Doris Bither and the 1974 Entity Case

A photograph taken during the investigation.

A photograph taken during the investigation.

On August 22nd, 1974, Dr. Barry Taff and Kerry Gaynor began their investigation into the haunting of Doris Bither in Culver City, California.  Doris was a single mother who claimed that the home she shared with her daughter and three sons was haunted, and that she had been victimized by the spirits therein--two of the ghosts had held her down while the third one raped her.  The Bither family life was a tumultuous one, and Doris had been in several abusive relationships along with having a history of substance abuse.

The Bither home was said to have been in shambles, with dirty dishes piled in the sink and squalid living conditions; the house was twice condemned by the city, according to Dr. Taff.  In addition to the claims of assault by Doris, all four children claimed to have seen apparitions--the most prominent of which they nicknamed "Mr. Whose-it."  Investigators reported feeling a strange pressure in their ears while in the house.  The most disturbing aspect of the case was, of course, the reported spectral rape, of which Dr. Taff and Gaynor were initially skeptical.  However, bruises on Doris's inner thighs and other conspicuous wounds would quickly convince them of the seriousness of the phenomenon.

Although high-speed cameras were brought in to capture the phenomena, very little of substance wound up on film.  In one instance, Doris was said to have provoked the beings into a visible manifestation.  Investigators present reported lights appearing around the room, a green mist billowing from one corner, and the form of a man's upper torso becoming visible within the unnatural fog.  There were no facial details to the torso, but it did reportedly show musculature--leading them to believe that it was male.  These events proved impossible to record on film, and pictures taken show only a free floating arc of light over Doris, as pictured above.

The origin of the haunting is controversial, with skeptics musing that Doris Bither's history of addiction, abuse, and the difficult relationship she had with her sons led to a sort of mental break.  Still others believe that the case points towards a ghostly or even demonic influence, although Dr. Taff doesn't agree with that assessment.  

"Contrary to what many people believe, the case of Doris Bither..was not, in my professional opinion, the result of spectral rape, .a.k.a. spectrophilia, but a rather disturbingly real poltergeist outbreak," wrote Dr. Taff in his blog.  " Unfortunately, the amassed data on the case does not in any way support ghostly sex, but back in the mid-1970’s in my mid-20’s, such a notion was intriguing to say the least."

It should be noted that Doris's middle son, Brian, maintains that the spectral rape occurred, having himself witnessed it.

To date, the case remains unexplained.




Tobias Wayland