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Doris Bither and the Entity Haunting



Doris Bither surrounded by an unexplained light. Photo: Dr Barry Taff

In the world of paranormal phenomena, few cases are as infamous as that of Doris Bither. Although many may not recognize her name, her story has been immortalized through a fictionalized retelling in the spine-chilling film, THE ENTITY (1982). This harrowing tale follows a working-class single mother who claimed to have suffered sexual assaults at the hands of a supernatural entity, prompting an investigation by parapsychologists from the prestigious Neuropsychiatric Institute at UCLA.

Who was Doris Bither?

Little is known for sure about Doris Bither as she was reluctant to reveal details about herself to those investigating the case.

Interviews with Doris’s sons after her passing have revealed was ostracized by her family during her teenage years due to her rebellious and wild behavior.

He shared that she began experimenting with Ouija Boards and holding séances at a young age, eventually turning to drugs and alcohol to cope with her troubled psyche.

Doris’s sons explained that there were signs of paranormal activity even before they moved to Braddock Drive in Culver City, California.

They recounted experiences of psychokinetic events and the occasional sighting of ghosts in the house.

Doris Bither and the Entity Haunting

The house from “The Entity” where Doris Bither lived. 11547 Braddock Drive, Culver City, California. Photo: RoadTrippers

Not long after Doris moved to Culver City from Santa Monica, a mysterious Hispanic lady showed up at her door and told her that her house was an evil place.

When Doris asked the woman what she meant, she just left without elaborating. It wasn’t long before the paranormal activity began to materialize.

Doris and her family began to see semi-transparent apparitions that appeared to be human in shape and size.

Doris claimed these spirits physically and sexually assaulted her, even throwing her across a room and into a wall with immense force. One of her sons was also a victim of these attacks.

As one could imagine, the family was too scared to contact the police. Instead, Doris confided in a female friend about the ongoing events. If it weren’t for a chance meeting at a local bookstore, the story might have ended there.

Bither’s friend overheard a conversation between two parapsychologists, Barry Taff and Kerry Gaynor, who worked at the University of California in Los Angeles, discussing paranormal topics in a bookshop. Taff shares the same story in his 2014 book, Aliens Above, Ghosts Below, and a 2017 DVD interview.

Bither’s friend shared her experiences with the parapsychologists and asked if they could help the troubled woman. Intrigued by the possibility of investigating a haunting, Taff and Gaynor interviewed Bither in August of 1974.

This fateful meeting would launch an investigation that would become one of the most well-known and controversial cases of paranormal activity in history.

The Investigation into Doris Bither

A podcast talking about Doris Bither and the story of the entity haunting

During the investigation of Doris Bither’s haunted house, parapsychologists Barry Taff and Kerry Gaynor reported experiencing common ghost phenomena such as cold spots, subjective sensations, and bad smells due to the rundown state of the wooden dwelling.

Taff claimed:

“The most intense occurrence which Doris related to us was that she had been sexually assaulted by three semi-visible beings.

Two of the smaller beings or apparitions literally held her down by the wrists and ankles, while the remaining form entered her.

According to Doris’ testimony, this event took place on several separate occasions, each time leaving behind large and distinct black and blue wounds, especially around the ankles, wrists, breasts, and groin area of the inner thighs.” (Taff 2014)

Unfortunately these claims were not well documented and the investigation lacked protocol. Despite this, the investigators were able to capture several unexplained photographs during their second visit with additional equipment and cameras.

After almost two weeks, the group finally returned to Doris’ house, this time with witnesses. They were met with the stench of rotting flesh and a dramatic drop in temperature, despite the summer heat.

As they investigated, a frying pan was flung across the kitchen by an unseen force. This was just the beginning of a weeks-long investigation that reached its peak with the appearance of a full-bodied apparition.

Doris, Dr. Taff, and a group of assistants and technicians watched in awe as strange masses of light came together to form a large, human-like figure. It looked around at the stunned onlookers before vanishing into thin air.

