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The Burning House

Quercus author Neil Spring on predicting a mystery yet to happen, and his new novel The Burning House.

Although Halloween is time of ghoulish festivity and fun for many, that isn’t necessarily true for the inhabitants of far-flung hamlet of Foyers, which nestles in the wooded shores of Loch Ness.

For hundreds of years, locals here have told stories about Boleskine House, an 18th century hunting lodge that is notorious throughout the Highlands as the former lair of the occultist and ceremonial magician, Aleister Crowley, a brute, who terrified his neighbours in his day with his penchant for conducting ritualistic acts said to involve drinking cats blood.

Crowley purportedly summoned demons at his Loch Ness retreat. Ever since, Boleskine has been beset by tragic and ominous occurrences, from violent suicides to a recent unexplained blaze, which reduced it to a burnt out ruin. The mystery of that fire, and Boleskine’s disturbing history, is the subject of my forthcoming novel, The Burning House; a tense and macabre tale of the dark arts, in which myth meets reality; but not necessarily in the way I  was expecting…


In my novel, a mysterious stranger arrives in the village to take residency in Boleskine. Where he is from? What are his motives? Imagine how surprised I was to learn that my manuscript was predicting a mystery yet to happen. For in a troubling twist, it was recently revealed that a shadowy stranger had until recently been camping within Boleskine’s ruins! Where he was from and what he wanted, no one knows.

Life imitating art? Possibly.

The real owner of the house has since warned that the Curse of Boleskine will exact retribution on whomever steals from the ruins. And who knows, she may just be right…

The Burning House is published 29 Nov 2018