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Clyde Lewis | October 17, 2019
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When I am faced with the idea of talking about haunted houses, there is often a tendency to go straight for the sensational angle of playing Electronic Voice Phenomenon and trying to snap pictures or video. This, of course, is all part of the showmanship and many people need to see or hear it to believe it. The best thing is experiencing it.

There have been a lot of people that I have talked to over the years about how their houses are haunted and while they say they don’t mind their restless haunt, they most certainly wish that they were made aware of the ghost prior to buying, and of course the sordid details of why the ghost is there in the first place.

Most real estate laws require sellers to disclose “material facts” such as structural concerns, the age, and condition of the roof and shingles, leaks in the foundation and walls, existing mold and mildew, and total square footage. Material facts can also include other items that affect the house’s value such as the amount of property taxes, details about individuals who claim to have an interest in the house or overlaps on adjacent properties.

Items not considered material facts include personal information about a seller, such as pending foreclosure or divorce, illnesses of the seller, and the seller’s reasons for moving. What if the seller’s reason for moving involves the paranormal?

In my old neighborhood, there was a house that was haunted by the ghost of a little girl. The girl’s face would sometimes appear in the window and the couple who lived there also claimed that there were times when the little girl would make the bed and even clean the house.

While this seems to be atypical even for a ghost they wanted to rent their home but the tenants would not remain. They would complain about knocking and broken items. The ghost apparently liked the original owners but detested the others who would come in.

For some time the place was rented out to a practicing witch. She was not a traditional witch and the entire house was decorated with all sorts of religious iconography, including artifacts and icons used in Santeria rituals and a room that was changed without permission into a mediation room covered in pages from the bible and other apocryphal texts.

Needless to say, the house was becoming a breeding ground for paranormal hijinks and soon the original owner’s husband an eye doctor came to me and said that he was going to sell the house because he was getting a divorce. He needed the house exorcised of all restless spirits.

It was a task that wasn’t all that easy and from what I understand, the ghosts never left the home and whenever I would see the new owner he would ask me questions about some of the things that went on there.

I had to disclose that while I was unaware of any satanic activity, the home was pretty much clean. He then disclosed to me that it was never disclosed to him that a young girl hung herself in the upstairs room on a pipe in the closet. The girl had found a very pretty nightgown brushed her hair and put on makeup. She then took a blanket that she always slept with tied it around the pipe and hanged there for days before her mother found her.

This type of story is all too typical. There are many realtors that overlook a traumatic event in a home because in reality deaths happen in homes every day. It is nothing out of the ordinary to hear of deaths that happen in homes. However, if there seems to be some sort of traumatic event wouldn’t it be a courtesy to be informed in case there are paranormal activities that seem to be manifesting because of the event?

Must a seller disclose whether their property is haunted? Or if a horrible crime, murder, or suicide occurred on the property?

David Oman moved to a new home just 150 feet from 10050 Cielo Drive, the house in Benedict Canyon where Sharon Tate and four other people were murdered by the Manson family on August 9, 1969.

The mansion where the murders took place had been torn down in 1994, though a different house was later built on site. Five years after the home was razed, Oman’s father purchased a nearby plot for $40,000, and together they built a house on it.

During construction, a worker told Oman heard voices and footsteps coming from the top floor and that he knew he wasn’t alone. On further inspection, he saw that nobody was there. Others claimed to hear voices and footsteps and feeling a cold breeze on the back of their necks. Then, in July 2004, Oman woke from a deep sleep at 2 a.m. to find “a full-body” apparition at the bottom of his bed pointing towards the driveway which leads to the murder site.

Fascinated and curious, he went to the LAPD to see if items from the murder had been left on the once-vacant land that held his house. If a bloodied piece of clothing or a knife carrying the victims’ DNA had been on this property, that might somehow serve as a connection, he thought. That’s when he saw a photo of Jay Sebring, Sharon Tate’s close friend and hairdresser, also brutally murdered on that horrible night. Sebring bore an eerie resemblance to the figure he saw at his bedside.

What is odd about the Oman case is that Sharon Tate herself had a similar experience in another house before she was brutally murdered.

Once upon a time in Hellywood there was a man by the name of Paul Bern, a not so good looking Hollywood mystery man who was able to convince a blonde bombshell actress to marry him.

Sitting at 9860 Easton Drive, in Beverly Hills, was a Bavarian-style house built sometime between 1910 and 1920. Paul Bern owned the house in the 1920s and 30s and had his new bride Jean Harlow, move in with him after they were married in July of 1932.

Paul Bern was a cinematic genius. Born in Germany in 1889, he began dating Harlow, shocking thousands in Hollywood as he lagged behind when it came to looks.

What he lacked in looks, though, he made up in personality.

Bern had helped launch the career of Harlow, but tragically, 2 months after they were married, Paul Bern was found dead in the home with a gunshot wound to the head and what appeared to be a suicide note. The official cause of death was ruled a suicide but there have long been rumors that Bern’s death was actually a murder staged to look like a suicide.

