1896, Switzerland, AN3 443

    This is Aleister Crowley’s only entity encounter that he considered physical beyond a doubt. It is recounted in Magick Without Tears, in the chapter titled “Beings I have Seen with my Physical Eye“.

  “It was in 1896, at Arolla in the Pennine Alps. I took my cousin, Gregor Grant, a fine climber but with little experience beyond scrambles, and in poor physical condition, for the second (first guideless) ascent of the N.N.E. ridge of Mont Collon, a long and exacting climb of more than average difficulty. I had to help him with the rope for most of the climb. This made us late. I dashed for the quickest way down, a short but very steep ridge with one decidedly bad patch, to the great snowfield at the head of the valley. At the bottom of the last pitch a scree-strewn slope, easy going, led to the snows. We took off the rope, and I sat down to coil it and light a pipe, while he wandered down. By this time I was as tired as 14 dogs, each one more tired than all the rest put together; what I call "silly tired." I took a chance (for nightfall was near) on resting 5 or 10 minutes. Restored, I sprang to my feet, threw the coiled rope over my shoulder, and started to run down. But I was too tired to run; I slackened off.

    Then, to my amazement, I saw of the slopes below me, two little fellows hopping playfully about on the scree. (A moment while I remind you that all my romance was Celtic; I had never ever read Teutonic myths and fables.) But these little men were exactly the traditional gnome of German fold-tales; the Heinzelmänner that one sees sometimes on German beer-mugs (I have never drunk beer in my life) and in friezes on the walls of a Conditorei.

    I hailed them cheerfully — at first I thought they were some of the local nobility and gentry of a type I had not yet encountered; but they took no notice, just went on playing about. They were still at it when I reached my cousin, sheltering behind some boulders at the foot of the slope; and I saw no more of them.

    I saw them as plainly as I ever saw anything; there was nothing ghostly or semitransparent about them.

    A curious point is that I attached no significance to this. I asked my cousin if he had seen them; he said no.

    My mind accepted the incident as simply as if I had seen Chamois. Yet even to-day when I have seen lots and lots of things more wonderful, this incident stands out as the simplest and clearest of all my experiences. I give myself full marks!

    "Why?" Isn't it obvious? It means that I am not the semi-hysterical type who takes wishphantasms for facts.”

- Magick Without Tears, ch. LVII.