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Clues from 'Mr. Entity' - The Moffitt Family Poltergeist Case

"The bed was still moving when this photo was taken."  9-12-1990

Something to consider regarding Deborah Moffit's nonfiction case study book Unwelcomed (2015) chronicling the unpredictable 1987-1992 haunting of her family residing in Rancho Cucamonga (see preceding article), the experiencers' perception of the haunting presence as a demon is a factor when one attempts to make sense of the phenomena that manifested.  The word 'demon' or 'demonic' connoting evil is a superstitious derivative of the Latin/Greek 'daemon'/'daimon,' perhaps reminding one of the account of the 'daemon' of Socrates with Socrates recognizable as being one of the chosen ones (not by men) to expand the spiritual understanding of others throughout the ages.  When reflecting about what is reported about a particular case of 'unexplained phenomena,' a reader also should evaluate how witness testimonials were influenced by personal beliefs, emotions and objectives. 
In a previous blog article about the Morse talking poltergeist case reported in a 1684 book by Increase Mather, it was noticeable that there was ferocity expressed in the descriptions of the uncanny travails of the Morse family by a "daemon" yet without mentioning any lasting injuries.  It seems evident that experiencers of so-called 'paranormal phenomena' ignorant of context could—perhaps even unintentionally—distort or exaggerate aspects of their account in accordance with their own assumptions or theories; therefore, readers must carefully consider all the aspects of manifestations in developing a perspective of any particular case of transcendental communication/anomalous phenomena.
There are photos of knives included in Unwelcomed with Deborah reporting that knives were found placed in strategic locations throughout the house — ostensibly "for Lee to sit or lie down upon," Deborah appraised.  One photo shows six or more knives atop Lee's new bed.  In another photo, two knives are seen protruding from the carpeted staircase leading upstairs.  However, Lee was never actually harmed by any of the knives.  There are also photos of symbols carved onto a door.  The figure of a cross is a symbol seen repeatedly among the photos.


After moving to their new house in the Alta Loma neighborhood, a gamut of mysterious phenomena continued to be experienced by Deborah Moffitt, her husband Bill, their son Jamie and her in-laws Bill Sr. and Lee.  The weird occurrences included:

* The family would sometimes hear their names called when each was alone
* doorbell ringing with no one at the door
* footsteps heard all over the house
* sounds "like someone was moving furniture upstairs" (the family were all sleeping in the downstairs bedroom)
*sawing noises
* the "creaking and rattling" of an antique wheelbarrow outside in the middle of the night (a sound that greatly disturbed Bill Sr.)
* knocks and raps (commonly associated with hauntings)
*a serenade one night with "a rhythmic pounding that resembled stereotypical Native American war drums" (the next day two Native American shamans were coming to the house)

Deborah mentioned that the pounding serenade incident "was enough to drive Lee and Bill crazy"; however, Deborah's reaction was different: "I guess the Entity thought it was amusing, and to tell you the truth so did I.  Unfortunately, it appeared that I was the only one in the family who did."

I've personally always favored a scientific verbatim transcript approach to document transcendental communication; for example, books mentioned in previous blog posts such as  Health: Its Recovery and Maintenance (1929) by transcendental communicator 'Abduhl Latif,' Uri: A Journal of the Mystery of Uri Geller (1974) by Andrija Puharich (1, 2), The Magic Bag (first printed in 1949, expanded and revised in future editions with a Part 2 published in 1952) by [or through] 'trance channeler' Mark Probert, Where Two Worlds Meet (1951) by Arthur Findlay (1, 2), and The Image of an Oracle: A Report on Research Into the Mediumship of Eileen J. Garrett (1964) by Ira Progoff (1, 2, 3).

Verbatim transcripts make it less likely that misunderstandings will arise, which is my estimation in relation to what is related by Deborah about an occurrence described in the ninth chapter of Unwelcomed.  Seeking someone who might help them expel the unwanted manifestations, the family contacted Thelma Moss who had founded the UCLA parapsychology lab in the 1970s.  This resulted with researcher Kerry Gaynor visiting them in 1988 and he went on to hold a seance in the house with the mandate that the Moffitt family members themselves not participate.  Deborah described what she had learned from Gaynor about the seance.

Supposedly a spirit was contacted and spoke through the medium [a young lady].  He said that the spirit was the brother of my grandfather.  It seems that my grandfather had been responsible for giving his little brother a bath one day when tragedy struck.  Somehow the boy had drowned in the tub.  The spirit said that it was tormenting our family because it wanted revenge against me.

After consulting a female Native American shaman named Red Wind whose elder shaman told Deborah "You are not who you think you are," the Moffitts arranged for a new intervention to be attempted.  When Red Wind and another shaman, Fire Panther, confronted the haunting presence to force the entity to show itself in the attic, Deborah witnessed a bizarre event.

