Doris Bither and the real story behind the movie The Entity
It was a chance encounter at a California bookstore in 1974, that would eventually reveal one of the most terrifying hauntings in American history. The case, which was used as the basis for the film “The Entity,” involved a woman named Doris Bither and her four children. Bither was the woman at the bookstore who overheard two men discussing a haunted house and approached them to say that her house was also haunted. Although unknown to Doris Bither at the time, one of the men was Kerry Gaynor, a paranormal researcher and associate of Dr. Barry Taff from UCLA.
Doris Bither had moved to California with her family at about the age of 10. Little is known about her early life but by the time she spoke withe the investigators in 1974, her life was falling apart. Bither was a single mom in her 30′s, had four children, one girl and three boys by four different fathers, was an alcoholic and suffered from serious emotional problems. Bither appears to have endured one abusive relationship after another, now Doris and her children were reportedly being assaulted by a trio of violent entities. Dr. Taff and his associates had serious reservations about Bither’s claims considering her numerous personal problems. However, after considering all factors involved, Dr. Taff decided to visit the Bither home to assess the situation.
Dr. Taff and Gaynor arrived at the Bither home at 11547 Braddock Drive on August 22, 1974. From the outside the small Culver City house appeared to be perfectly normal, the inside of the Bither home was far different. On entering the house Dr. Taff was greeted by a totally chaotic situation. The home reeked of rotten garbage, dirty dishes were piled high in the sink, the house was filthy in every way. It was obvious that Doris was not able to perform in her role as a mother and the children were left to fend for themselves. Considering that Doris had ask for help, what puzzled Dr. Taff the most was that Doris was being very uncooperative. Without her help the investigation could not continue. Bither’s attitude would soon change and a phone call was made to Dr. Taff’s office saying things had gotten much worse and they needed help fast.
Over the next several months investigators attempted to document the claims of Doris and her family. It was believed that there were four manifestations in the home that were responsible for an array of paranormal phenomena.
One of them, which was seen on a regular basis by all the family members, appeared as an old man and seems to have been harmless. The ghost of the old man was seen so often that the children named him “Mr. who’s it.” The family believed that “Mr. who’s it” was the spirit of the children’s recently deceased grandfather. Had all the apparitions in the Bither home been so friendly life would have been much easier, but they were not.
While phenomena observed in the home included many instances of the type of activity commonly reported in haunting cases, the Bither home seemed to have reached a state of infestation as the activity was nearly unrelenting. There were levitating pots and pans, strange sounds and smells and objects thrown about by unseen forces. The most disturbing aspect of the Doris Bither case however was not the usual poltergeist type activity, as it soon became clear to everyone that there was something truly evil in the house and it, or they, were physically attacking the family.