It’s been a terrible year for Thelemites, first Boleskine, his legendary manor house on Loch Ness has burned to the ground, the Abbey of Thelema at Cefalu is being sold and is in ruins and now Crowley’s grave has been sacrileged apparently.
The Clovelly Inquirer newpaper reported last week that the remains of Aleister Crowley have been stolen. The article states:
“Aleister Crowley, the famous mountaineer’s grave was disturbed on Friday. The cemetary attendant was performing his nightly rounds when he noticed a large pit about “six feet across” and recalled to our reporters that the sides of the pit were “extremely smooth, like it had been carved out with a giant cylinder bit.” Authorities are asking anyone with any information on the identity of the thieves to please contact the Clovelly Constabulary at +44(0) 1237 431256.“
Whether the job was done as a prank or for some other purpose remains to be seen. The activity has attracted the attention of tourists since the theft was discovered late last week. The cylindrical walls of the pit are a mystery, since Clovelly is a small village and a machine large enough to dig the pit in such a short time would have to be shipped in by sea according to the local architect Edward Neilson – the only ground access into the small historical fishing town is by donkey.
The town today is considered a low crime area and has no history of graverobbing. However, an 18th century book entitled The History of John Gregg and his Family of Robbers and Murderers explains that “Chovaley” (i.e. Clovelly) was once the home of a tribe of cannibalistic bandits. It is alleged that Gregg and his extended family of dozens were eventually tracked down by bloodhounds and were burnt alive in three fires. They were said to have lived in “a cave near the sea-side” and had committed some 1,000 murders. A stretch of Clovelly Bay is called “the Devil’s Kitchen” which is possibly the reason why Aleister Crowley demanded that he be buried there instead of simply having his ashes strewn under a tree.