Most people would think a film titled “The Beast of Loch Ness” would be about Scotland’s Loch Ness monster. Those familiar with Aleister Crowley will remember he liked being called “the Beast” and his residence at Boleskine House on Loch Ness made the building famous – those folks would be right in guessing that “The Beast of Loch Ness” contains much about Crowley. However, all would be wrong in guessing the movie by Scottish filmmaker Ashley Cowie is ALL about Crowley – the focus is actually on Boleskine House and setting the record straight on this historic building whose association with “the Beast” unfairly tainted it.
“(I’m) determined to shatter the pop-cultural moss that has grown around Boleskine House" and "separate the self-styled beast from the legacy of the house."
Ashley Cowie recently told the John O’Groat Journal he wants to highlight the massive restoration that was done after multiple fires destroyed much of Boleskine House in 2015 and 2019, and then correct the “fake news” that has become attached to it by Crowley, former owner Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and various occult activities linked to it. To do this, he created a “dynamic team of renowned historians, writers, podcasters and filmmakers” to investigate and correct the “fear-based mythologies” that also created that other Loch Ness monster.
"Built in the late eighteenth–century as a hunting lodge on the south bank of Loch Ness, the house holds much mystery and intrigue.”
In his own article at Ancient Origins, Cowie gives some of the real history of Boleskine House – it is located 21 miles (34 km) south of Inverness, halfway between the villages of Foyers and Inverfarigaig, in the highlands of Scotland. It was built to be a hunting lodge in the 1760s by Colonel Archibald Fraser, a colonel of the 1st Inverness local militia. Much of the occultness of the house came not from the building but the land it was built on – one legend claims it is on the site of a 13th-century kirk (church) that caught fire, killing all who were trapped inside. There is also a popular tale of people staying at Boleskine House hearing the decapitated head of Jacobite rebel Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat also known as “The Fox” who was executed in 1747, rolling down the hall.
“Separating historical facts from modern pop-culture and fiction the team will also deep dive the self-proclaimed Beast, Aleister Crowley, revealing what he really got up to in Scotland.”
Not surprisingly, those legends and more attracted Aleister Crowley to it – he owned Boleskine House from 1899 to 1913 and allegedly experimented in black magic and other occult activities. Other tales revolve around later owners like actor George Raft and musician Jimmy Page, as well as many people who worked at the house or spent time there and reported strange and sometimes deadly experiences. Cowie’s film will address the legends, myths and rumors and hopefully reveal their truthful origins.
“This is probably the most unusual story I have ever told, but it's also one of the most fascinating.”
Jim Brown of B4 Films, an Aberdeen-based independent television production company, is anxious to get the film to television, as is The Boleskine House Foundation, then Scottish charity working to preserve the physical building as well as the historical legacy and heritage of the Boleskine estate. Photos and videos of the estate can be seen here. No date is set for the film’s release and distribution, but it’s expected to be soon.
Needless to say, the “Beast of Loch Ness” would not be pleased.