The Demons of Doris Bither

doris bitherThere are not a lot of details of the early years of Doris Bither. What is known is that Doris was born to an upper-middle-class family which moved to California when Doris was 10 years old. Her life seems to have been filled with abuse from very early on, first by family and later by a string of abusive relationships.

She had four children by four different fathers and so many boyfriends that one of her sons would say he lost count of how many there were. Doris was also an alcoholic and suffered from severe depression, both conditions for which she refused to seek treatment.

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It was with this as the background that the terrifying events unfolded. Still, in her 30s, Doris, a single mother, lived in a small home at 11547 Braddock Drive in Culver City, California. Her four children, a daughter and three sons lived with her at the home and witnessed many of the paranormal events.

It was an accidental encounter at a local bookstore that would eventually bring the story to the public. Doris Bither overheard a conversation between two men dealing with paranormal phenomena.

Doris approached the men and told them that her house was haunted and she needed help. The men were skeptical, probably because she was drunk, but eventually decided to investigate the woman’s claims.

The men were Dr Barry Taff and Kerry Gaynor, both from UCLA. Dr Taff would first visit the Bither home on August 22, 1974 and describe the living conditions as squalor. The home was full of garbage and the sickening stench that accompanied it.

Doris Bither’s deteriorating mental health had left her unable to perform her role as a mother and caused her family to become totally dysfunctional. Dr Taff immediately observed an intense tension in the home which seemed to be focused on the relationship between Doris and her sons, especially her oldest son who was 16 at the time.

It would seem that the story could have been disregarded as the frightening fantasies of a sick and delusional woman, but Dr Taff and his associates felt that there was more to the case than just mental illness and alcohol addiction.

According to the Bither family there were four specters in the house. One of them appeared as the ghost of an old man and appeared to be harmless. The children nicknamed him “Mr Whose-it” and believed that it was the ghost of their grandfather.

The other three however were far from harmless. The three entities were violent and physically assaulted the family members. It was Doris that took the brunt of the attacks and claimed that she had been repeatedly assaulted and raped by one of the beings.

Dr. Taff and other investigators of course found this difficult if not impossible to believe, but soon observation and evidence would cause them to reconsider. Dr Taff visited the Bither house over a period of two to three months and observed much of the paranormal activity that the family claimed for himself.

At one point Dr Taff assembled a group of about twenty investigators at the home. The group also included professional photographers and camera operators with the best equipment available. The group then squeezed themselves and their equipment in Doris Bither’s tiny bedroom and waited for the entity’s to make an appearance.

Doris Bither with arc light overhead.
Doris Bither with arc light overhead.

After some minutes passed and nothing seemed to be happening, Dr Taff convinced Doris to scream insults at the entity’s in an attempt to infuriate them and cause the paranormal activity to begin. The idea may not have been well thought out but it worked.

With high-speed cameras rolling and still cameras at the ready, a green mist began to form in the room, gaining density as the seconds passed, then, a form began to appear in the mist.

At first the image was faint but as the green mist continued to gather those in the room could clearly see what appeared to be a human like torso.

The group observed no head or legs just a torso that appeared to be very muscular as it became more visible. When the film from the numerous cameras was developed, as so often happens, nothing was seen, except for still shots which showed a strange arc light over Doris’ head.

11547 Braddock Drive
11547 Braddock Drive

The evidence of paranormal activity in the case of Doris Bither is quite extensive despite the extreme nature of the claims. All members of the family saw the apparitions as well as many of the investigators of the case.

As Brian Harris, Doris’ middle son who was age 13 in 1974, said, “the house just seemed to come alive.” Doors opening and closing, pots and pans flying thru the air, strange sounds and smells and phantom figures walking about at all times of day and night As for the most horrific aspect of the Bither case, the spectral rape of Doris, it seems to be true.

While no one ever actually saw a visible entity raping Doris witnesses did see her being punched and thrown around by invisible hands. Doris also had the injuries commonly seen in rape victims including bruising on her inner thighs.

Doris eventually managed to get enough money together to move out of the home on Braddock Drive. Unfortunately, her demons followed her wherever she went and she continued to report being raped by what in the past would have been called an incubus.

There has been no paranormal activity reported at the Braddock Drive home by the new tenants. Doris Bither died of pulmonary failure in 1995. Rest in peace Doris.

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