Dr. Barry Taff Psychologist
The OMan house
By now, everyone’s probably heard of the incredible haunting on Cielo Drive at Benedict Canyon within Beverly Hills. This case was inspired by, and may be the natural fallout from, the heinous Sharon Tate murders back in August of 1969. There are real scientific reasons that this location is plagued by such recurring paranormal events, and it’s far more complicated than Charles Manson’s cult slaughtering five people at this location on a hot August night night more than four decades ago. These recurring events are the result of a confluence of several key factors and variables acting in concert to generate such incredible and durable paranormal activity. By the way, the house photo depicted here is NOT the house in question within this article, it’s an old picture of the house Sharon Tate lived and unfortunately died in back in 1969.
Sharon Tate murder location on Cielo Drive
If you watched the awful Haunted History season opener (from the hacks at Pilgrim Studios, who produce the fraudulent paranormal reality series Ghost Hunters) on July 12, 2013, you saw little more than redundant, ghoulish, bloodbath reenactments of the 1969 slayings, while the real substance of this incredible case was diminished to totally unqualified people talking about worthless K2 meters, which are about as relevant to scientific paranormal research as your running shoes, key chain or watch are.
After more than 4,500 investigations over the course of more than four decades, few cases require the numerous visits that this one did.
There are times in all of our lives when everything appears to come together in just the right place at just the right time for just the right reason(s). One might refer to such a situation as a synchronicity or a convergence, where everything directly leads one down a certain path for an, as yet, undetermined purpose.
Such extraordinary experiences often involve love, work, or an incredible happenstance of good and unfortunately, occasionally bad fortune. In most situations, it is difficult, if not impossible, to unravel the true nature behind the various elements coalescing in just the right way to produce the extraordinary outcome.
In scientific parapsychological research, such events are so incredibly rare that there isn’t even nomenclature to describe such an occurrence, possibly because such an event has never, to the best of anyone’s knowledge, occurred, or at least been published. Until now, that is.
In July of 2005, I believe that just such a convergence took place in my very own backyard, so to speak. It appeared that fate had brought me into an investigation that ranks as the benchmark or high water mark of my four-decade career. dwarfing The Entity, Hollymont and even San Pedro cases. Seemingly, everything is present in the same place, minutes from where I live, at the same time. However, I was about to discover that not all things that come in a beribboned box are as benign as they first appear.
This particular investigation is the reason why some of us have chosen to dedicate their entire adult lives to studying various aspects of the paranormal, hoping that just the right collection of variables come together when one is present and able to document them.
And of course, the end result is hopefully a major step forward in knowledge, perhaps even a breakthrough, that provides answers to some very old questions plaguing the human condition like, where do we come from and what happens to us after we die?
However, this story really begins when I received a call from an old friend named Steve Rubin, a producer and publicist I met during the production of The Entity (Fox, 1983) motion picture in 1981.
As it turns out, Steve and I casually met when we were kids during Saturday matinees at a local theater (The Stadium, at Pico and Livonia) where we regularly saw two sci-fi and/or horror movies for twenty-five cents and where a big bag of popcorn and a coke were just a dime each. I know, depressing isn’t it?
Over the ensuing decades, Steve and I kept bumping into each other at screenings, parties and through other projects and acquaintances within the entertainment industry.
The second-to-last time I saw Steve was at a screening of Roswell at the DGA (Director’s Guild of America) theater in 1994, and again, when a friend, Laurie Jacobson, writer of the now-classic book Hollywood Haunted, married a relative of Steve’s, Jon Provost, the child star (Timmy) of the 1950’s Lassie TV series.
The reason Steve called me in the early summer of 2005 was to solicit my interest and involvement to investigate the real story behind the ultra- low budget feature film he had just been hired to promote.
House At The End Of The Drive was a supernatural thriller that was wrapping production. It was inspired by the alleged, ongoing paranormal experiences of producer and co-creator David Oman (pronounced omen, no pun intended), who recently moved into a new home his father, a real estate developer and builder, constructed.
The recently built house just happens to be a stone’s throw from the site of the infamous Sharon Tate murders of August 1969. David moved into the house in August of 2002.
According to Steve, encounters at the allegedly haunted hillside residence ranged from hearing disembodied voices and footsteps, observing large orbs of colored lights, to witnessing the apparitions of several of the August 1969 murder victims.
After having read the script for House At The End of The Drive to insure myself that the movie was not simply another slasher film, I agreed to visit
House At The End Of The Drive lobby card
Oman’s home on Cielo Drive in Benedict Canyon, which is in the northern edge of Beverly Hills.
