The Doris Bither haunting, also known as the Entity haunting, allegedly occurred in 1974 in Culver City, California. Doris Bither claimed that she was plagued by poltergeist activity and that the spirits of three men were attacking and sexually assaulting her.
Braddock Avenue, Culver City, California, USA
BACKGROUND AND HISTORY
Doris Bither reportedly grew up in an ‘abusive home’ with alcoholic parents, and became a ‘rebellious, wild girl, and was fascinated by the paranormal’. She reportedly ‘held seances’ and used a ouija board. She also ‘began drinking and using drugs and it wasn’t long until her family ultimately threw her out and disowned her’. Doris then reportedly ‘had a number of failed relationships, several of which were abusive’ and eventually ‘walked away a single mother of four – each child having a different father’.
In 1974 Doris Bither, then thirty-three, and her four children, three boys aged sixteen, thirteen, ten, and a girl aged six, ‘packed up’ and moved to a rental house on Braddock Avenue in Culver City, California. Some sources state that the house was number 11547 on Braddock Avenue. Reportedly ‘as they were settling in’ a ‘strange woman’ of ‘Hispanic descent’ knocked on their door and told Doris that she used to live in the house. The woman told Bither ‘that it was evil’ and then ‘without further explanation’ turned and left.
The family claimed to have begun experiencing paranormal and poltergeist activity shortly after. Doris Bither reportedly experienced the first ‘attack’ in which ‘two male spirits held her down while another raped her’. Bither’s ‘middle son’ Brian also reportedly claimed that he ‘heard the attack because his bedroom was next to his mother’s, and he also said he saw bruises on her inner thighs following the alleged spectral rape’. Reportedly, the ‘strange events’ in the house were also witnessed by her other children, neighbours and friends.
“The whole rape thing was real,” Brian said, “My room was right next door to my mother’s. I would hear the attacks happening. Things being thrown, her screaming. Then she would come out of the bedroom and have all these bruises. On her legs, her inner thighs. There were times were[sic] we would see it happen in front of us. It was like if a man was standing in front of my mother and would start to beat her. Imagine a woman being beaten. You could see her being picked up and thrown around. Sounds, slaps…but there was no one there to actually do it. We all felt it too. pulling, biting and scratching…we were all attacked.”https://www.thescarechamber.com/doris-bither/ (The Scare Chamber, 2020)
Bither then met ‘paranormal investigators and parapsychologists’ Barry Taff and Kerry Gaynor. They met after Bither and a friend overheard a conversation between Kerry Gaynor and a friend in a ‘Westwood bookstore near the UCLA campus’ about Gaynor and Taff’s research.
Doris Bither told the pair that her house was haunted and that she ‘needed help’. She reportedly asked them if they would be ‘willing to look into her home’ and, ‘intrigued’, they took her phone number and Taff and Gaynor later came to her house to hear her story.
When they arrived, on the 22nd of August 1974, they reportedly found that ‘the house was a mess, observing extreme disorder in household conditions’ and would also later find out that ’the house had been twice condemned’. They also reportedly noted that Bither ‘had a contentious relationship with her older sons’.
Taff and Gaynor conducted a ‘preliminary interview’ surrounding Bither’s paranormal claims on August 22, 1974, only lasting about an hour. Reportedly, Bither described the attacks on her and claimed that there were three entities that were attacking her.
“Doris was very evasive and somewhat cryptic regarding her background, so much so that she refused to even tell us her age, which we knew was older than ours, but not by how many years. Had we pushed Doris hard to reveal more about her hellish past, such efforts on our part might have pushed us right off the case. Had we even attempted to secure the type of background information we currently collect, such as medical, psychological, family psychodynamics, prescribed medications (names of meds, dosage and duration) as well as recreational drugs and alcohol usage, Doris would surely have shown us the door from the outset. We had no way of knowing just how utterly disturbing of a life she really had led: disowned by her family as a young teenager and cast out to fend for herself.”http://barrytaff.net/2011/08/the-real-entity-case-2/ (Barry Taff, 2011)
The interview also reportedly revealed that Bither had a history of ‘physical and substance abuse along with a traumatic childhood’. Taff also reportedly noted that she was ‘demonstrating symptoms of a deep psychological trauma’ which, ‘added to his scepticism’. Reportedly, Taff ‘initially dismissed her claims as being related to mental illness’ and as ‘a typical case of tormented childhood leading to deep seeded emotional issues’.
