Prompted by a recent meeting I had with a man named "Crowley," I decided to do a bit of research this morning on the infamous Aleister Crowley-the renowned English occultist. About the only thing I knew of him was that Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page had bought his house at some point. Man, is there a lot more to him than that!
Raised by Puritanical parents, he totally rebelled against all that after his Dad (who he was apparently very close to) died when he was 11. At one point, the papers billed Crowley as "The Most Wicked Man Alive" or something akin to that. Apparently he was fairly wealthy, very hedonistic, charismatic, and perhaps even a genius. All these qualities led him to some big trouble.
In one documentary, he was credited as being a forerunner of the hippie movement. Of course, he really did practice several forms of black magic - to what end, I'm not certain. But, he was also a fairly prolific writer, so I guess I could figure it out if I really wanted to.
Anyhow, if you want to see something spooky, check this thing out. It's The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage (Translated by S.L. MacGregor Mathers in 1900), which is the ancient text that Crowley used to reportedly summon evil spirits into the mansion that Page later bought. Legend has it that this book proscribes some sort of six-month ritual that Crowley abandoned half-way through, resulting in the house being haunted by these evil spirits, who were supposed to be made to cow-tow to his guardian angel - if Crowley had reached that part of the ritual. Let me know if you have the guts to read something like this, because it started to freak me out.