On my way up to the house on July 19th to meet my colleague Barry Conrad, memories of August 1969 flooded my mind, remembering the fear and panic that gripped Los Angeles following those heinous killings on that steamy summer night.
After the world was stunned by the incredible savagery, brutality and ritualistic nature of the Tate murders, I often wondered as to whether or not the subsequent tenants of the original house on Cielo Drive (which was torn down in 1994), had experienced any type of paranormal fallout resulting from the vicious slaughter of five innocent souls. There had been rumors and scuttlebutt over the years, but nothing amounting to anything more than idle chatter, probably the result of too much drugs and alcohol.
As I wound my way up through Benedict Canyon from Sunset Blvd., in the back of my mind I recalled reading years earlier that this particular canyon was plagued by an an acute abundance of alleged hauntings.
In fact, in one particular book, a map of this canyon depicts clusters of hauntings throughout the canyon’s entire length as well as on many of its side streets winding further up into its brush-laden hills.
It was in this region where TV’s first Superman, George Reeves, died from a gunshot wound to his head on June 16th 1959, and whose ghost, occasionally appearing in full Superman costume, may continue to walk the floors of his old Benedict Canyon residence.
Interestingly, Reeves death was never really solved from a forensic standpoint.
The police, medical examiner’s office and media initially labeled it a suicide, but virtually all of the subsequent investigation by my long-time friend Jan Alan Henderson into Reeves’ untimely death, suggests something far more sinister occurred and was thoroughly covered up by the authorities (Speeding Bullet: The Life and Bizarre Death of George Reeves, 2007).
Strangely, Reeve’s fingerprints were not even found on the gun. Nor was there any gunshot residue or powder burns discovered on his body because it was sent directly to the funeral home rather than the coroner’s office, which, even in those days, was against policy on suicides.
Even more intriguing, is the fact that several fresh bullet holes were found in the bedroom floor next to Reeves’ lifeless body on the bed. I guess he missed his head with the first several rounds! Yeah, right?
Before turning west, up on to Cielo Drive, I also remembered that there’s an earthquake fault running directly beneath Benedict Canyon, one which has not moved in the recent geologic past. All of this seemingly irrelevant and abstract information would become very meaningful as the case evolved.
As I approached David’s house, I half expected to meet a 42 year-old man way over the edge of reason and sanity that was simply looking for a tawdry, although effective, way to promote his horror movie. If that were the case, my presence at this location would have been very short-lived.
Living on the extreme southern edge of Beverly Hills myself, I arrived at the Oman house well before my colleague, who lived in Glendale. The upper portion of Cielo Drive where Oman lives is a private street that is severely eroded with numerous potholes, which my sports car’s stiff suspension did not appreciate.
As there is no real parking to speak of on this narrow road, one must pull up tight against the opposing hillside well into the dirt and paint-scratching brush to avoid blocking what limited passing space exists. To say I was paranoid about leaving my car there was an understatement.
Before exiting the car, my thoughts went in their usual direction before entering a potentially new haunting case at this stage of my career: “Thirty-seven years, four thousand plus cases and far too many sleepless nights to remember. I really believed that I’d seen, heard and felt it all. Jaded into complacency, I was sure that nothing could ever impress or astonish me again”. To put it simply, I was about to be proved wrong, dead wrong.
I had no way of knowing just how utterly unique this Beverly Hills location was and that I was about to embark upon the strangest and most bizarre case of my multi-decade career, a case that might lend much needed definition and clarity to this particular area of parapsychological research.
I pulled my instrument case from the car’s trunk and rang David’s doorbell. David, very much resembled a combination of a young, thin version of David Nelson (Ricky Nelson’s older brother) and one of the Beach Boys from the mid ‘60’s.
It was July 19th of 2005 Barry and Lisa McIntosh (Conrad’s girlfriend at the time), who was in remission from Multiple Myeloma, a deadly form of bone cancer, accompanied me to this fascinating location, in the hope of experiencing, documenting and recording some hard, objective data.
The late Sharon Tate
A stone’s throw away from the infamous house where the Sharon Tate murders occurred, maybe slightly more that one hundred feet north, a new house was built in 2002 and was occupied by the son of the builder, David Oman. Not surprisingly, the construction crew, David and several of his friends, had experienced a wide range of paranormal phenomena including apparitions, psychokinetic displays as well as disembodied voices in this awesome building up against the hillside.
However, we had absolutely no way of knowing upon our arrival just how utterly unique this specific property would turn out to be in the most unexpected ways.