Slowly and right before my eyes I watched as the pink insulation on the inside of one of the walls slid off and formed into the rough shape of a huge head.  It was at least five feet tall, but only a head formed.  As it became more defined we could see that it had a very large chin, a large strong nose, high cheekbones, and where and ear should have been a circular horn began.  The horn made a circle on the side of the head and then curved over the head and past the forehead.

After around 40 seconds, the visage fell apart.  Before leaving, Red Wind told Deborah that Fire Panther had put the entity into Bill's dog named Jeff.  The followed a period without any paranormal manifestations.  During this time, the dog became very ill and diagnosed with lymphangiectasia "within a short time he passed away."  Deborah recalled what happened thereafter: "Almost immediately we began seeing signs of the entity's return."

In the later part of 1988, the Moffitts were referred to contact Los Angeles psychic Brian Hurst and Deborah mentioned that he has remained a trusted friend.  Upon meeting him, it was learned that Brian was a trance medium although he chose not to go into that state while inside the Moffitt house.  Through Brian, the Moffitts became acquainted with a paranormal researcher from the East Coast named Gary, who offered to stay with the family in the house and document the happenings.  Beginning his investigation by announcing "Show me what you can do!," a book immediately struck Gary on the side of his head.  Deborah wrote: "From that moment until Gary left the house months later, the entity tormented him on the same level as he did Lee; that is to say unmercifully."  Eventually some explanations about Gary's predicament would be offered by 'Mr. Entity.'

While researching paranormal investigators, Deborah learned about Ed and Lorraine Warren and was able to get their telephone number.  She recalled, "That night something happened that forced us into making a decision [about bringing the Warrens to the house from the East Coast]."  A torrent of water cascaded down the stairs from an inexplicable source.  Deborah went to the mirror [where messages were often found] and screamed for the entity to stop the water.  "It was as if a switch was suddenly turned off . . . We spent the next five hours using mops, towels, and wet vacuums to sop up the water."  It was 1:30 am on the East Coast when Deborah first spoke with Lorraine Warren via telephone.  Lorraine offered to have Deborah call again later.  Deborah learned that the Warrens were already scheduled to come to California to attend a meeting and the couple agreed to visit the Moffits and try to help them.

Deborah remembered: "During our wait for the Warrens the entity stayed busy tormenting Lee and Gary.  The entity's new favorite topic for discussion was Gary's sex life . . . the main theme seemed to be the diminutive size of Gary's penis . . ."  Deborah realized that having Gary stay with them "took some of the pressure off of Lee."  Photographs show the results of phenomena similar to the effect of scissors upon Gary's personal effects.

The Warrens arrived in February 1989.  During their visit, one night Ed performed the 'Rite of Provocation' in the Moffitts' living room.  During the rite, Deborah noticed "something was off with Bill Sr."
His left arm slowly curled up toward his chest.  His back began to curve forward and his head rested on his chest.  He stood up and started walking toward Ed, dragging his right leg as he went.

Slowly Bill Sr. advanced toward Ed.  He raised his hand, and between his fingers he held a small piece of wood, which he thrust in front of my father-in law's face.  "You can't hurt me.  This piece of wood is a holy relic and it protects me!" he shouted.  Bill Sr. looked at him in the face and said "I will bite off your hand, chew it and that piece of wood up and spit it in your face!"

Bill Sr. remained silent.  He walked back to the couch, sat down, and began acting like nothing had happened.

Bill Sr. "had no recollection of what just transpired."  Deborah reported: "He [the Entity] would take any religious objects the Warrens would give to us and either destroy them or throw them into the swimming pool."  Deborah wrote that Ed Warren explained that "there was nothing personally they could do to make the entity leave.  Lorraine believed that the demon was attached to Lee; so moving would not help us."  The Warrens had no church connections on the West Coast so they contacted a friend who put the Moffitts in touch with a High Episcopal Church.  The Moffitts went to Saint Mary's of the Angels in Los Angeles and after an impromptu baptism of Jamie, an exorcism was arranged for the following Sunday.

On Saturday Bill Sr. made it known that he didn't approve of an Episcopalian priest performing a religious rite at their house and warned her that the Catholic Church would excommunicate her.  Although the exorcist came to the house, rang the doorbell and knocked, he was not allowed inside.

The Warrens attended their meeting on that Sunday and went home the next day.  They called and I explained what had happened.  Ed was very nice and apologized for not being able to help us.

Deborah wrote: "The writing on the mirror resumed, along with the usual phenomena."  A metaphysical bookstore cashier recommended that the family contact a "light worker from Carson, California," Reverend David Zubrinsky.  When David told Deborah that he was a "walk-in" (indicating "a person who takes over another person's body when the soul leaves it" or at least a professed belief about such circumstances), Deborah was disenchanted yet he impressed her by presenting an old book with "a picture of a demon's sigil: a triangle with a tail.  Under the drawing, written in old script were the words, 'Demon of Destruction.'"  It was arranged for David to visit the Moffitt house the next day; however, the visit was brief and uneventful.  David telephoned them a few days later.
He told us he didn't have the power to make this entity leave.

