On the trail of elusive localmaster of dark arts Rollo
A writer is hoping that local people can shed light on a self-styled black magician and voodoo priest who once lived in Hastings.
Rollo Ahmed was a lecturer, author, yoga teacher and magician who was a friend of Dennis Wheatley, and an acquaintance of Aleister Crowley.
He lived for some time at Harpsichord House, between the Old Town and West Hill.
Author and library cataloguer Christopher Josiffe, wrote an article about Rollo for the Fortean Times and is now seeking more information on the enigmatic figure.
He said: “I am hoping to speak to anyone who may remember him, with a view to another article, or a possible biography. The problem, however, is that his time in Hastings was several decades ago; he is on record as living at Harpsichord House in 1954, and he died in 1958. So anyone who remembers him would now be quite elderly.
“Perhaps it’s more likely that descendants of his friends/associates would come forward, rather than the individuals themselves.
“However, Rollo Ahmed was black or mixed-race (he claimed to have had an Egyptian father and an Afro-Guyanese mother) so he might been a memorable figure in Hastings in the 1950s, not least because of his esoteric/occult interests, which he did not conceal.
I will be giving a talk on Rollo Ahmed on August 10 in London, but I hope to do so in Hastings as well, if I can find an appropriate venue.”
Rollo used an upper room at Harpsichord House as a magical temple and used to receive visitors attired in a hooded purple robe, his face covered by a mask.
If you can help email Christopher at [email protected]
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