My instruments (Geomagnetometer, Natural Tri-Field Meter, Air Ion Counter, etc.) indicated bizarre and totally unprecedented magnetic field amplitudes and polarities throughout the entire house combined with an ambient electromagnetic background anywhere from 20-100 times normal. This house was a compass needle’s worst nightmare.
In fact, there were several locations in David’s home where compass needles would spin wildly as if near a quadrapole, which does not occur in nature. And on other occasions almost everything in the house seemed to be emitting a very strong magnetic field, including glass, wood, plastic and leather. None of which are ferromagnetic or paramagnetic.
After this first visit, Barry, Lisa and I came away from this house feeling physically ill. In fact, while in the Oman house at the bottom of the stairwell, I turned beet red and passed out exactly where the localized geomagnetic field (GMF) measured out at 1,700 milligauss [mG], when 300-500 mG is normal. Fortunately, Steve Rubin saw what was happening and caught me before I hit the floor. Fortunately, Steve’s much bigger than I am, so there wasn’t a problem. All I remember from the incident was feeling very warm. nauseous and dizzy like I had a fever with the flu, and then nothing other than waking up on the floor surrounded by various people.
At one point when Lisa came came upstairs to get more batteries, she observed that the top flap of the large ballistic nylon bag for Conrad’s video camera was literally flapping in the air as if being propelled by a strong wind, of which there was none. She let out a moderate yell and we all came running upstairs. But by the time we arrived, the case’s top flap has ceased its movement.
Later that evening, I came up to get a fresh 9-volt battery as one of my instruments required it. When removing the spent battery I carved a large “X” into it to prevent it’s accidental use at another time and I immediately discarded the battery in a trash bin in front of the house. When I later came back upstairs for another item and opened my locked Pelican case to discover the carved battery carefully balanced and rocking on one of the cases compartmental partition edges. If no one actually pulled a joke on me here, this was an instance of apport, which is not that common. Now my interest was really peaked.
After spending a considerable time in this house, Conrad and Lisa’s response was quite severe. In fact, there’s a distinct possibility that her spending some 6-8 hours in the Cielo house pushed her back into a series of intense relapses from which she never recovered. While both Barry and I had relatively strong adverse reactions to the very high amplitude geomagnetic fields at this location, as did about 67% of those visiting,
Lisa’s response was far more volatile, in that she became physically and emotionally ill later that night and the next day, where she had the worst nightmares of her life, which I also experienced in my own home. I almost never have nightmares. In fact, I cannot even remember the last time I had one prior to or after this event.
Within a matter of days to weeks after leaving this house, Lisa’s Multiple Myeloma recurred with even greater ferocity, and within less than a year she passed away. It should be stated that there is no cure known for Multiple Myeloma, once contracted, you’re guaranteed to die from it. The only question is precisely when.
The late Lisa McIntosh and very much alive, Barry Conrad.
However, I am not saying, or even implying here. that the energy in this house was responsible for her untimely demise, but it possibly hastened its arrival. It then was not surprising to later learn that the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) lists this specific location as a geomagnetic anomaly site and that local ancient Native American tribes called it a sacred place, in that some of them sensed it’s very powerful magnetic fields. Yet, science does not know why this area is so magnetic.
A fallen meteorite from millions of year ago? Sitting on top of an ancient volcano? Large deposits of magnetite or iron? The USGS states the these hills are far too geologically young to have either large deposits of iron and magnetite. The USGS doesn’t know anymore than we do. When various companies were initially building various homes on this hill, including Davids, their instruments essentially rendered useless due to the strong magnetism. The workers had to drill blind and discovered large, empty magma chambers beneath the hill, indicating the very long ago there might have been volcanic activity in the area.
Had we known that this property emitted such strong, positively polarized magnetic fields, we never would have allowed Lisa to even step foot on the property, let alone within it. Over the course of almost four decades, nothing even close to these levels of energy has been experienced around here during the course of any investigation.
It’s very intriguing to know that there is substantial body of clinical evidence indicating that exposure to negatively polarized magnetic fields substantially inhibit the growth of many types of cancers, while positively polarized magnetic fields appear to rapidly accelerate their growth and proliferation. Medical science does not know why this is, it just is. However, as the FDA will not formally recognize or approve any curative mechanism that is not based on pharmaceuticals, making this discussion pretty much academic.