Surprisingly the entity seemed happy to see David.  He wrote [on the mirror] that he knew David from one of the Reverend's previous lives, but at this time gave no details.

In March Gary returned to stay with Brian Hurst with Deborah observing, "With two thirds of his clothes destroyed and half of his hair left we didn't blame him one bit."  One night Lee went to the pantry and the door locked behind her.  Opening the door, the family found Lee laying on the floor, rubbing her neck and crying.  Deborah went to the mirror to talk to the entity.

I told him that I would treat him with respect and that he would treat me with respect.  He was not to touch my child, my husband, or Lee.

When I returned the entity had written on the mirror, "I will not touch the child.  I will not touch your husband, but Lee belongs to me."

Deborah asked the entity to clarify what me meant and acknowledges about her recollection of the messages, "the verbatim dialogue has been lost in a sea of time twenty five years wide."  The entity "wrote out a remarkable story of past lives and satanic worship" involving a monastery in 1600s France, black magic, blood sacrifice, and (as understood by Deborah) a "nun, who coincidentally was a previous incarnation of Lee."  It was at this time that Deborah began calling the haunting presence "Mr. Entity" as she refused to use "Prince."
He [entity] started to talk to me of  events past and future.  I asked him questions and he would answer me.  The entity even started to bring me small gifts: rocks, pictures, jewelry, and various odds and ends.

Deborah mentioned that the entity continuing to demand Lee's death put a damper on their communication.  When parapsychology researcher Dr. William Roll expressed interest in the Moffitts' case, a telephone conversation was scheduled.  Deborah and her husband were shocked when Bill Sr. "for some unknown reason . . . told Dr. Roll that we were planning on having a movie made about our experiences with the demon."  Dr. Roll's response was to no longer want to get involved with the case and Deborah was left pondering Bill Sr.'s conduct.  At this point in the book, a photographed mirror writing message is shown that states: "I got your chain and the cross.  I can enter him without his cross."

During a weekend getaway to Victorville, Deborah was awoken Sunday morning by pounding on the cabin door.  It was Lee from the adjacent cabin.  She brought Deborah and Bill to see the bathroom where Lee's baby powder covered the floor.  Deborah explained: "In the powder were spots that looked like footprints . . . The heel looked like a large semi-circle.  Where toes should have been were only small marks that looked like claws.  There was nothing in the space left between heel and claws.  They were considerably larger than a normal human footprint, with the length between prints suggesting a long stride."
Successive mirror messages "Lee die in 10 days" then 9, 8, 7, etc., proved to be warnings as on the last day Lee became "violently ill" with what was diagnosed as double pneumonia and congestive heart failure.  During her hospitalization for a month, Brian Hurst gave Lee a picture of India's Sai Baba and a plastic bag of ashes associated with the spiritual teacher who was known for the 'vibhuti' materializing in his presence (Spirit manifests in unusual ways around certain individuals to provide metaphors for others).  Deborah reported that on the same night after visiting Lee, Brian experienced a robbery attempt at gunpoint, found all the food in his refrigerator was spoiled, and his car was towed and impounded for no apparent reason: "He believed it was a warning from the entity to stay away from Lee . . ."  
Deborah wrote about the phenomena following Lee returning home from the hospital: ". . . everything started up again in full force."  Among the mirror writing messages shown in the book is the sentence "GOD PROTECT US" with GOD crossed out and "PRINCE" written above the word; and Deborah reported a message about a pair of would-be interveners who visited the house: "Throw a net over him.  He's nuts" and "Thomas has a 12 inch dick.  That is why Muriel walks funny."

On April 23, 1989 around 3 am, Bill Sr. awoke when he felt something cold on his leg.  Deborah recalled: "It looked like a dagger made of dark metal . . . I went into the bathroom to query Mr. Entity.  On the mirror it said, 'I want a blood ritual' . . . He said that it was a spear head . . . he gave detailed instruction on how to perform the ritual . . . I told Mr. Entity that there was not going to be a blood ritual performed under any circumstances."  The next day, Deborah and her husband took the spear head to the Museum of Natural History in Los Angeles.  A staff member examined the spear head and told them that it was from the Belgian Congo in Africa.  "He marveled at the fact that it was obviously over two hundred years old but showed no signs of deterioration." 
"The spear apported to us by Mr. Entity."  4-24-1989

Deborah noted that shortly after the appearance of the spear, Gary returned to stay with the family.  He told them that he had nowhere else to go.  Gary would eventually be involved in the events leading to the cessation of the signs of Mr. Entity's presenceUnwelcomed will be further profiled in next week's blog article.

This post first appeared on Interesting Articles, Links And Other Media, please read the originial post: here

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Clues from 'Mr. Entity' - The Moffitt Family Poltergeist Case


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