The butler found his body in his wife’s bedroom; he was nude, drenched in his wife’s favorite perfume, and lying in front of a full-length mirror. However, he called MGM instead of the police, prompting the studio to send over its own security staff.

Two hours later, the Los Angeles police were notified. Later, a suicide note left on a dressing room was discovered. Paul wrote, “Dearest Dear… Unfortunately, this is the only way to make good the frightful wrong I have done you and wipe out by abject humility. I love you…. Paul”

Beneath his signature, he added a postscript saying, “You understand that last night was only a comedy.”

To this day, Paul Bern’s death is considered a mystery.

While MGM stand firm by their conviction, there are several bits of evidence that prove that Bern didn’t kill himself, such as the two empty glasses and a woman’s wet bathing suit found near the swimming pool.

Many people claim that Bern’s death somehow hexed the house with a curse that has seen tragedy strike its occupants on multiple occasions. After Bern’s death, Harlow moved out but later died an untimely death at the age of 26 from kidney disease. In the years that followed, two other people committed suicide in the Easton Drive home and one person drowned in the pool. In 1963, the ill-fated house on Easton drive was purchased by the young celebrity hairstylist, Jay Sebring.

Jay was engaged to the then-struggling-actress Sharon Tate. However, she ended their three-year relationship when she met her future husband, Roman Polanski.

As their breakup was far from bitter, they remained close friends. One night in 1966, Sharon stayed at Jay’s house on her own. While sleeping in his master bedroom she later recounted to several friends how she was suddenly awoken by an apparition of “a creepy little naked man” at the side of her bed, who later was walking through the bedroom. Startled, Sharon bolted out of bed and ran down the stairs where she saw another apparition, this one was a dead body tied to the staircase banisters – the corpse’s throat was slit.

Sharon later said that she believed that the first apparition in the bedroom was the ghost of Paul Bern. She did not know who the other apparition belonged to, only that she could only determine that whoever it was they were tied and murdered in a horrible way.

Many people believe that the second ghost – the murdered one – was a chilling premonition that foreshadowed Sharon and Jay’s own tragic deaths.

We all know what happened on that horrific night 50 years ago when Sharon, Jay, and friends Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski and a guest of the groundskeeper, Steven Parent were brutally murdered by members of the Manson Family.

After his murder, Jay Sebring’s house was sold to a doctor and his family and it is reportedly still owned by the same people today.

Paul Bern and Jay Sebring still haunt the house – and there are also many haunting that are now taking place at Cielo Drive at the Oman house.

The very first person to document the paranormal activities at the Oman House was world-renowned parapsychologist Barry Taff, who said in over 4,000 cases he investigated, this house had the highest consistent EMF readings he’d seen. He called it ‘the Mount Everest of haunted houses’ and ‘the Disneyland for the dead.’”

In 2011, Oman served as a writer/producer on House at the End of the Drive, a fictionalized movie based on what he’s witnessed on Cielo Drive. Every few months, he now opens his home for an evening of ghost hunting.

I guess when you can go unfazed by death and ghosts – you make the best of it – but there are still a whole lot of people that want to know what kind of house they are purchasing and whether or not it has been the scene of trauma or death.

According to information provided by Legal Zoom, the Association of Realtors of California addressed the issue of death disclosure requirements. Civil Code ¤1710.2 states death on a property need not be disclosed if it occurred more than three years prior to the sale. The statute does require disclosure of a death more than three years old if the buyer asks. Many brokerage firms have supplemental disclosure forms that specifically inquire about death.

To avoid liability, it is recommended the seller disclose a death if it occurred within the last three years and let the buyer decide. Some states have even gone further requiring home sellers to disclose “stigmas” attached to a property, which can include proximity to homeless shelters and if it was the scene of a violent crime.

In a famous 1991 New York case, a buyer sued the seller and the seller’s Realtor for failure to disclose the house’s ghostly reputation. Prior to putting the house up for sale, the seller wrote about her bumps in the night for the local paper and Readers’ Digest, but the buyers were unaware of the home’s reputation. Although the court did not rule nondisclosure of the house’s reputation as fraudulent, it did allow the buyer to back out of his contract and get his down payment back.

According to a study by two business professors at Wright University, houses, where murder or suicide have occurred, can take 50% longer to sell, and at an average of 2.4 percent less than comparable homes. A California appraiser who specializes in a diminution in value issues says that a well-publicized murder generally lowers selling price 15 to 35 percent.

In South Carolina, paranormal activity does not have to be disclosed by a seller, but it must be revealed if the buyer asks. If this is something that is of concern then perhaps it may be something to ask when buying a home or even renting one.

There are some who will say that the whole idea is silly and superstitious. They firmly believe that there is nothing supernatural to worry about and that the thought of disclosure is a waste of time. Whether or not ghosts exist, the laws in some states may hold home sellers responsible for disclosing rumors of haunting, and it’s important for sellers to be aware of those requirements.