The initial reaction of Taff and Gaynor was reportedly to refer Bither to a psychiatrist at the Neuropsychiatric Institute. A few weeks later however, Bither reportedly contacted them again and asked ‘that they return because others were now witnessing paranormal phenomena in her home’.
Reportedly the ‘combined testimony’ of the family also helped to eventually convince Taff to ‘establish a base for the monitoring of the paranormal phenomenon in the house’.
END OF THE INVESTIGATION
Doris eventually moved her family to San Bernardino and then Texas, reportedly without informing Taff or Gaynor. They reportedly stayed in contact with Bither but ‘over time’ the contact between them ended ‘despite her claims that the paranormal activity followed her’.
Taff and Gaynor published some of their findings in ‘scientific journals’ and Taff wrote also about the case in his book Aliens Above, Ghosts Below: Explorations of the Unknown.
The haunting and the investigation also inspired the 1978 book ‘The Entity’ by Frank De Felitta’s after Doris Bither told him her story, which was also made into a 1982 film of the same name. Taff also reportedly ‘served as a consultant’ to Felitta on the book, and the film.
Bither eventually died in 1995 of ‘pulmonary arrest’. Other sources, however, state that she died of ‘cardiopulmonary failure’ and that her death was the result of ‘multiple organ failure’.
Taff and Gaynor agreed to return and reportedly, this time it was another ‘hot August day, and the house was stiflingly hot as they did not have air conditioning’ but ‘as they moved from room to room, they found that the bedroom was ice cold’. They also claimed to have experienced ‘repulsive smells of rotting flesh’. Bither also reportedly ‘had bruises on her legs and inner thighs from the attacks’.
In an interview for an Anchor Bay Entertainment documentary, Taff also claimed that during this second visit to Bither’s home, while they were in the kitchen talking with Bither a ‘lower cupboard door flew open’ and ‘a frying pan, a skillet, flew out and took a ballistic arc across the kitchen and landed on the floor’. The pair reportedly checked for ‘springs or wires or people’ but found that there ‘weren’t any’.
The pair then decided to officially start their investigation at the Braddock Street House, which reportedly lasted about ten weeks. Taff then reportedly ‘brought in specialized lighting, cameras, and audio recording equipment as well as a team of colleagues from UCLA’.
Reportedly, the first thing Taff and Gaynor did was to ‘have Doris go into one of the rooms where the most activity had occurred and asked her to start yelling and cursing at the entities, to try and draw them out’. Reportedly there was an effect ‘almost immediately’. According to some sources the team ‘caught intense orb activity, with spots of light flitting all over the place’.
Taff allegedly photographed a ‘variety of luminous anomalies’ including orbs and ‘erratically moving balls of bright lights that coalesced into the upper torso of a human figure’. Some sources report that the torso appeared from a ‘greenish mist’ which surrounded Bither.
They did not capture the ‘entity’ on film however but did manage to capture a photograph of Bither with ‘a strange arc of light appearing over her’. They also claimed to have witnessed ‘equipment being thrown away in the room, arching in the mid-air’.
Reportedly the investigators thought the balls of light they saw, which were ‘always in the bedroom’, so they ‘sealed the house off from all external lighting’. However they still saw these lights which were now ‘even brighter because there was no light to compare them against’.
According to some sources he reported that the ‘frequency and intensity of attacks decreased with time’. However other sources report that ‘over the coming months, they discovered that their presence alone seemed to anger the entities’. However, Taff also claimed that after their investigation started the rapes stopped.