Despite Doris’ attempts to leave the haunting behind by moving, the paranormal activity seemed to follow her. She relocated multiple times, but the strange occurrences persisted. Dr. Taff eventually lost touch with her, and was left with more questions than answers.

Barry Taff’s Theory About Doris Bither and the Entity Haunting

Barry Taff believes that it’s not ghosts or spirits behind the haunting affecting Doris Bither but a phenomenon called Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis (RSPK).

Psychokinesis, or the ability to move objects without physical means, can be divided into two types: microscopic and macroscopic.

Microscopic psychokinesis works on a small scale, affecting things like subatomic particles and random number generators. It is typically electrostatic-based and requires conscious effort, resulting in fatigue in the individual.

Macroscopic psychokinesis, or what is commonly referred to as “poltergeist,” involves the ability to move very large objects, sometimes weighing hundreds of pounds, and is believed to be subconscious in nature.

Unlike microscopic psychokinesis, no fatigue is observed in the person at the center of the phenomenon. In both cases, it is believed that the ability to move objects is generated by a living human.

Taff believes that there are multiple factors that contribute to the phenomenon, with some overlap between them. One of these is the location where the individual is experiencing it, which could be a site with a strong geomagnetic or electromagnetic anomaly affecting them.

Another variable is that the individual is often seizure-prone or epileptic, possibly without realizing it. Lastly, they tend to have poor coping mechanisms and struggle to manage stress effectively. When these three factors combine in the right way, it can lead to the occurrence of RSPK.

Have you ever seen any poltergeist activity like what happened to Doris Bother? Let us know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this article about Doris Bither you might also be interested in the story of the Enfield Haunting or the story of Kate Morgan.

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Crisis Apparitions




Can we communicate with our loved ones telepathically during times of crisis?

In the early 1800s, Pastor John Frederick Oberlin moved to the town of Bande-la-Roche, France, hoping to educate the residents and relieve them of their superstitions. In the end it was Oberlin who was educated, becoming convinced that the apparitions residents saw in times of crisis were real.

Pastor John Frederick Oberlin and the Crisis Apparitions of Bande-la-Roche

John Frederick Oberlin, a well-known pastor, teacher, and philanthropist from the 18th and 19th centuries, completely changed the way of life in the Bande-la-Roche valley in the Vosges Mountains of Alsace. When he arrived in the area, he didn’t like the superstitions of the locals, especially their stories about seeing their dying family members appearing to them in spirit form before their deaths. Despite his efforts to educate them and speak against these beliefs, the reports of such sightings continued.

A significant turning point in Oberlin’s attitude towards the apparitions occurred in 1806 when a devastating avalanche struck Rossberg, burying several villages in its wake. The aftermath of this catastrophic event was marked not only by the physical destruction but also by an increase in the number of villagers claiming to have witnessed visions of their deceased loved ones.

As these accounts multiplied, Oberlin, the steadfast clergyman, found himself grappling with a growing sense of doubt. The sheer volume of testimonies and the intensity of the experiences described by the locals led him to reconsider his earlier dismissal of the supernatural. The tragic circumstances surrounding the avalanche seemed to challenge his previously held orthodox views.

In the face of mounting evidence and the profound impact of the disaster on the community, Oberlin began to believe that the villagers were indeed be perceiving spirits of the departed.

What are Crisis Apparitions?

In most supernatural encounters, the spirits involved are usually belonging to people who have passed away. Sometimes, however, the spirit seen is belonging to someone still living. What does this mean?

One idea regarding crisis apparitions suggests that when a person dies, their soul is released from their body. This liberated soul can then move freely across space and time. The belief is that the individual’s soul might want to make a final visit to say goodbye or provide comfort to loved ones.

In some cases, crisis apparitions involve a person who is still alive. For instance, someone might hear the voice of a loved one delivering a message or warning during a vision. According to a theory, when a person is in physical pain or danger due to illness, they might unconsciously project psychic energy to their loved ones. This projection could happen without the person being aware of it, driven by the challenging situation they are facing.