It goes without saying that neither Barry or Lisa ever returned to the Cielo Drive house. I, on the other hand visited this location more than twenty (20) times over the course of a year and have gotten sick on virtually every occasion. However, it should be made clear that I was suffering from IBS at the time, which was surely irritated by the high amplitude geomagnetic field at this location.
On subsequent investigational visits with other associates such as Jan Alan Henderson, Bob Bastanchury, Brent Wolfberg, Todd Farris, Paul Clemens and Jeff Mandel, some of us continued having intense interactions with this most interesting abode.
Bob witnessed a lamp in mid-flight when we all came up from the lower floors. Jeff Mandel had an unnerving experience in the bathroom when some crumpled up paper flew out of the waste basket and hit him. A local news crew from KCOP began feeling ill shortly after entering the house and their remote live-feed truck electronically crashed while in front of the Oman home. The network sent a second remote truck out that stayed at the bottom of the hill and it avoided the problems the first one had encountered.
While standing in the entrance way with some media person one night, a sudden wave of nausea overwhelmed both the journalist and myself, which just happened to temporally correlate with the Natural Tri-Field Meter making a full scale magnetic deflection and then going back to normal. We were both amazed. What made this particular event particularly interesting was that this reporter had just asked me if I ever felt sick while in this house. Before I could even answer, the nausea and instrument reaction occurred. I guess that event answered his question?
Over the course of the one year I investigated this case, there were many very interesting individuals visiting David’s extraordinary home. Some really normal, some so weird that they almost made me look normal.
One woman who claimed to be a medium (more like half-baked or rare to me) made a blatant declaration that the house was evil. When I asked her why the house was evil, she replied that the numerous demonic entities present in the house were making her ill. She was totally unaware of the extremely potent geomagnetic field at this location that makes some people feel really sick. When I tried explaining this to her, she couldn’t or wouldn’t even try to understand what I was saying. What I should have told her was that if the house had given her an orgasm instead of making her sick, she’d probably think it was healing her. I wonder if she would have understood that?
On numerous occasions, photographs taken by different people at different times clearly showed luminous anomalies while none were visible to the naked eye. In fact, on the first night we were there and walking up the private road toward where the original Tate house once stood I felt like someone’s hand was touching my left shoulder. At the same moment, Brent had taken a photo of me as I walked in front of him. The photo depicted several multi-colored balls of light around me right when I felt the disembodied hand on my shoulder. What a coincidence.
On another occasion during the late fall of 2005, there was an approaching thunderstorm. As the storm reached the hill and house, the electrical field in most of the house jumped to around two kilovolts (2,000) per meter, and my skin started feeling like it was burning. I immediately packed my equipment and left the house.
One other evening, there were very strong Santa Ana winds blowing with their concomitant positive ions that can severely irritate some people’s bodies and moods. While measuring these ionic winds at a very high level, something really astounding occurred. The instant these positively charged winds entered David’s home, their polarity reversed to where they became negatively charged. This strongly suggests that David’s house imparted a rather hefty electromagnetic charge to the incoming air. The incoming air had electrons added to it, thereby becoming negatively charged while the outside air remained positively charged. Absolutely amazing. The source was the localized geophysical battery up upon the hill that David’s house sits.
On yet another visit, a plastic glass filled with water was thrown at me from the kitchen even though no one was even near that room other than myself. On another occasion, we were on the third floor, the lowest one, and in the unfinished, dirt wall room. Paul Clemens and I were taking measurements when something that clearly felt like a human hand, touched my left shoulder. I immediately turned to my left expecting to see Paul there, only to discover that he was at the other end of the room, maybe ten feet away from me. While all this was transpiring, I obtained readings of well over 1,000 milligauss in that most unusual room and constantly changing polarity and compass needles were spinning like a top.
While on the stairwell, disembodied voices could be heard, but not always recordable. At times, it sounded like someone loudly snoring or with severe asthma. At other times, it was like very muffled conversations were occurring. If I stood on the stairway too long, I became dizzy and nauseous.
On June 10, 2006, my second to last visit to this incredible location, I apparently once again passed out while approaching the third-floor, earthen wall room. Paul Clemens who was right behind me and watched as I started stumbling and then collapsed onto the wall before entering that odd room. I suddenly awoke on the floor and had no idea as to what just happened to me.
When Laurie Jacobson first visited this home, she became briefly light-headed for a while, but it passed fairly soon. When her husband Jon Provost came to visit, his reaction was quite severe, where he described the sensation like “being hit in the head and stomach with a baseball bat”. He immediately left. Several people with a production company had to suddenly leave the house when they started feeling ill. Once outside, their discomfort subsided.
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