Boleskine House, which was once owned by the infamous occultist, philosopher, and ceremonial magician Aleister Crowley, is now little more than a shell after a major fire devastated the B-listed Georgian building and destroyed the roof in 2015.
Now, the charity behind its restoration, The Boleskine House Foundation is launching a ‘Raise the Roof’ fundraising campaign, to build funds and support for a new roof for the historic building near Foyers.
Crowley, who died in 1947, styled himself as a prophet and founded his own occult religious movement named Thelema.
Dubbed the ‘Wickedest Man in the World’ and the ‘real-life Wicker Man’, he reportedly drank blood and staged huge orgies fuelled by drugs, as well as performing ‘dark magic’ rituals at the Highland property – including spending six months trying to raise his Guardian Angel – when he lived there at the turn of the 20th century.
The house, which is known by Gaelic name Baile Os Ceann, eventually passed into the hands of Led Zeppelin guitarist, Jimmy Page in the early 1970s, who was fascinated by famed Occultist.
The rock star is said to have stayed there only a handful of times due to the ‘bad vibes’ he felt around the place and gave it over to childhood friend Malcolm Dent to look after.
Mr Dent lived there happily with his family but did confirm some strange goings-on around the place while they lived there before his death in 2011.
Events include the disembodied head of a former laird heard rolling around the property, doors and windows mysteriously opening by themselves and rugs being piled up in empty rooms.
The charity, which was set up by owner Keith Readdy, is now hoping to restore the Boleskine House estate to its former glory.
The roof will cost £250,000, of which it is hoped £25,000 will be funded by the GoFundMe pledge campaign and other events and special ‘Raise the Roof’ merchandise.
The charity hopes the rest of the funds will come from private investments and grants.
Keith Readdy, chairman of The Boleskine House Foundation, said: “A new roof on Boleskine House is an enormous milestone for us.
“We will be one step closer to making the site safer for visitors.
“It also allows us to start hosting community-centered educational and recreational events, which we are excited to plan. And we will save the Category B listed building from further deterioration.”
It is hoped the roof will built by the end of this year, the first time in six years the house has been covered, with more of the restoration planned over the next few years.
We reported at the end of last year how protestors had opposed plans by Mr Readdy to create 10 holiday ‘twin units’ with a reception area and car parking at the site, over fears it could encourage satanist tourism to the area.
Opponents to the plans claimed Boleskine House, on the shores of Loch Ness, will become a pilgrimage site for Satanists and occultists.
A spokesperson for Children’s charity Fresh Start Foundation, who led the opposition to the plans, said it could “attract Satanists from across the globe” to the “quiet, and hitherto safe, Highland community of Foyers”.
At the time, they said: “Our objection is to the proposed use of the property to promote the “sex-magick” and “Thelemic” doctrines of Aleister Crowley, which amount to a Satanic religion and are associated with Satanist Ritual Abuse.
“As such, the promotion of this abusive legacy of a man who styled himself ‘The Beast’ presents a danger to the local community and especially to children and vulnerable adults.”
In response, Mr Readdy, who has written a book on Crowley, stated thatThe Boleskine House Foundation is not affiliated with the man himself or Thelema, and is an “independent organisation with primary secular interests to restore the house”.
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