Doris Bither claimed that she was repeatedly attacked by the three entities and that these attacks ranged ‘from mild assaults to full-on rapes’. Her ‘teenage son’ also reportedly witnessed Doris ‘being attacked by an unseen entity’. Her children also claimed to have seen the ghosts and ‘experienced encounters with the entities who bumped into them in hallways and even slapped them’.
Her oldest son also reported that the activity ‘intensified when he played the music of Black Sabbath’ and that it made the ‘paranormal activity stronger’. They also reportedly observed that Bither was a ‘heavy drinker’ and that when she stopped drinking the activity also stopped. They also claimed that the ‘activity was most intense when Doris was in the house’.
The investigators brought in geiger counters to ‘measure radiation in the house’. They reportedly found that ‘during quiet times, the counters showed normal levels of background radiation’ but that ‘during times when activity was occurring, they found that their counter didn’t register any measurable background radiation’. They also saw ‘bright green-yellow balls of light’ which they reportedly referred to as ‘corpuscular balls of light flying around the bedroom’. The team also claimed that while they were ‘successful at capturing photos of some light anomalies’ there were ‘many attempts that failed’.
Bither also reportedly claimed that during the haunting ‘candelabras were thrown at her’ and other objects moved on their own, that a ‘fuse box was ripped out of the wall and flew through the air’ towards her and light ‘turning on and off’ and ‘strange noises’.
Also reported was that when one of her sons ‘went to aid Doris during attacks, something unseen flung him back with great force’ and that she witnessed ‘poster boards the researchers had put up with duct tape for the purpose of investigation being torn off the wall by unseen hands’.
The apparitions they saw reportedly ‘started out as shadows’ which moved ‘such that they were only visible in their peripheral vision’. but then ‘began taking on a human-like shape’. They claimed that these apparitions wouldn’t do anything at first but would stand or sit in the corner of a room and ‘watch’. Neighbours also reportedly began seeing the figures as well.
Bither’s children also claimed to have seen ghosts ‘so frequently’ they named one of them ‘Mr Whose-It’.
The children reportedly told Taff about the entity they called ‘Mr Whose-it’ and that all four of them had witnessed him on ‘numerous occasions’. Taff also reportedly ‘noted that their depictions were remarkably accurate, not just matching each other’s, but also in details commonly attributed to entities from his other cases’. This ghost was reportedly the ‘largest entity’ of the three haunting the family.
All four children claimed to have experienced ‘being pushed, pinched or bitten by a fog-like figure familiar to a human, but not an exact human’. Doris Bither reportedly explained how she was ‘raped on multiple occasions by the larger entity’.
Bither described how the two ‘smaller’ entities would hold her down while the third ‘larger’ entity ‘raped’ her. These attacks reportedly ‘left marks on Doris’ body indicative of a rape, including bruises on her inner thighs’ and her mouth.
A NEW HOUSE
Reportedly, after the investigation at the Braddock Street house, Doris Bither ‘got up the ability and the nerve to move, and the money to move’. Bither moved to Carson, where Taff and his team had to ‘hunt her her’, with the help of Frank DeFelitta who had formed a ‘close bond’ with her, as they did not initially know where she had moved to. Reportedly when they went to her new home the investigation ‘kept a low profile’ and ‘within weeks of her moving in phenomena began’.
According to Taff, the same poltergeist activity began in Bither’s new house as well as in the two houses ‘flanking her on both sides’. These neighbours reportedly ‘began experiencing phenomena like a radiant effect’ including ‘cupboards and doors opening and closing, ‘garbage being dumped on the floor’ and ‘machines going on and off’. These neighbours, however, reportedly, did not know about Doris Bither’s case or what was going on in her home because Bither was ‘still worried’ that people would ‘think she was crazy’.
Taff also claimed that, while investigating the activity in Bither’s new house they heard a ‘loud crash’ and then a ‘vase from across the room flew right in the middle of everybody, smashed on the floor and spewed dirt across the floor’. Reportedly, when they played back the audiotape, recorded with a ‘condenser mic’ during the event, they heard ‘deep breathing approach the mic’. ‘With the breathing’ approaching the mic they also reportedly heard ‘a footstep, another footstep and then drag’ repeatedly, like ‘a bad horror movie’.
