The former home of the self confessed “most evil man in Britain” has been virtually destroyed by a fire which ripped through the 18th century property
Photo: Mike Merritt
The former home of the self confessed “most evil man in Britain” was virtually destroyed by a fire which ripped through the 18th century Loch Ness-side mansion, once owned by black witch Aleister Crowley.
The blaze was spotted around 1.40pm by a motorist on the A82 Inverness to Fort William road which runs along the north side of Britain’s most famous stretch of water.
Photo: Peter Jolly
But despite the UKs’ largest loch being nearby, four fire appliances required a water bowser to tackle the flames which had claimed 60PC of the building after just two hours.
Over 30 personnel, some of them wearing breathing apparatus, used six water jets in their attempt to dowse the inferno.
It is believed the property, once owned by Led Zeppelin lead guitarist Jimmy Page, was unoccupied.
Local legend has it that the house was built on the site of a church which was burned down, killing the entire congregation who were attending Mass.
Police closed the B852 road between Dores and Foyers to as smoke caused visibility problems for motorists as well as the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.
Originally named Boleskine Lodge, it was built as a hunting lodge in the late 18th century by the Honorable Archibald Fraser who was related to Lieutenant General Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat.
Photo: Peter Jolly
The house was built on land acquired from the Church on a site reputedly chosen to annoy Lord Lovat whose estate surrounded the property.
During the Jacobite rebellion of 1745, Lord Lovat had unpopularly supported the English.
Legend has it that the house may have been built on the site of a church that caught fire trapping the entire congregation who perished, but this is unconfirmed.
The Frasers retained the house until the late 19th century and its notoriety stems from Crowley, also known as the Beast of Boleskine, and additionally dubbed the most evil man in the world.
Crowley bought the house in 1899. He was a self proclaimed magician and the press of the day reported accounts of black magic, devil worship and human sacrifice.
Unexplained and unconfirmed stories of the time include those of a local butcher cutting off his own hand with a cleaver after reading a note from Crowley written on a piece of paper with a spell on the reverse.
There are rumours of a tunnel from the cellars of the house to the burial ground which lies below the house by the loch side.
Little wonder that local people would make long detours to avoid passing the house.
Crowley left the house for Sicily in the late 1920’s, having sold it in 1913, where he established a commune.
Photo: Getty Images
He died in poverty in 1947 having over indulged in drugs and alcohol. But his reputation survived him and the area still attracts a cult following in the 21st century.
Crowley is featured on the cover of the Beatles album, Sergeant Pepper, but the pop music connection with Boleskine House does not end there.
In 1971 the house was bought by Jimmy Page of the band Led Zeppelin. Page was obsessed with Crowley and the house once again became home to reputed black masses and rituals.
Crowley and his disciples used drugs, sex and blood sacrifices of goats and cats during debauched rituals.
The black magician also took pleasure in the suffering that his sinister practices apparently brought to local villagers.
In the 1990’s the house was purchased by the MacGillivrays who remained there until shortly after Ronald MacGillivray’s death in 2002. The house is currently in private ownership.