The Entity: True Story About a Woman Who Is Attacked by Invisible, Paranormal Forces

Updated on July 8, 2020
Athlyn Green profile image

Athlyn Green enjoys good movies and discusses these with readers who may be looking to add to their home libraries.

Barbara Hershey Stars in The Entity, a Movie Based on One of the Most Famous Cases of Haunting and Psychic Attacks

Barbara Hershey Stars in The Entity, a movie based on the case that rocked paranormal circles
Barbara Hershey Stars in The Entity, a movie based on the case that rocked paranormal circles | Source

The Entity movie is gripping portrayal of one woman's struggle against the paranormal.

Carla (Carlotta) Moran is a single mother whose life is forever changed when she is assaulted by unseen forces.

The popular movie, The Entity, was based on the book, written by Frank Defelitta and published in 1978. Defelitta's book detailed the purported experiences of Doris Bither in Culver City, California, USA. Bither was battered and raped repeatedly by unseen forces, ghosts or demons intent on harassing and abusing her.

Is The Entity a true portrayal of events? Paranormal investigators witnessed first hand strange phenomena that convinced them that something was going on.

This case was and is persuasive and has fired speculation as to the possibility and potential of contact with the other side.

A Chilling Case

Doris Bither's experiences with the paranormal took place in the 1970s and rocked the paranormal world.

Events Preceding the Investigation

Doris Bither, a single mother raising four children and the real person behind the movie portrayal of "Carlotta Moran," moved from Santa Monica into a ramshackle house at 11547 Braddock Dr. The move would prove to have repercussions she had never anticipated.

Soon after, an elderly Mexican woman knocked at her door and warned Doris that the house she'd moved into was evil. According to journals kept by Javier Ortega, the woman told Doris: "You need to get out! I used to live here in this old house, back when it was just a farm and I was a little girl. There is something very evil here. This place is haunted and you need to get out!”

These words would soon prove chillingly accurate.

A Compelling Case

Doris' chilling brush with unseen assailants came to be viewed as one of the most baffling and compelling cases in paranormal circles.

Did Doris Unknowingly Invite Something in via the Ouija Board?

Dabbling in the Dark Side

Doris' son, Brian Harris, has related that his mother started experimenting with a Ouija Board and held séances in her early years and would later mix this activity with drugs and alcohol. It is apparent she was battling personal demons and may have been not only self-medicating but searching for answers from the spirit world.

What transpired did little to relieve Doris' emotional and mental turmoil and would push her to the very limits of sanity.

Her dabbling may have provoked a response. Doris was purportedly attacked and raped by a violent entity. Her children (one daughter and three sons) were also present to the events in their home. She was beaten, thrown around and sexually assaulted, sometimes in full view of her children, who could see the entities who were inflicting their violence upon Doris.

Harris has related that living in the home at Braddock was hell and that all family members were attacked. They were pushed, bitten and scratched. He believed there were four entities in the home but that they concentrated mostly on Doris because of the fear she felt.

The apparitions were described as appearing humanoid but foggy. While their shapes could be seen, facial features where not always clear.

While testimony from both Doris and her children might have been convincing, events, as witnessed by researchers, were far more compelling and harder to dismiss. Along with Dr. Barry Taft, Kerry Gaynor and Dr. Thelma Moss were involved with this case.

According the Dr. Barry Taft (and her sons), Doris had experienced paranormal phenomena prior to moving into the rundown house on Braddock Drive, but events escalated, which, in turn, sparked investigations that rocked parapsychologists who witnessed compelling phenomena in her home.

Unseen forces terrorized one women and her children.
Unseen forces terrorized one women and her children. | Source

Events That Shook Researchers

Parapsychologists, Kerry Gaynor and Dr. Barry Taff, discovered more than they bargained for when they visited the house on Braddock Drive and witnessed events that shook them to the core.

Aggressive male entities terrorized Doris Bither and set the paranormal world on its ear.
Aggressive male entities terrorized Doris Bither and set the paranormal world on its ear. | Source

The Entity Case: One of the Most Compelling

August of 1974 saw the start of an investigation at 11547 Braddock Drive in Culver City, California, that would shake the paranormal world and parapsychologists, Kerry Gaynor and Dr. Barry Taff.

The two UCLA researchers encountered a woman in a bookstore who overheard them talking and mentioned that her house was haunted. While skeptical, the two agreed to investigate.

