Historical Haunts: The Peculiar Case of Doris Bither
August 17, 2010 15 Comments
Being a “Paranormal Investigator” one often hopes for that miracle case that will, beyond a doubt, prove the existence of ghosts and the paranormal world.
From the Lutz’s astronomical, though proven false, accounts of their “High Hopes” house in Amityville, NY to the alleged “Haunting in Connecticut” anyone in the field of “ghost hunting” would give an appendage to partake in such a profound and career defining case such as these.
The most fascinating cases though, as previously stated, often prove to be false or greatly over exaggerated.
Speculation about the Lutz’s claims became apparent after inconsistent stories between the husband and wife’s claims surfaced. Doubled with the fact that no occupant since has experienced anything paranormal and the author of the novel “The Amityville Horror”, Jay Anson, was told to make up something fantastic by the less-than-scrupulous investigative team.
The same team who propelled that case to mainstream would later go on to do the same with the “Haunting in CT” and the stories are almost parallel. Home has a sordid past, (The Defeo family slaughtered by their eldest son Ronald in NY, and in CT the home was a funeral parlor and possibly seance were conducted there in the past). Both homes were a bargain price-wise. The basement of each home held a dark secret. The father of the haunted families struggled with alcoholism and alleged drug abuse and both families fled in the middle of the night after only a short time in each home.
Because both stories were publicized heavily with book deals, television shows, and movies they also became the target of skepticism and both cases, to date, are used as the benchmark for debunking any claim of the paranormal.
But what of Doris Bither? A single mother of four living in a ramshackle home in Culver City, CA who claims for years she was attacked, bitten, beaten and even raped by four malevolent spirits.
Doris’ life was not part of the picturesque American landscape. She was unmarried, had a daughter and three sons. People familiar with Doris would say her relationship with her sons was tumultuous, angry and broken.
Doris herself grew up in a Midwest middle-class home with alcoholic parents. At the age of 10 the family moved to California where in her teen years some major altercation with her family ultimately led to Doris being disowned by her parents and her Aunt and Uncle. With the passing of her parents the inheritance was given to Doris’s brother leaving Doris a single mother with no money.
Failed marriages and relationships abounded and in the end she had four children all from different fathers. She tried to carve out a life for herself in the small home but due to close quarters a general sense of animosity and blame began manifesting within the home.
Shortly after moving into the home Doris began experiencing an infestation period. Infestation periods are described as the time when a presence of unknown origin begins making itself known. Creaking noises, the sound of footsteps, disembodied voices and phantom smells.
Soon the activity escalated into full on attacks. Doris reported walking into the spirits in the hall as if she was bumping into someone in a crowded store, then biting, slapping, punching and eventual rape that led her to seek out help from a local paranormal investigation team.
For three months the team of researchers visited the home, typically on Thursday’s and reviewing their evidence the rest of the week. Some of the team reported bruises appearing on Doris Bither’s thighs as if her legs were being forced apart, black eyes, bite marks, the strong smell of body odor coming from nowhere.
Doris reported three malevolent spirits and at time the crew reported seeing something try to manifest. There would allegedly be a green mist that swirled around and the upper torso and musculature of a man would begin to appear only to disappear into the mist before that too vanished in what is described as a vortex.
The crew supposedly witnessed the eldest son being thrown across the room as he tried to stop his mother from being attacked. The attack was described in detail from witnesses on the intervention team as Doris being thrashed about, handprints forming in her skin and her body being tossed around.
The family ended up moving from the home to a low-income neighborhood where the paranormal activity either slowed to almost non-existent or stopped completely depending on whose story you read.
Doris’s middle son, Brian Harris, claims the activity continued sporadically. Until the move, the attacks became more prevalent after the investigation team meddled then left. He acknowledges the claims and to this day stands by his mother’s story.
Pictures and video obtained in the home never produced anything to substantiate the claims of the investigation team other than one odd photo with a light arch and some orbs. The light arcs above the bed of Doris on which she is seated and does not bend at the corners on the wall in the background; indicating the mysterious light is free-standing and not a reflection on the wall.
So all we have are unsubstantiated stories, some eye-witness accounts and the confirmation of Doris’s middle son, the only one who will speak openly about the events. To this day he seems angry and in the interview in question he curses, threatens and carries himself in a less than approachable manner.
Many professionals in the field of paranormal research claim that the activity was perhaps a manifestation of Doris’s psychic abilities that she was unaware she had. From years of her own alcohol abuse, to abusive relationships and general feelings of burden, regret and loss she perhaps was projecting her anger and despair and created these forces as a way to deal with what she was keeping inside. Sort of a split-personality dissociative disorder where instead of manifesting alternates in her body she was able to manifest them outside.
Is that possible? According to some psychiatrists yes. We give off magnetic energy. When we get angered or upset these energies can spike and as a result we experience mechanical failures. Cell phones stop working, the computer goes on the fritz, and electronics go crazy. If our magnetic pulses in such a short burst can affect our surroundings imagine what a sustained incident could affect. People and objects around us? Maybe.
Unfortunately, just like the Amityville case before it and the Connecticut haunting that would come decades later, the line between fact and fiction has become blurred and just like those events, subsequent occupants in the home have not reported any paranormal activity. As with an Entity haunting, the target appears to have been Doris and her family as they reported activity in their new home. Eventually though the family dropped off the face of the earth and lived their life in relative quiet.
Doris Bither moved to Texas then back to California where she eventually died of heart failure. What truly happened in the Bither home in Culver City, CA remains unclear. Was it a true intelligent haunting, poltergeist activity or demonic? Or was it simply a confused woman with a special gift that she didn’t even know she possessed? Or, just like the famous cases that came before and after, is it all a hoax?