It's like something out of a Vincent Price movie: An evening of magic and illusion held in a mausoleum.

It's like something out of a Vincent Price movie: An evening of magic and illusion held in a mausoleum.

The Green Lawn Abbey Preservation Association will pay tribute to Howard Thurston, a Columbus native and early-20th century magician, at an event Oct. 2 in the mausoleum, 700 Greenlawn Ave.

The event, to begin at 7 p.m., will feature local magicians David McCreary and Timothy Moore, as well as Rory Feldman, a New York City-based magician and one of the nation's foremost authorities on Thurston. Other amateur magicians will be in attendance, wandering through the crowd and performing traditional tricks.

Thurston, who had the largest traveling magic show of his era, was a contemporary of Harry Houdini and friends with Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the Sherlock Holmes series.

Thurston died in 1936. He is buried in the Green Lawn Abbey, which is visited by magic enthusiasts and historians each year.

"It's going to be so cool," said Kate Matheny, president of the preservation association. The abbey was built in 1927 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Matheny said the facility is "desperately in need of repair." The cemetery recently repaired the roof and installed expensive security cameras.

"And now we need to do things like start repairing the broken stained-glass windows that have been vandalized over the years," she said.

The hope is to open up the abbey, which now has 550 crypts, for cremated remains next year.

"It will function as a mausoleum again," she said. "We have the capacity to receive hundreds, if not thousands, of cremated remains."

Matheny said the evening will be elegant, fun and respectful.

"It's increasingly common for historic cemeteries and mausoleums to offer programs to bring people in," she said.

Steve Branham of MAK Magic, a wholesaler on Fisher Road, said the featured magicians are the tops of their trade and he hopes to attend the show.

"Those magicians are really good," he said. "That would be a great event."

Tickets purchased in advance are $25, or $30 at the door, and are available online at or by calling 614-602-2239.

There will be light fare, desserts and a cash bar.