As events unfolded, it became clear that this case was unusual. Bither was not alone in witnessing and experiencing paranormal activity. Her children and others had experienced phenomena.

Over two and a half months, investigators saw lights and poltergeist activity, and at one point, a green mist appeared and took form as a large male, causing one investigator to faint.

Bither's story is considered one of the most compelling in the history of paranormal research and sparked what some feel is one of the best paranormal movies.

The Real Story Behind the Entity

What Sparked the Malevolent Activity in the House at Braddock Drive?

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Did these beings spring from Bither's subconscious mind or was this a real case of paranormal encounters with malevolent entities out to harm?
Did these beings spring from Bither's subconscious mind or was this a real case of paranormal encounters with malevolent entities out to harm? | Source

Possible Explanations for the Paranormal Activity Around Doris

As Dr. Taff postulates, it may be possible that a person’s subconscious mind generates enough energy on some level to produce luminous anomalies and apparitions. He feels this is far more probable than discarnate intelligence.

Recent theories about psychokinetic powers and poltergeist-type activity support the contention that a person's subconscious mind may play a part in what appears to be paranormal activity.

This would explain why Doris continued to experience similar activity in spite of moving repeatedly.

Interviews With Parapsychologists

Of particular interest are the reflections of researchers and parapsychologists involved with the case. For those who have a copy of The Entity, these interviews are included. These eye-witness accounts of events in the Culver City house and are well worth watching.

Made Into Movie

This case was so noteworthy, it was made into a movie. The Entity is gripping and will leave audiences with a new respect for the paranormal. This is one of my favorite movies based on what is considered a verifiable case and portrayed in a believable retelling.

What I found intriguing were the interviews with investigators who were involved in the case and their eyewitness accounts as to what transpired in the house. It's sure to get viewers thinking about entities and ghosts, spirits and incubus, and the potential for contact with them in everyday life.

Movie Synopsis

The Entity opens with Carla who has just come home from work. She is slapped on the cheek, then thrown on the bed and sexually assaulted by an invisible assailant. A pillow is held against her face to prevent her from crying out for help. Her son convinces her it must have been a nightmare.

But the nightmare is just beginning...

Soon after, Carla's room starts shaking. Terrified, she flees the house with her children and runs to a friend's home. Carla confides in her friend and her friend suggests that Carla see a psychiatrist.

A terrifying incident in her car convinces Carla to seek help. She sees Dr. Sneiderman and is somewhat reassured by plausible sounding explanations for her experiences. She returns home, determined to recover, and is assaulted while in the bathroom. This time the entity has two helpers who hold her down while she is raped.

Carla's body bears witness to the violence she has suffered by means of the unseen entities while Dr. Sneiderman becomes increasingly concerned for her mental well-being. Carla refuses to go into the hospital, opting to stay near her children.

What Makes The Entity Movie So Compelling?

When it comes to the paranormal, movies that portray real people and real events are always far more compelling. It is much creepier when, instead of a fictional movie, paranormal occurances have played out in everyday people's lives. For paranormal buffs, this is an excellent movie for the home library.

Have You Seen the Entity?

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Questions & Answers

  • Was there an investigation of all of the owners of the home? Did anyone look into the deaths or stories of abuse?

    I included details and a video about the investigations that were done by paranormal researchers in my article.

© 2009 Athlyn Green


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    • profile image

      Stephanie Dillard 

      6 months ago

      Brian, I believe you and it is far from bullshit. On the contrary.....the fact that the Mexican woman knocked on the door and said that there was something evil in the house makes me wonder if that woman was attacked when she lived there. She said she had lived in that house long ago when it was a farm. I have a friend who rented an old farmhouse here in south GA. I spent several nights there with her. A Mexican woman who lived nearby told me that something really bad had happened in that house, and that we better get out before something happened to us. That sure verified all the strange feelings, sights and smells! An entity such as one in the movie The Entity is very ancient and has tremendous power, and everyone in the family is very fortunate that this thing didn't kill them. It very well could have. Those things have been around for thousands of years, even being mentioned in old texts, legends, folklore, etc. Brian, who cares what anyone thinks? Some things are true whether anyone believes it or not. Personally, I think there was something residing in the house or lingering on the property, because that house is where it all started. It happened in places she moved to because during her stay in the house, it attached to her somehow. Entities do that. I am no expert, it's just what I think. It was already there and then it followed her. I am so very sorry for all of your experiences and for the fear and confusion. I hope everything is better for you all now.

