became a true vampire, he continued to be called “Lobster Bill” by the vampire community because his face would become flushed when he drank blood. The freaks at Coney Island’s Dreamland referred to him as “the Nightgaunt,” which he preferred.



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