Barry Taff claimed that it approached the condenser mic by his leg, which then ‘shut off by itself for no reason’. The team did not reportedly hear any of the sounds from the tape at the time and no one there was moving and everyone was ‘sitting in a little circle’.
Reportedly, on one day ‘towards the end’ of Bither’s stay at that house’ the investigation team were ‘sitting in the bedroom’ and the ‘lights were low’ having ‘put up more duct tape, with more boards on the wall’ like the boards that had previously been torn down. Reportedly a piece of tape began being ‘pulled off the wall as if by unseen hands’, ‘very quickly’ the whole board ‘flew off and hit Doris in the head’.
Taff even claims that Kerry Gaynor then said ‘do it and again’ and ‘it did’ and ‘she just freaked out’.
Reportedly after these events at the Carson house Bither then moved again, to San Bernardino. Taff and Gaynor did not follow her this time but DeFelitta did and reported ‘doors opening and closing, toilet flushing, similar types of events but a lower level’. From there Bither moved to Texas where the investigators eventually ‘lost all contact with her’.
GHOST THEORY INTERVIEW
In 2009 Ghost Theory conducted an interview with Bither’s middle son Brian Harris who told them:
“We all experienced some form of attack. There was the pushing, biting and scratching being done to us. There were about 4 entities in the home, and they made themselves known by appearing all the time….I think it took a lot of energy for them to do that.”https://coolinterestingstuff.com/the-terrifying-paranormal-case-of-doris-bither (RichardBejah.com, 2020)
He also described the entities as ’always like a fog, like a human…but not quite’ and that they were ‘never clear’ but that they would ‘make themselves known’. Brian even described, in one incident, how, in his ‘early teens’, when he ‘attempted to intervene in his mother’s attack and was thrown across the room’.
“Not a full figure, but at times we could see some of it. At times, it would be annoying. We would be watching television and these things would walk by. Like nothing. We were so used to the poltergeist, that we just got to a point were we wouldn’t even care.”https://www.thescarechamber.com/doris-bither/ (The Scare Chamber, 2020)
Brian also claimed, in the same interview that they ‘all experienced some form of attack’ which included ‘pushing, biting and scratching’.
However, Brian did reportedly contradict himself several times this interview which damaged his credibility although his younger siblings, when interviewed, did reportedly corroborate his testimony. Although, reportedly when his younger siblings were interviewed they also claimed that, like his mother, Brian also had issues with drugs and alcohol.
THEORIES AND EXPLANATIONS
Dr Barry Taft, who has ‘devoted his life to studying this and other extreme haunting cases’, claims it is ‘all a complex psychological phenomenon known as RSPK (Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis or Zero Point Energy) where the mind physically manifests the perceived paranormal events’. He reportedly suggested in interviews that ‘at least some poltergeist activity was psychokinetic activity’.
Reportedly Taff believed that Doris Bither herself, and maybe even her teenage sons, were causing the poltergeist activity and that ‘it is internal, emanating from some powerful portion of our subconscious’ not ‘the disembodied spirit of a once-living person’.
“They were the agents, the source of the energy that turned their world upside-down. Their unconscious minds were running amuck, emitting so much power that objects could be manipulated physically and audio phenomenon created out of thin air.”https://jimharold.com/tag/doris-bither/ (JimHarold.com, 2016)
This theory was also reportedly supported by the fact that, according to the claims of Doris Bither’s children the family had ‘always experienced some minor level of psychokinetic activity – even before moving to Culver City’. Taff however is still reportedly ‘hesitant to draw a conclusion on the case’.
Another theory is that the beings or entities attacking Doris Bither and causing the poltergeist activity is that of an Incubus or Succubus.
ALSO KNOWN AS
- The Doris Bither Case
- The Entity Haunting
- And That’s Why We Drink Episode 70 – Fall Out Walt and A Child Called Murder
- Mysterious Circumstances – Doris Bither and the Entity Haunting