'Boleskine House' Trustee Hopes Restoration Will 'Dispel the Negative Rumors about Aleister Crowley' and Provide a Place for Occult Activities

The interior of the Boleskine House was almost completely consumed by a fire in 2015, which left only the exterior walls and part of the roof intact.  (Galbraiths)

The interior of the Boleskine House was almost completely consumed by a fire in 2015, which left only the exterior walls and part of the roof intact. (Galbraiths)

Following its purchase, plans are moving forward to restore Scotland’s ‘Boleskine House’, once owned by infamous occultist Aleister Crowley.

The house rests on the shore of Scotland’s Loch Ness—famed for its monster sightings—and Crowley was said to have purchased the house in order to perform an elaborate ritual invoking his guardian angel. The ritual, which involved abstinence from sex and alcohol, also required Crowley to summon the 12 Kings and Dukes of Hell, in order to bind them and remove their influence from the magician’s life.

Crowley owned the house from 1899 to 1913. Following his ownership it changed hands several times, each time being marked by tragedy—including one owner who used a shotgun to commit suicide in Crowley’s former bedroom—before being bought by musician Jimmy Page in 1970. Page himself was an avid occultist and follower of Crowley.

Page sold the house in 1992, and the house changed hands twice more before being mostly consumed by fire in 2015.

The property was purchased in 2019 by Kyra Readdy, who bought Lots 1 and 3, and William Clifford-Banks, who bought Lot 2.

Readdy and Clifford-Banks are members of a board of trustees belonging to the Boleskine House Foundation, a “not-for-profit group aimed at restoring and maintaining the Boleskine House estate."

A video released by the foundation highlighted the property’s occult history and significance as a place of worship to followers of Crowley’s teachings.

“When it comes to heritage property I feel that we are guardians for future generations," Readdy said in a statement on the Boleskine House Foundation website. "It is my privilege and honor to work on this project and to be able to secure the future of the house.”

In a similar statement, Clifford-Banks said “I would like to dispel the negative rumours about Aleister Crowley and restore the estate as a space to host well-being and mindfulness events such as yoga and meditation retreats, and provide a place for lectures, conferences, and even ceremonies.”

The foundation has reportedly been in talks with occult organization Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) regarding the restoration project and the property's use following its completion.

The O.T.O. is an initiatory secret society known to include sexual elements in their magickal practices; founded at the beginning of the 20th century and still active today, Aleister Crowley was perhaps its best known member.

According to a statement published by the O.T.O.:

The new owners have confirmed to us that they wish to restore the house and eventually open parts of the house and its surrounding gardens to the public as a heritage landmark. The new owners wish to honor Crowley’s legacy as part of the estate’s history. They intend to cooperate with O.T.O. to provide opportunities for access to the house and land in a way which has hitherto not been possible.

The new owners intend to transfer ownership of the estate to a public charity so that it can be preserved for many generations to come. O.T.O. intends to cooperate with the charity in the coming weeks, months and years as this exciting project gets underway.

Private fundraising efforts have been launched to help start the renovation. Once the public charity is established and formal agreement has been reached, O.T.O. will provide an opportunity for interested parties to make US-tax-exempt donations specifically dedicated to support this project, in full compliance with non-profit rules and regulations. No funds from O.T.O.’s operating budget (member dues, fees, and general donations) will be allocated to the project.

Restoration efforts are estimated to cost around $1.25 million, and the Boleskine House Foundation hopes “to restore the house and open it to the public by spring 2021.”

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