by Andrew Arnett

It was almost midnight when we checked into our motel room. Then, we drove into Huntington looking for a bite to eat. Huntington is a charming town, no doubt about that, but at that hour, and season, it was quite deserted. Everything was closed except for one pizza shop on the main drag. We put in our order and looked around the town. We saw some teenagers breaking bottles up a dark ally. We got our pizza and headed back to the motel.

On the way we pulled into a 7-11 to load up on provisions. There were a couple of shady people lurking in the darkness besides the convenience store. We ignored that and went inside to make our purchase. As we walk back to the car we see a guy standing in front. He is brandishing a 36″ bolt cutter.

“Look at that guy,” Sophie whispers. “I think he’s trying to steal those bikes.”

There were some bikes locked up on a rack next to the store. Maybe not for long though.

“I see him,” I said. “Don’t stare. I don’t want to catch his attention.”

I drove out of there pretty fast.

“Creepy,” Sophie said.

“Yes, very,” I said. “It seems like Huntington is a prosperous town, but like any place these days, many suffer and fall to the wayside. With the economy as it is, and this ongoing pandemic, you can see why some people get desperate.”

We started our journey back on Walt Whitman Road, looking to turn on Jericho Turnpike. The road went on and on until I realized we were lost. The surroundings looked unfamiliar from when we drove in. I noted to Sophie that we may have missed our turn. She checked Siri and sure enough we did.

“I’m going to have to turn back,” I said.

“I think we’re too far along,” she said, “I put it into Siri and she has another route suggested. Just keep going forward.”

We followed Siri’s directions, which wound us through country roads and a lot of tree lined darkness. The hour was well past midnight and it seemed like we were in the middle of nowhere. Often times, there wasn’t even a house in sight. I was creeped out but kept driving. At this point, we were completely in Siri’s hands.

Huntington, Long Island (2020). Photo by Andrew Arnett

We eventually made it back to Jericho Turnpike, but from the west side of the motel. We had, in effect, made a complete circle around Mount Misery. We didn’t intend on visiting the area on that first night. Nonetheless, we had travelled its circumference. It was a spooky introduction to this mysterious local, a place we would be calling home for the next couple of days.

We were glad to make it back to the motel. Inside we ate the pizza and put on a cheesy Hallmark Christmas show, this one starring Jason Priestly playing a character named Chris T. Mass. It was good for a few chuckles.

While doing that I was surfing the internet and noticed a curious story trending on my Google News. It was a Telegraph article about the infamous occultist Aleister Crowley. I couldn’t recall ever finding a Crowley related story trending on mainstream media. But there it was.

The article discussed the controversy being waged over Crowley’s former residence, Bolskine House, located on Loch Ness in Scotland. Its current owners have ambitions to turn it into an “eco tourist” lodge to attract tourists, but members of the Fresh Start Foundation are claiming that the renovations will turn Boleskine House into a “pilgrimage site for satanists.”

There’s little doubt that followers of the dark arts may be attracted to the local, not to mention the legion of metal heads who worship Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, also a former owner of Boleskine House. The Boleskine House Foundation however, considers the allegations “false and grotesquely unfounded,” stating succinctly:

As historians and bastions of heritage conservation, our take on Aleister Crowley is not one of sensationalism or alarmist conjecture as many will find in the popular press, but rather academic in nature, seeing Crowley as a historical and cultural figure of his time. Like that of King Henry VIII, Sigmund Freud, or the Beatles, Crowley’s works and activities should be seen in light of the historical context in which he lived, as a commentary on the human experience.

Boleskine House Foundation

My take on the matter was somewhat more immediate. A description by one Malcom Dent spoke of horrific paranormal encounters at Boleskine while house sitting for his friend Jimmy Page. On one occasion, described as “the most terrifying night of my life,” Dent was awakened by the sound of a wild snorting animal, just outside his bedroom door. He found nothing when he opened the door. Dent stated, “whatever was there was very, very evil. And I was very, very frightened.”

Boleskine House (1912)

This immediately brought to mind my own present investigation at Mount Misery. Legend speaks of some kind of supernatural creature called a Hell Hound, lurking within the woods along Mount Misery Road. It sports fur as black as night and a pair of blazing red eyes. Apparently, it doesn’t ravage its victims but rather, is a portent of death. A bad omen if one were to stumble upon its path.

But the hell hound wasn’t the only reason the Crowley article caught my attention. Indeed, it was a curious coincidence that Crowley would surface as I arrived in Mount Misery, a coincidence which I have come to view as synchronicity. The reason being, I had full intention to utilize a Cipher, first encoded in Crowley’s Book of the Law, to help interpret paranormal activity at Mount Misery.

This Cipher was fully decoded in 1974, then popularized by UFO investigator Allen Greenfield in his book Secret Cipher of the UFOanauts.

It is interesting to note that Crowley himself had spent some time on Long Island. Back in 1918, Crowley made a pilgrimage to, of all places, Montauk Point. There is no record of the magician visiting Mount Misery, but another writer, famed paranormal investigator John Keel, did.