Dr. Kerry Gaynor and Dr. Barry Taff were the first to be approached by Carla Moran to investigate the paranormal phenomenon at her house, later to be known by the movie "The Entity." In interviews done by Omni Magazine, Fate - 1996, and also in the movie documentary Sightings - "Ghost's", Dr. Gaynor explains in his own words how it all happened and came to be.
It was 1974 when Gaynor began to investigate the Culver City, California, haunting. "At the time I had a colleague named Barry Taff," said Gaynor. 'We were working under the auspices of Dr. Thelma Moss, but Barry and I did most of the research on this case." Gaynor notes that Moss was a prominent UCLA parapsychologist who is now retired. Gaynor and Taff made an appointment with the woman from the bookstore to discuss her case. Gaynor said the first time they visited the woman they conducted a two-hour interview.
But Gaynor knew that she was holding something back. I kept pushing her," said Gaynor. "Finally she said that a ghost had raped and beat her. 'We laughed when we left her home, and I thought she was probably off her rocker. But she called me back a few days later and said that several people visiting her had seen an apparition, And this is what we're always looking for independent verification of the phenomena.
"I'm a scientist and that's how I approach it. I don't take their stories at face value. Their story is the beginning and I don't discount it, but I'm there to experience the phenomena and document it." The Entity case was to become one of the most famous in paranormal research history. It was so well-documented, in fact, that a movie was made about it. The 1983 film The Entity starred Barbara Hershey and was loosely based on the Culver City haunting. Gaynor and Taff served as technical advisors on the film. The second time Gaynor and Taff visited the Entity house, things began to happen. Although they never saw the apparition, they witnessed visual phenomena. "We were seeing little pops of light," said Gaynor. "They would happen quickly. We would try to shoot the camera, but they were happening too quickly and we just couldn't catch them. We were shooting with a Polaroid and with a 35mm camera."
I was standing in the kitchen talking to the woman's 16year-old son when a lower cabinet door slammed open and a pan came flying out," said Gaynor. It flew out and landed about three or four feet from the cabinet. I immediately tore the cabinet apart to see if there were any tricks, or if anyone was hiding in the cabinets. But there was nothing. And that's when everything started. "The lady screamed, 'It's in the bedroom. We ran in there and that's when all the lights started happening. That's when we got the Polaroid shots. "The lady shouted, 'The ghost is in the comer'.
We snapped the picture, but it was bleached out and not very interesting. "She shouted again, 'It's in the corner.' And again the photo was bleached. At this point, I thought the camera wasn't working. So I took two control pictures. I asked her if the ghost was gone. She said yes. The picture came out perfectly. A few seconds later I took another one. Perfect picture. "But then we got the most interesting Polaroid. The woman said, 'It is right in front of my face.' Those were her exact words. So we took a shot. And in the photo you can see the curtains and the buttons on her dress, but her whole face is obliterated. We took a second picture when she once again said, 'It's right in front of my face.' Amazingly, her face was obliterated again, but you could see details in the rest of the picture.
"At this point I wanted another control picture. So I asked if the ghost was gone. When she said it was gone, the picture I took was perfect". "On the third night we decided to start with a séance in the bedroom," said Gaynor. The walls of the bedroom, however, were covered with chipped and uneven paint. Some of Gaynor's colleagues had commented that the uneven paint created images in his photographs. So the researchers covered the walls entirely with black poster board, so that nobody could make that claim again.
They also numbered the black paper boards with a magnetic orientation and a number.
"Then the lights appeared," said Gaynor. 9 would call out, 'All right, blink three times on board number two for yes. Blink twice on board number five for no.' It would blink on the exact board that I asked it to. At that point the level of excitement really increased, because it seemed like we were communicating with something intelligent.
"But I was very concerned that somebody was faking it by projecting light onto the wall. So I said to it, 'If you're really here, come off the wall. 'I didn't think anything would happen. But then the light pulled right out of the wall and floated into the middle of the room. It started spinning and twisting and expanding in different directions simultaneously. I had nine professional photographers shooting every angle of that room. It was extraordinary because it was floating in the middle of the room and the light was dimensional. It is very difficult to fake something like that. If you project light, you have to project it onto a flat surface. You can't project light into empty space unless you have some kind of very sophisticated laser system."
Gaynor said this was not likely a sophisticated hoax because this house had twice been condemned by the city, and the investigators had sealed off the entire bedroom. Nobody could go in or out during the photo session. "What we saw was not what ended up in the photograph," said Gaynor. "We were seeing balls of light, but the photo shows arcs of light over the woman's head". Taff, Gaynor's colleague at the time and now a Los Angeles parapsychologist and writer, confirms witnessing this phenomena at the Entity house. Taff described the lights as three, dimensional greenish-yellow, to-white balls of light. "We never saw arcs of light. We saw balls of light," said Taff. "However, the camera captured arcs.'; The team captured a spectacular 35mm photo showing reverse arcs of light over the woman's head. This photo was published in Popular Photography magazine. "Popular Photography has never published a ghost photograph before or since," said Gaynor. "But they published this one." This photograph was also broadcast on the television show Sightings in 1992.
Gaynor said he was not able to rid the woman of the assaulting ghost. "I'm not an exorcist," said Gaynor. I document the phenomena. I research the phenomena, and I do a lot of counseling with these people." The woman described the attacking entity as a solid male figure that she did not recognize. So how did the woman know it was a ghost? "Because after the ghost assaulted her," said Gaynor, "it faded away." "There were actually three apparitions according to her account," Gaynor stated. "Two would hold the woman down and the third would rape, her.
It was horrible. She would call me in the middle of the night screaming, and I would go over there and she would be all beaten up. She had black and blue marks all over her body." But Gaynor never witnessed the attacks nor saw the apparitions in solid form. Gaynor said, however, that he and several of his colleagues did witness the formation of a full-figured apparition. 'We saw the head take shape and then the shoulders. The light extended down to the ground until it became a full humanoid figure of greenish-white light. Then it just vanished, almost as if somebody pulled the plug. It didn't fade away. It just vanished. Everybody was completely in awe and silent as we watched this happen."
Taff adds, "After the apparition disappeared, two young men assisting our investigation passed out and had to be carried from the room." "The question, of course is, Were the attacks done by a person, or were they done by a ghost?" said Gaynor. "And there is no way to distinguish between the two. The apparition didn't rape anyone else except the woman. These attacks were very personal. "The attacks only happened very late at night. One night the woman's 16-year-old son heard his mother screaming. He ran into her bedroom and saw his mother being thrown around on the bed. When the son reached over to help her, something hit him on the head and threw him across the room. He broke his arm." Gaynor noted an unusual coincidence. When the movie The Entity was being filmed, the actor playing the role of the son broke the same arm while filming this particular scene.
The woman was attacked about 15 times during the ten-week investigation. "But she got stronger," said Gaynor. "And she was able to realize that she wasn't crazy and that there really was something going on. She got stronger, and in my opinion, she outlasted it." The woman moved five times, but the attacking entity followed her. She eventually moved further away. "As she moved," Gaynor said, "the phenomena diminished, and after about two years the attacks stopped altogether,"
Gaynor said he cannot prove ghosts exist. But what is proof? "A ghost in a jar," said Gaynor, "or at least that's what the scientific community would want." Gaynor said he doesn't feel any need to convince the world to believe in ghosts. I want the public to know about it, but I don't have an agenda. I'm not interested in standing on a pulpit and saying, 'You must believe in ghosts.' Something is going on that demands our attention. I'm much more interested in figuring it out."