Widely mischaracterized in popular understanding, the early 20th century world of the occult has never failed to serve up a plethora of intriguing tales. From stories of new age magic, otherworldly realms, alchemy and psychic abilities, all practised in shady back rooms of the temples belonging to secretive societies, our imaginations have often run wild, crossing victorian gothic aesthetic with the lure of a shadowy underworld. This common theme has been a driving factor in the continuing propagation of one of the 1920’s most famous mysteries, when a young woman, seeking the entrance into another realm, was found dead on an isolated Scottish island and a series of links were uncovered, tying her to some of the ages most infamous occult societies. But how much of the story is grounded in reality, and how much is the work of overactive imaginations, is perhaps as much of a mystery as the case itself.

Adamnan. (1874) Life of Saint Columba, Founder of Hy. edmonston & Douglas, Edinburgh, UK.
McNeill, F. Marion (1920) Iona: A HIstory of the Island. Lochar Publishing Ltd, Scotland.
Owen, Alex (2004) The Place of Enchantment: British Occultism and the Culture of the Modern. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.
Tyler, Mac (1928) The Use of Imagination in Art, Science and Business. The Occult Review v48 n1 Jul 1928.
Fortune, Dion. (1930) Psychic Self Defence. The Classic Instruction Manual for ProtectingYourself Against Paranormal Attack. Weiser Books, UK.
Aberdeen Press & Journal (1929) The Iona Tragedy. Aberdeen Press & Journal, Mon 25 Nov, 1929, P.4. Scotland, UK.
The Scotsman (1929) Iona Mystery. The Scotsman. Wed, 27 Nov, 1929, P.10. Scotland, UK.

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