The Ghost of Botanical Street

by Andrew Hennessey


The Cauldron Club in Scotland was born as a philanthropic group in Edinburgh in the early 1900’s, and occupies a big prestigious building in Botanical Street in the seaside town of Portobello, Edinburgh.

It had attracted many important contributors to global and Scottish culture through its doors over the course of the last century from; the founder of the Bahai Faith to global Gurus, Scottish Artists such as John Duncan and black magicians of the calibre of Macgregor Mathers.


In Edinburgh it acted as an umbrella organisation for every magical belief system under the sun and facilitated creative meditations and legitimate; workshops and magical meetings and ecumenical ceremonies of e.g. a version of the Rosicrucian’s, Knights Templars, Star Temples, The Order of the Golden Dawn, Marconi Scientists with ultra low frequency devices, Buddhists, Daoists, Maoists, Liberal Catholics, Krishnamurti, Gnostics, Coptic, Co-masons, unco Masons, journalists, socialists, scientists, healers, spooks, special forces, chemists, CIA, KGB, MI5, NSA, MK Ultra, Special Boat Services, alchemists, chiropodists, questers, jesters,  High Priestesses, Warlocks, Witches, Illuminati, White Magicians, not so White Magicians and a million other ideas and beliefs besides.


It didn’t come as a surprise therefore given the chaos of magical thoughts and the disturbances of will that the place would have a ghost.


The story begins in the early 1900’s in the  days of Aleister Crowleigh and his infamous Golden Dawn group. Crowleigh’s excesses were often scary and legendary and he clearly saw himself as some ‘beast’. His law was ‘do what thou wilt’, the law of Thelema.


Some people, therefore had meticulously followed that advice and had created some sort of portal under the guidance of a breakaway group led by Mathers in the building of the Cauldron Club.


Stories relating to Crowleigh and his Golden Dawn group speak of goat footprints all over a wall and ceiling of a room in Paris and of his famous Lam meditations included demons inside fleshy flying saucers.


It turns out that an offshoot from his Golden Dawn group originally led by Macgregor Mathers from the 1930’s had been paying rent even into the 1970’s for a small room at the top of the building.


According to one lady, a High Priestess of an international magical order and temple, in the early 1980’s she had tried to deal with the powers in that room. There was visible to her eyes a pyramidal structure in the middle of the floor made of energy, and that it acted as a door.


In and out of that door there was something that would come from the formless realms beyond.


Very few people had any good feeling about being in that room and added to that fact that the carpets were dark brown and the walls a muddy colour it could well have been a portal to some dismal cyclopean swamp.


She said that she had gone into that room to confront the thing when it turned up, having heard the song of the building change when it entered.  She had then been attacked by an astral, vaporous monster with burning red eyes that attempted to envelope her in its tentacles of evil energy. It leached all her energy and left her weak and collapsed on the floor, and she remembered crawling through the doorway of the dark room and into the bright hallway beyond, and shouting to her husband for help.

Now this lady had considerable power and was the Matronna or High Priestess of a secretive Templar organisation called the Star Temple. ‘Stella Templum’.

This International organisation met each year in a castle in Majorca and included American top brass in its membership.


She was an innate mystic and sensitive and could use her powers to read ancient history from the stones and summon Elfin Knights.


She had many gifts and abilities including the ability to lift people up with the power of her mind alone and move them about.


She has the power of command and could recognise great works of life and spirit that hung in the air like spiritual roses and joked that she was a Jedi.

If she had been unable to deal with it, then it might be of some concern.


She relocated to the north of England thereafter.


As luck would have it – we had a self-styled Magus practised in the Crowleigh way called ‘Gerald’. Gerald was the business. He did alchemy at home, his sporting activity of choice was handguns, he created spells and alchemical potions to international standards that could allegedly supersede the most powerful pharmaceuticals in the National Health Service. He could also persuade highly educated people to ingest them with his enormous education in the arcane, and could also introduce you to the children of light. He could destroy and summon demons, he had books on ‘necrophilia by the lakeshore’ and his day job was literally cutting up bodies in the hospital morgue. Gerald saw himself as a man of power.


He was left alone in the dark room … with ‘the thing’ and after several loud decrees, declarations and commands in the name of whatever, various OM’s etc and probably a passage or two from the ‘Necromonicon’ he emerged shaken but not stirred after 40 minutes attempting to restructure the gateway in the room..


The Ancient Order of the Golden Dawn had somehow deeply ingrained into the very superstructure of that room a resilient and powerful portal at great personal sacrifice to themselves which had been worked into and fused with the very superstructure of the building.

The will of Gerald, however, had failed and not prevailed.


‘Gerald’ departed under a cloud not long after that.


The next potential contender for the Botanical street challenge arrived from Tibet. He was a genuine bona-fide Llama from a Buddhist tradition that was ‘pre-Buddhist’. He was a Llama of the Bon Po School.


He had the capacity to teach many wondrous things and soon accumulated a group of happy followers determined to work on their karma.

Many thousands of incessant prayers were the answer to many requests he would teach. Many thousands of repetitions and many hundreds of hours of silence and isolation beseeching the One.


He seemed to be saying that even in the days before the internet … there was another kind of internet.

Unfortunately, as we can all tell from the submerged continents and pyramids all over the world, those were the days of windows 95.


A man of genuine spiritual power, he is the genuine article though … so he was asked to perform a ritual exorcism or indeed pacification of the ‘Golden Dawn room’.


