Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Entity Case

I have to admit that the movie “The Entity” caught my attention in the early 80s. I wasn’t tracking ghost phenomenon in my teen years (I wanted to fit in with the others), but I still enjoyed horror movies, so I rushed out to see this one. It was another (like Amityville) movie based on a “true story.” In 1978, author Frank De Felitta published a novel titled The Entity. In 1981, this extraordinary story became a movie.

The main character, “Carla Moran” was a single mother living in Culver City, California. Her case came to be known as one of the most horrific poltergeist occurrences ever. This woman was reportedly raped by a demon and held down by two smaller demons. Her son was beaten and hurt, as well. Some even witnessed the bruises on her skin and researchers claim to have seen lights and shapes forming in her bedroom.

Researchers from UCLA, Dr.’s Gaynor and Taff, decided to follow the case. They performed interviews with her, studied her home, and set up some cameras (see picture above). At one point, they actually saw a man’s shape forming with lightning-like fissures dancing from his frame until he became a full humanoid shape in a greenish white light, according to witnesses.

Since that time, many have speculated on what actually occurred in that delapitated home in Southern California in the 70s. Carla Moran was from an abusive family and had been with several abusive males, as well as having difficulties with her own sons. Some have speculated it was her teenaged son and other sons who held her down and raped her. Others speculated that her extreme emotional state of mind somehow manifested poltergeist activity. Of course, with her apparently having passed on from cancer now and so much time passing, we will never truly know what was at work, but we can speculate and apply some logic.

This case reminds me of many episodes of “A Haunting” on Discovery Channel. I have yet to see a story which doesn’t revolve around bad family dynamics. In fact, I know of no families I’ve investigated about ghostly issues that didn’t have big-time emotional issues going on. The old chicken or the egg dilemma; was it the emotions that produced energy or attracted bad energy ? Or was it the emotional state of the people within who created issues in their minds to explain their fearful and angry emotions, being able to blame it on something else other than themselves? The famous ghostly scapegoat?

In the case of “The Entity,” I’m more inclined to believe that the stress and strain of raising all these children alone with barely any income in squalid conditions, having been abused most of her life, this woman was not a beacon for some kind of demonic assault, but more than likely a victim of her own dysfunction and extreme stress.

I’ve given talks before about ghost hunting and one of the strangest questions I often get asked after speaking is, “can a ghost have sex with you?” My answer is emphatically, nope.

A little experiment I like to use is the lemon. Imagine seeing a lemon tree, picking a heavy lemon, feeling the bumpy waxy surface, smelling the clean acidic scent of it, and then biting into the flesh, juice spurting. Does your mouth water? If you have a halfway decent imagination, it will.

The mind doesn’t know the difference from reality and what you tell it, so people with precarious states of mind can believe anything they tell themselves and their bodies will react. If you’ve ever seen a scary movie and your heart pounded, you know that’s true. You weren’t being chased by a maniac, but your mind didn’t know any better. This is what I believe is at work when people have such extraordinary claims of poltergeist activity and ghostly encounters that include highly physical unions.

I wouldn’t let my lack of faith in this being a true ghostly story keep you from viewing the movie or reading the book, both are very well done and very chilling. But, just like movie stars have to get airbrushed, plastic surgery, and other enhancements to look good on the screen, just remember that “true stories” do, as well.


  1. The Entity is one of those movies I still can't watch today alone by myself at night. In the daytime, okay. But not after dark.

    I have often wondered what this poor woman experienced. Now we'll never know, but your speculatoins were very interesting. Especially how bad family dynamics can spark activity. When I took her ghost hunting class, Donna Marsh said about the same thing. (She sees the most activity in homes that have high emotional drama/instability going on.) Now you're saying it too and I think that's a pretty clever conclusion and one that's probably right on the mark.

    Very neat post!

  2. Thanks Courtney. I do believe that the emotional states (especially withheld anger) amongst family members can create a situation with a lot of poltergeist activity. I've seen this repeatedly and once the anger is dispersed, activity settles down. Probably the most intriguing thing I've found is that people who are not part of the family dyanmics have witnessed such activity which makes me believe that it's something along the lines of residual hauntings, where a place records a very emotional event. Perhaps the moments of extreme stress and anxiety and anger create an imprint and when this occurs, poltergeist activity is being seen as it lays down its residual. That's my speculation, but I truly believe there's a seed of truth in that. p.s. I love your picture--I wanna be on that beach!

  3. i can't remember if i read the book, i think i did, but i did see the movie for sure, way back when. i do remember it freaking me out a bit.
    what do think of the "humanoid that the researchers saw? i didn't remember the research that was done.

  4. Sandra;
    Good question. The only photos that can be found are the arcing lights which appear to be a reflection from perhaps the rim of something glass and round. Although the movie showed this man-shape, no photos can be found of it, so my assumption at this point is that while everyone eagerly anticipated something to happen, when they did see lights or whatever they saw, they interpreted it to be what they expected--a male rapist. It's so very vague, I don't have any reason to believe they actually saw a man shape, but like a cloud, it could be interpreted as such.

  5. The events as seen in the movie The Entity, also happened to another girl, in town (Brossard) just south of Montreal, Canada. Never published or written about but witnessed by many, one guy had his arm broken in her house by this Entity. It followed her for years and began around age 11 in 1978. Most people evolved with her or stayed in the house do not wish to discuss the events.

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  7. Tou are the most beautiful ghost hunter I've ever seen in my whole life! Your blog really freaks me out!

  8. Thank you. I suspect my Dale the Doll posts will really freak you out. He gets very active this time of year and causes lots of mischief.