Graveyard Shift

The True Story Behind 'The Entity' Is Even More Terrifying And Disturbing Than The Movie 

Jacob Shelton
Updated June 14, 2019 157.2k views 10 items

In 1982 a film called The Entity was unleashed on American cinema-goers and this terrifying experience followed a young woman as she was sexually assaulted and tormented by an unseen force. In this case, reality is more frightening than fiction because the true story behind The Entity is a much more harrowing ordeal than could ever be contained on celluloid. The story of Doris Bither, the woman whose life inspired the classic horror film, is one of addiction, abuse, and spectral rape. It’s not for the weak of heart.

The haunting of Doris Bither was a true nightmare scenario. She was being raped, and her children assaulted, on an almost nightly basis – and there was nothing that could be done about it. The Entity is one of the few movies based on true events that manages to capture the feeling of desperation that the real life counterparts surely felt, but it still can't come anywhere close to the real horror that Bither was forced to endure until the day she died.

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Bither's Bleak Personal History May Have Contributed To Her Haunting
Bither's Bleak Personal ... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The True Story Behind 'The Entity' Is Even More Terrifying And Disturbing Than The Movie
Photo: The Entity/20th Century Fox

It’s impossible to say what actually causes any haunting. Some researchers believe that a haunting is caused by negative energy in a home stemming from a curse or past violence on the land. Other paranormal investigators believe that those who are haunted bring it on themselves. Unfortunately Bither passed away in 1999 and towards the end of her life she seemed to go out of her way to avoid discussing the case that had brought her so much pain throughout her life.

Some reports say she suffered from childhood abuse and her son Brian said that she was disowned by her family after a major altercation in her teens. Some paranormal researchers allege that Doris spent her teens taking part in séances and toying with dark magic. Without speaking directly to Bither there’s no way to know for sure exactly what happened in her childhood that would attract spirits toward her, but the one thing that is certain is that she led an incredibly tumultuous and tortured life.

Paranormal Investigators Studied The Bither Family Extensively, But Their Presence Only Made Matters Worse
Paranormal Investigators... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The True Story Behind 'The Entity' Is Even More Terrifying And Disturbing Than The Movie
Photo: The Entity/20th Century Fox

After the spectral rape started to become a normal thing in the Bither household, a group of paranormal investigators were called to see if they could figure out what was going on. The group of around 30 investigators set up cameras to catch anything happening while they were in the home. After everything was in place they had Bither conjure the entities.

According to a later report, Bither went into a frenzy and began to swear and taunt the spirits while the investigators watched. Allegedly light orbs began to manifest in the room, followed by a green mist that snaked out from a corner of the room. Investigators claim a mist formed in the shape of a human torso and a series of muscles. After having their film developed, the investigators were dismayed to find that none of this had been captured on camera, save for a “free arc” that was seen to be floating above Bither.

An interesting note to the paranormal investigator story comes from Bither’s son, Brian, who was just out of elementary school at the time of the attacks. He claims that the presence of the paranormal investigators exacerbated the haunting, making his home life a complete hell. He told an interviewer in 2009, “…When the team would show up, I hated it; because I knew as soon as they left, they would become so angry that the house would come alive!”

Theories For The Haunting Range From Scientific To Sexist
Theories For The Hauntin... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The True Story Behind 'The Entity' Is Even More Terrifying And Disturbing Than The Movie
Photo:  Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY)

Trying to pin down a reason behind such a violent and horrific assault is impossible. One must assume that whatever type of energy creates a spirit is capable of holding the same disgusting, vile sentiments that rapists have. Putting any logic into this kind of visceral, demeaning assault is tantamount to banging your head against a wall. Plenty of researchers have formed theories as to why Bither was attacked, unfortunately they all place the blame squarely on her shoulders. It’s an awful logical leap in a scenario with no logic.

One paranormal researcher’s theory is that Bither was psychic, or had psychic tendencies, and that her negative energy either made her an easy target for the passing spirits. Another theory is that because powerful men had abused Doris, she may have subconsciously materialized her attackers. There are also theories that because she dabbled in the occult as a teen that she had made herself a portal for these evil creatures. The most sound theory is that she was suffering from sleep paralysis, but that doesn’t account for how she would have received bruises on her inner thighs, or how her children were also assaulted by invisible creatures.

The Haunting May Not Have Been A Ghost But A Poltergeist
The Haunting May Not Hav... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The True Story Behind 'The Entity' Is Even More Terrifying And Disturbing Than The Movie
Photo: The Entity/20th Century Fox

There are some supernatural theories outside the underlying theory that Bither was raped by ghosts. The one that makes the most sense is that she may have been the victim of a poltergeist scenario, which is different than a normal haunting. Poltergeists are different from ghosts in that they’re noncorporeal, incredibly noisy energy beings that manifest in times of overbearing negative energy.

By all accounts Bither was an alcoholic who wasn’t receiving any treatment for her addiction. With four kids in the house it’s entirely likely that there were a lot of negative emotions floating around – this is the perfect breeding ground for a poltergeist. Bither and her children may have been at their wits ends and managed to create a harmful energy that ran amuck throughout the household.