This type of crisis apparition resembles visions of those who have passed away. As the energy is sent to the receiver, their brain interprets it as an image of the sender. Researchers believe that some individuals may be more sensitive to this energy, increasing their likelihood of having paranormal experiences.

Other Notable Examples of Crisis Apparitions

A woman having an out of body experience is seen by her husband who was hundreds of miles away

According to Rosemary Ellen Guiley’s book, The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits, (affiliate link) in 1863, a man named S. R. Wilmot and his sister, Eliza, sailed from England to New York. They faced a severe storm that lasted nine days. Wilmot, feeling seasick, stayed in his sleeping area for several days and nights. On the eighth night, after the storm eased, he dreamt that his wife, Mrs. Wilmot, visited him in a white nightgown, kissed and caressed him, and then left.

The next morning, William J. Tait, who shared quarters with Wilmot, mentioned seeing a lady visitor. Wilmot was surprised because Tait’s description matched exactly what he had dreamt. When asked, Eliza denied being the visitor.

Later, Mrs. Wilmot asked her husband about his dream, describing her own experience of going out during the storm, finding the ship, going to the stern, and entering the cabin. She hesitated at first when she saw Tait but eventually kissed and caressed Wilmot, just like in his dream. Mrs. Wilmot shared this vivid experience with her mother, insisting it felt too real to be just a dream and that she believed she had actually been on the ship.

A Man Sees His Wife’s Dying Sister-in-Law

“In the higher part of the door was a glass window, and I all at once, in the darkness, saw a face looking through that window. The face was very well known to me, though for the instant I did not associate it with the original, as she was 300 miles away. I instantly opened the door, found nobody there, and then searched the ivy with which the porch and house are covered. Finding nothing, and knowing it was impossible anyone could have got away. … I at once knew the face was that of a married sister-in-law of my wife’s. I told all our family of the circumstance directly I got home, and judge of our dismay when we had a letter to say she died at the very hour I saw her. Monday was the evening I saw the face, and on Wednesday, when we were at dinner, the letter came.”

W. Goodyear.

Apparitions of the Living Vol 1 p. 523

A Man Sees His Brother During a Near Death Experience

“It was either in 1874 or 1875. My brother was third mate on board one of Wigram’s large ships. I knew he was somewhere on the coast of Australia  …  I looked up, and, to my astonishment, saw my brother coming towards me from the outside door of the kitchen. … I noticed he was in his sailor uniform with a monkey jacket on, and the wet was shining on his jacket and cap. I exclaimed, ‘Miles, where have you come from?’ He answered in his natural ‘For God’s sake, don’t say I’m here.’ This was all over in a few seconds and as I jumped towards him he was gone. I was very much frightened, for I had really thought it was my brother himself; and it was only when he vanished that I realised it was only an appearance. … About three months afterwards my brother came home, and….I asked him in a casual manner if he had had any adventures, and he said, ‘I was nearly drowned at Melbourne.’ He then told me he was ashore without leave, and on returning to the ship, after midnight, he slipped off the gangway between the side of the ship and the dock. There was very little space, and if he had not been hauled up at once, he must have been drowned. He remembered thinking he was drowning, and then became unconscious. His absence without leave was not found out, so he escaped the punishment he expected. I then told him of how he had appeared to me, and I asked him the date. He was able to fix it exactly. … He had no recollection of thinking specially of me at the time, but he was much struck by the coincidence, and often referred to it. He did not like it, and often when he went away said, ‘Well, I hope I shan’t go dodging about as I did that time.”

Apparitions of the Living, Vol 2, p. 141

Billie Holiday Sees Her Mother at the Time She Died

Billie Holiday wrote in her memoir of a strange incident occurring at the time of her mother’s death. Her mom was very young when she had her, and they were close. In the middle of the book, Billie talks about a strange moment in a hotel room with her boyfriend after a show:

“I don’t believe in ghosts, but something weird happened that night… We were just sitting there when suddenly I felt my mother behind me, touching my shoulders. And I knew she was dead. I told Joe, ‘Mom just left, and she’s dead.’

