A fire has destroyed much of Boleskine House, the former home of occultist Aleister Crowley and later Led Zepplin guitarist Jimmy Page. Firefighters were called to the house situated on the banks of Loch Ness at 13:40. hours GMT today, after flames were spotted engulfing the historic building.
A member of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Services told BBC News:
“A large part of the property has already been destroyed by fire and crews are concentrating their efforts on the west wing of the building.
“Crews in breathing apparatus are using four main jets to tackle the blaze and the incident is ongoing.”
Aleister Crowley bought Boleskine House in 1899—then named the Manor of Boleskine and Abertarff—as he considered the building in the ideal location for carrying out the “Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage” from the grimoire The Book of Abramelin. Crowley said the building fitted the necessary requirements for the rite to work:
...the first essential is a house in a more or less secluded situation. There should be a door opening to the north from the room of which you make your oratory. Outside this door, you construct a terrace covered with fine river sand. This ends in a ‘lodge’ where the spirits may congregate.
For Crowley, Boleskine House was a “Thelemic Kiblah,” a “Magical East” where he could do his thing. The intention of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage is to invoke “one’s Guardian Angel.” The rite takes six months of abstinence and celibacy to prepare for. It is claimed that during the ritual Crowley was called away on an emergency to Paris—leaving the rite unfinished and causing a strange, monstrous disruption to the loch.
...the spirits he summoned got out of hand, causing one housemaid to leave, and a workman to go mad. He also insinuates he was indirectly responsible for a local butcher accidentally severing an artery and bleeding to death. Crowley had written the names of some demons on a bill from the butcher’s shop.
Some have said these “demons” are also responsible for the Loch Ness monster.
In 1970, Jimmy Page bought Boleskine House—which was then in considerable disrepair. Page was fascinated by Crowley’s ideas and had the property renovated—though he rarely stayed at the house. He sold the property in 1992.
In 200, BBC Scotland produced a documentary on Boleskine House Aleister Crowley: The Other Loch Ness Monster, which traced the occult history of the property and the story of the infamous unfinished ritual that unleashed evil forces.