There were; robes and incense, candles and gongs, holy water and cymbals … ceremonies and incantations, movements east, movements west, north and south, prayers and intentions, peace and appeasements and the all embracing contribution of technical support direct from the astral akashic internet in Tibet.


Despite many pictures of Tibetan Holy places and all his efforts to bring peace and neutrality, things didn’t get any better.


In the meantime the building was constantly in use throughout the 80’s and early 1990’s and had a small video unit on the premises at that time.


‘J Y’, the film crew man complained that doors would open by themselves and bang shut, that creaky hinges and unquiet things had him a bit spooked.

Things would literally go bump in the night.


Somehow there were just too many film critics in that building.


Now J Y was no sapling in the Magi stakes either … super Templar and Reptilian Naga magic man in his own right – he was not too happy.


If JY  could not restore order here in the Templar tradition, then things were not going to get better.


In the mid 1990’s a group met there called the Transformation Studies Group and amongst many of the talents that came to discuss and evaluate the world in transformation in relation to the objects of the society, there came Dr Alan Parkes from Edinburgh Universities then Chair of Parapsychology.

Now defunct.


There was a real opportunity for some overnight research with meters and scanners, microphones and ultra violet lighting, camera and kinetics gear – plus the place was full of comfortable chairs in other adjacent rooms and the facility to make tea or coffee.


Students from the faculty could come in as teams to study this phenomena at first hand.


The keys were available on request and were given freely  –  so overnights were possible and stake out vigils were a real possibility.


Dr Parkes was fully briefed even to the possibility of some minor funding should we work in tandem with the Parapsychology Faculty at the University.


Alas Alan decided not to get his team in.


Perhaps that was wise though.


The Transformation group leader ‘Angus’ would often be in the building on his own late at night cleaning up  and he complained of some really oppressive vibes on the top landing.

If he could ever sense the feeling of not being wanted in his life – it was obvious to him that some mad salivating demon had issues.


Doors would slam shut and a basin in the kitchen bounced onto the floor creating a rather unwelcoming impression.


Realising that the Poltergeist that was making him unwelcome was a rather pathetic energy hungry vampire with bad taste he spoke out aloud telling it to get lost.


This demon was a critic, it didn’t like Super Templars and Supernormal People and now it had issues with the little guy.


There was a row of large framed photographs on the stair wall that led up to the top landing. Angus had personally commissioned those to brighten the place up.  Angus had complained that one of the pictures launched itself several feet off the wall and landed near his feet.


The frame was smashed.


To Angus things were getting a bit over the top.


At that time an American professor claiming to have been on the US Mind Control Programme, MK Ultra, alleging to have ‘regressed Chelsea Clinton’, and to have trained the US Marshalls Office in Remote Viewing, had showed up with impressive credentials. She alleged to have had top clearances to enter most levels of the Black Ops Deep Bases and underground facilities and also claimed to have worked with ex-Vietnam veterans who ‘survived heavy machinegun crossfire because they had been glowing gold’.


She was being facilitated by an educated lady who claimed to know an MI5 Colonel called Hugh Beech who had been targeting the Greenham Common women.


One can imagine the one liner introduction on intended female targets.


Despite attempting a gathering of the spirit of eternal Templars, the re-incarnated old souls that would lead us forward into a new millennium of Templarism on an astral landscape and assault course full of spiritual challenges – she could not bring forward the spirit of team Templar to shape and mutate the destiny and reality of the Cauldron Club.


Meanwhile upstairs the brooding intelligence was watching and waiting.


One night, the Transformation Studies group was meeting downstairs in the large hall and folks were peacefully conducting a discussion and the Rosicrucians had been conducting ceremonies upstairs in another room.


The Golden Dawn room, which was still empty was directly above the back of the large downstairs hall where Angus was making the tea.


No sooner had the Rosicrucians vacated the building than there was a massive crash on the hall ceiling.


The ceiling shook. It was as if a fully laden 4 drawer filing cabinet had been dropped from a very great height in the Golden Dawn room.


The group of about ten people froze into silence. Angus was first to react and headed up the stairs towards the malignance, but had started to realise that this poltergeist activity was spoiling his fun.


As his group left the building that night, Angus stayed behind for he had some business with ‘the thing that came through the gate’.


He prayed to his Angels and grasped the banister and of all things cut his little finger on a flake of paint.


A little blob of blood appeared on his finger-tip and suddenly he realised that he must seal the gate.


He entered the dark brooding room and although he could not see the vision of the pyramid gate he stood where he intuitively thought he should stand.


‘In the name of Love, and God and Christ and all the Angels and Saints you cannot and will not pass here again’ he said and pressed his blooded finger to the floor in the pyramid centre as a sign that the gate should be sealed – though not ever by his own personal power.


Our loving Father does not require sacrifice, but mercy.


He felt sure that the Holy Spirit would do the rest.


That seemed to work for him, for he was never bothered again, and Angus kept the event secret just to keep the peace.


Subsequently after the millennium a wise old Feng Shui Master from the far east, a world renowned and travelled expert – keeper of a sacred art was let loose in the room and building, bringing his sagacious and considerable magical, geomantic powers and experience to bear, creating a new order of energies and peoples at Botanical street – and it is now considered a safe and beautiful space by the many people that now use it.


A Garden of Many Flowers.