    • profile image

      Julie Dover 

      6 months ago

      Please remake this movie "The Entity" with today's technology and if done right and with the right cast you could have one of the world's best Blockbusters out there. Please remember I was the one who suggested it! Thank you

    • profile image

      Brian Harris 

      22 months ago

      There is so much speculation on what really happened there are so many bloggers in vloggers they get their information from each other from one article to the other without doing any kind of research whatsoever and then take their own spin on the story I’ve read many many articles about this story and trust me I know the truth I was there I experienced it end it just boggles me on how much bullshit there is out there on this story and not really anybody else accurate It’s kind a like a runaway wildfire

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      it happened to my wife back when she was in her 40's and we lived in an old house for a time. then again in her 60's as we had bought another older house and moved in. since 2005 she has been sexually assaulted several times. she is very reluctant to discuss the details but has moved to different bedrooms to try to escape.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Its true my friend who lived with me at the time was capturing many pictures and and videos of fog taking over the rooms in the house. Shadow men, angel keeping a demon from continuing up the stairs. There was a lady in the mirror which we got a very good picture of. There was an alien like figure that was present in the dining room which we were able to see through the night lens on the cell phone. There are hundreds of pictures. California Ghost Hunters had to come to the house. The experience was at first calm and peaceful but the longer we kept taking pictures and the more talking to the entities we did the worse it became. There is no doubt that in my experience with the entire entity thing it did involve science, it did involve energy, light, color, electromagnetic pulse. It contained power, ability to hear and understand commands. If controlled it can be an amazing experience far beyond anything you can imagine. However, if it gets out of control and you enter a vial dimension all hell breaks loose and the only thing that helped us was bringing in a demonologiest. Something is messing with me this morning as my cell

    • Athlyn Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Athlyn Green 

      2 years ago from West Kootenays

      Humbert, it's possible. Who knows the power of the subconscious and how thought energy could either attract negative entities or create a type of reality with poltergeist-type activity.

    • profile image

      Humbert Fernandez 

      2 years ago

      Could childhood trauma attract forces like the ones described in the film and Doris Bither's real-life experience? If so--how?

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      barbara hershey is excellent

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Nice scary story made into a movie. But that's all it is. Let's see the video footage of the actual events.

    • DavidSimmons1776 profile image

      harold withers 

      4 years ago from usa


    • Athlyn Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Athlyn Green 

      4 years ago from West Kootenays

      Sparkster, very well said. I agree that something is definitely happening in these cases, but what is triggering it? Does the subconscious play a part?

      For Doris, after she moved, she purportedly still experienced paranormal activity, so this suggests that she may have generated it or she had some type of attachment via negative entities.

      It's certainly a fascinating field.

    • sparkster profile image

      Marc Hubs 

      4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Fascinating and compelling indeed. I'm not entirely convinced by the Ouija board explanation as I know they can be a result of ideomotion (again, the power of the subconscious). As a researcher and experimenter in the field of parapsychology, I can tell you that I have already used parapsychological techniques (or Psi or ESP) to manifest luminous orbs of light (sometimes green, sometimes orange, sometimes white) and have also successfully used the power of the mind to achieve telekinesis and yes, when it happened it was very much like having a "poltergeist" there with - I do, however, believe that this is a manifestation of condensed energy/spirit/consciousness/thought and therefore I think it's a possibility that this could have been a manifestation of her own negative energies or a projection of her Psi abilities that she was not aware of. When it comes down to it, all physical reality is a manifestation of our inner consciousness.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      i feel bad for this women who got attacked from this things iv watched the whole movie there are evil bad things out there also she open that door up when she used the quija board that lets in demon use them kind things like quija board

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      shes smiling and looks very the pictures.

    • Athlyn Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Athlyn Green 

      6 years ago from West Kootenays

      True experiences are always far more compelling and certainly are fascinating.

    • AvineshP profile image

      Avinesh Prahladi 

      6 years ago from Chandigarh

      I haven't seen the movie, but I will make sure that I watch the movie. The life can never remain the same when you are assaulted something which is not visible to the naked eye.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      6 years ago

      I've seen the movie and read a bit about it; always thought that was a fascinating case. This is a great informative hub, thanks for all the fascinating details!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      It is biblical, however one may not survive such an attack.

    • profile image

      Anthony Pay 

      7 years ago

      I have experience some things I couldn't explain finally I had a witness to prove I wasn't going crazy,but still I do freaked out when I saw that movie the Entity.being recoiled in horror is not funny at all, I deeply believe in the paranormal.