‘You’re crazy,’ he said. ‘You must be losing it.’

‘Listen to me,’ I said, ‘you better be good to me because you’re all I’ve got now.’

Her mom wasn’t sick, and she was only 38, so nobody expected her to die. The next day, people acted strangely around Billie. She went up to the road manager and “told him Mama was dead and what time she died the night before…He blew his top, raised hell with everybody backstage. He swore somebody must have told me. But nobody had told me nothing.” The crew knew about Billie’s Mom but didn’t want her to know as it might impact her performance.

Knock Once for Yes Podcast covers the topic of Crisis Apparitions

Have you ever had a crisis apparition experience? Tell us about it in the comments. If you enjoyed this article you might also be interested in the phenomenon of paranormal apathy or twin telepathy.

Interested in Talking to Spirits? Try one of our paranormal communication apps!

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MacKenzie Family Omens




The MacKenzie family received various omens to warn them of death that was about to occur in the family.

In the early 1900s, the MacKenzie family line in Scotland experienced several different paranormal omens, warning them about deaths that would soon occur in the family.

These stories have been gathered from 1934 book “Family Ghosts and Ghostly Phenomena,” by Elliott O’Donnell.

The Prophecy of the Face

One evening, young Sylvia MacKenzie was alone in her small house, sitting in the living room. She heard a tapping sound at a window facing a small garden. When she looked, she saw a strange face with a long, narrow nose and no nose at all. The eyes were very pale, set at an angle, and far apart. The face seemed to be looking at her in a menacing way. As Sylvia stared, scared and unable to move, the face slowly disappeared. When her parents came home, she told them about the scary vision. They were really upset because, as they explained, their family believed this ghostly face showed up only when something bad was about to happen.

The next day, Sylvia’s brother Robert, who was in the Canadian forces during World War I (between 1914-1918), was killed on the Western front.

Miss MacKenzie and the Ghostly Arm

One morning, another, unamed member of the Mackenzie family went upstairs to get something from her bedroom. While leaving, she heard something fall behind her. When she turned around, she saw an old-fashioned silver candlestick on the floor next to the chest of drawers. Curious, she went to pick it up and noticed a “beautifully round” arm, from the elbow up, coming out of the wall beside the drawers. The skin was very white, and the hand had long, slender fingers and filbert nails, like a woman’s hand. As she watched, the arm slowly faded away and disappeared.

After it was gone, she remembered her family’s stories about a phantom omen—a strange hand seen only by family members that predicted death and misfortune. She worried that her vision foretold her mother’s death, who was very sick at that time. Fortunately, her mother recovered fully. A few days later, the family received news that a cousin had died tragically. It made the young woman wonder if her vision had predicted this sad event.

Mr MacKenzie and the Cold hand

One night, Mr. and Mrs. MacKenzie were at a cinema in Glasgow. While watching the movie, Mr. MacKenzie suddenly felt a cold hand touch his cheek. Annoyed, he thought it was the people around him playing a prank. A little later, he felt the cold hand on the back of his own hand and got really scared. He knew his family believed in a ghostly hand that showed up before someone’s death. Unable to enjoy the movie, they left right away.

When they tried to sleep that night, Mr. MacKenzie felt someone moving in the room. He lit the gas to check, but the room was empty, and the door was locked. As he went back to bed, the cold hand touched his forehead. He grabbed the arm, describing it as soft and slender, and felt it up to the elbow where it suddenly disappeared. The next day, they got a telegram telling them that one of Mr. MacKenzie’s sisters had died during the night.

Here is another gripping ghost story recounted by Scotish author Elliot O’Donnell

Have you had any similar experiences with in your family? Tell us about it in the comments.

If you enjoyed this article you might be interested in other omen phenomena such as Our Lady of Fatima or Katherine Hobbs predicting her own death

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