The bizarre stories surrounding the life of Aleister Crowley are anything but few and far between. Dubbed the wickedest man in the world, Crowley kept heads turning as an avid occultist, insatiable drug user and devoted hedonist.
This wallpaper pattern stems from the summer of 1938, which Crowley spent in Cornwall. Some unsubstantiated sources site cultish melees involving dancing beauties, hard narcotics and evenings spent in black magic debauchery. My interest, however, lay with a woman also residing in Cornwall that summer: Katherine Arnold-Forster, nee Ka Cox.
Ka, an intelligent and practical woman, was the ex-lover of writer Rupert Brooke, as well as a close friend of Virginia Woolf. She eventually married into the influential Arnold-Forster family, and had been quietly living in Cornwall with her artist husband for some years prior to Mr. Crowley’s arrival.
The last night of Ka’s life is shrouded in mystery and rumor. As the story goes, a couple from town found themselves entangled in Crowley’s dark escapades and, fearing for their lives, approached Ka for help. Ever sensible, she took on their cause and made a visit to their cottage the following night. Her intention was to prove the dark arts they practiced were bogus, and it’s possible that a seance was held. Some even believe Crowley himself was present, and a heated supernatural confrontation ensued. What is known for certain is that Ka Cox inexplicably dropped dead that night, making headlines across England and reinforcing Crowley’s scandal-ridden infamy.
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