    • manofmystery24 profile image


      7 years ago

      Terrifying story. Never fun for a human to experience those types of entities. Voted up and shared!

    • Larchinski profile image

      Sherrie D. Larch 

      7 years ago from Northern California

      The dead can be as violent as the living. If a person was violent and had some psychological problems, it makes sense that this behavior and/or condition may not change after death. Are physical and spiritual sides interplay with one another, so what effects the body effects the soul and what effects the soul effects the body.

    • gail641 profile image

      Gail Louise Stevenson 

      7 years ago from Mason City

      I hope that God helps that family, too. Its horrible what they had to go through! Very scary!

    • profile image

      Rosita Montanez 

      7 years ago

      I saw this movie years ago, but I would love to see it again!!

    • gail641 profile image

      Gail Louise Stevenson 

      7 years ago from Mason City

      Its frightening that someone would be attacked and raped by an entity like in the movie. How scary! I wouldn't have a Ouija board in the house. I saw the movie years ago. I thought that the scene of the mother and her kids running out of the house was very frightening! Something was in there and it must have been really horrible.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I just watched the movie and I can't imagine going through something such as that . no one can help you in anyway. It's a very lonely and scary filling. and no to mention the children what they go through. oh my god I hope god finds a way to help that family.

    • DFiduccia profile image


      8 years ago from Las Vegas

      I read the Entity book years ago and later saw the movie. My take was that the entity was a manifestation of some life form able to cross into our world from another dimension not yet known. This case has always fascinated me, and I had never seen the video presented.

      I’m presently working on my second book, which is a paranormal fiction novel.


    • Athlyn Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Athlyn Green 

      8 years ago from West Kootenays

      Hi Dan,

      I agree. When I saw it the first time, I knew I wanted it for my home library. The end, too, had you on the edge of your seat. It's one of those movies I never tire of watching.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      It was a great film. Certainly had impact. If memory serves me right, the late Ron Silver played the role of parapsychologist Dr. Barry Taff.

    • Athlyn Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Athlyn Green 

      8 years ago from West Kootenays

      Hi Shawn,

      This is one of the better paranormal movies out there and one you can watch again and again. The parapsychologist insights are interesting, as well.

    • Shawn May Scott profile image

      Shawn May Scott 

      8 years ago

      Spooky and very strange. I will be watching this movie very soon. Shared, liked, tweeted and pinned!!!

    • Athlyn Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Athlyn Green 

      8 years ago from West Kootenays

      Yes, she apparently dabbled with an Ouija Board so who knows what that might have invited in? This was a fascinating case and the movie is one of the better paranormal movies out there.

      Thank you for your comments.

    • CR Rookwood profile image

      Pamela Hutson 

      8 years ago from Moonlight Maine

      Did you notice in the first video that when they show the 'control' Polaroid of her when the entity is gone that she is sitting in front of a Ouija board and a planchette? That was pretty interesting.

      I have the sense this woman was manifesting someone from her past. She probably has trauma in her past and using the board either brought the person back who harmed her, or enabled her to conjure up the energy. It's kind of like poltergeist dynamics--often at the center is a troubled woman who has telekinetics abilities tied to strong emotional trauma.

      Great hub! I'm a fan. ;)

    • PennyCarey profile image


      8 years ago from Felton

      I vaguely remember watching this movie a long time ago. I will have to watch it again.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I never watched this movie but now I will take this challenege :)

    • Athlyn Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Athlyn Green 

      9 years ago from West Kootenays

      Hi Cogerson,

      How are the kiddies? Yes, this was one of the better paranormal movies.

    • Cogerson profile image


      9 years ago from Virginia

      I have not watched this movie in a long while, but as a kid it scared me to death, I really liked watching the video you attached.

    • Athlyn Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Athlyn Green 

      10 years ago from West Kootenays

      I believe that Dorris Byther (Carla Morran) later died. Her children support her experiences presently as do the researchers involved with the case.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      i know in the movie of THE ENTITY she tried to get away from this demon by moving. She moved to Texas, and it followed her. That is horrible. I am wondering what has happened since she moved to Texas. If she was able to get help or if it is haunting her to this day or if she is no longer alive?

    • profile image

      David Suits 

      10 years ago

      Well about Coris Byther I was there in the 70's. I was one of her son's best friends at the time. i uses to sleep over. and some time had to bring my friend to my house because of all the evil stuff going on there.


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