There is also the old axiom “buyer beware” because while there are “material artifacts” that may ruin the experiences at home, the spiritual feeling and cognitive resonance is very important.

What happened to the people at 10050 Cielo Drive that fateful night was sudden, violent, and incredibly tragic. In fact, what happened there was so terrifyingly violent that the whole area seems to be affected by it.

It didn’t make sense to Oman that, if in fact, he was seeing the spirits of the Manson Family’s victims, they’d somehow moved next door to the site on which they died.

That’s not how ghosts work, most believers will tell you.

So perhaps the entire area is haunted and that many Hollywood tragedies and trauma can be assessed in the restless activity going on in that area.

The Oman house might be a hub of the activity that spreads throughout the Hollywood hills.

When people think of haunted houses, or even haunted properties they often think that it is a requirement that someone has to die there, or there has to be a traumatic event that would cause a haunting.

There are special cases where a traumatic event can happen blocks from a location and yet you can still pick up what is called residual haunting. Residual hauntings are non-threatening hauntings where spirits within an area seem to do the same things over and over — or appear to be doing the same types of repetitive actions.

For example, I was asked to do an investigation in Utah at a very new office building that someone claimed was haunted by little children. People were complaining of hearing children crying and screaming. They were also hearing the sound of thuds like bags of trash being dropped on the roof. We even captured an EVP of a young girl crying “Mommy don’t make me do it.”

In our investigation, we figured out what was happening.

Just blocks away was a Shilo Inn that in 1978 was called the International Dunes Hotel.

In August of that year, Rebecca David took her seven children to the eleventh-floor balcony of the International Dune Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah. The older children began to willingly jump off of the balcony. Rebecca threw the younger children off. One of the younger children grabbed the railing and fought, but Rebecca pulled him loose and threw him off.

I remember when this happened. The news reported that the onlookers were shouting “No,” “Stop,” as the children either jumped or were thrown off the balcony. When Rebecca got to the railing after all of her children were on the ground the onlookers yelled, “Jump! Jump!” She then jumped to her death.

One of the children amazingly survived the horrific tragedy. Rachel David, fifteen at the time, sustained severe injuries that confined her to a wheelchair.

Rachel’s father, Immanuel David believed himself to be a descendent of the House of David. He committed suicide two days before Rachel and her family jumped from the balcony. He died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Immanuel David changed his name from Charles Bruce Longo to Immanuel David because he believed himself to be a prophet of God. Many times he even claimed to be God, Jesus, or the Holy Ghost. He had a small cult of followers called the Family of David. Those who still belong to the Family of David believe that the Star of David belongs to Immanuel, not Jesus.

They also believed that when Immanuel killed himself, his family had to be with him because they could not be apart. A former follower said that Immanuel killed himself because he was facing indictment charges of wire fraud or tax evasion. Immanuel’s huge ego would not allow him to go to jail so he killed himself.

The children were described and bright, well dressed, and very polite by a family friend. They had absolute faith in their father and his power. It is believed that the family did not think they could function without him so they followed him in death.

David believed that he could use his mind to destroy things and claimed that he wanted to use his mind to destroy what he called “The Sinful State of California.” His ire, of course, was against Hollywood and how most of what came out of there was part of a satanic conspiracy.

In the field of a paranormal, there can be spirits that stir like echoes along a Mobius twist. In other words in the middle of a haunted area, there are two-dimensional sides, however, only one is perceived by the investigator. In a Mobius twist two sides converge which reduces the exclusivity of both, therefore creating an effect of mirroring the past and the present. In the moment the Mobius twist converges, there is a point where the investigator can call out to the ghosts.

The ghost theoretically sees the investigator in the future and the investigator sees the past and in a small moment in time communication can be had. The communication can sound as if it is in reverse; however, it is audible and is literally a call by the ghost to an echo in the Mobius twist. The ghost in its own timeline sees a shadow, and what we see is an echo.

The ghost we see is emblematic of the Mobius twist given that it collapses the living and the dead into one simultaneous figure. It is neither fully dead nor alive in the same way a Mobius strip has neither an inside nor an outside.

In a haunted house that is residually producing ghosts that are ambivalent, we must understand that in most cases these entities will not attack, or even try to communicate.

In some rare cases as during séances or during an investigation, ghosts can be felt and heard with electronic equipment or through a medium.

Each ghost is an image in the mirror, and they see you in the ethereal mirrors that line up perfectly in the Mobius twist. It is a world inverted and a dimension bent in order for this remarkable event to happen.

There are some people that see hauntings as something demonic or evil when in reality there may be a scientific explanation to what some places are haunted and some aren’t. The more we learn about hauntings and explore them for scientific and historic purposes we may find that they are merely a stirring of echoes that appear because of information that may have a tendency to unravel and reveal all kinds of secrets about the universe and what we call the supernatural.

Written by Clyde Lewis

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