Tag Archives: barry taff

269 – The Haunting of David Oman: Sharon Tate and The House At The End of Cielo Drive

When David Oman woke up in 1999 to his Los Angeles real estate developer father finding a lot in the newspaper for $40,000, he thought it was a typo. Cielo Drive in Benedict Canyon, on the edge of Beverly Hills. It was the former address of Hollywood royalty like like Cary Grant, Henry Fonda, and Candice Bergen. But it also was the same street where Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski lived in 1969 and the site of the most infamous of the Manson Family murders. But that house was torn down after Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails famously recorded The Downward Spiral there and called his studio Le Pig, a kind of disgusting homage to Sharon Tate’s blood being used to scrawl the words “Pig” on the front door. He later regretted treating the murders with that kind of levity. But still, there’s no way a lot in that neighborhood would go for that kind of money.

However, it wasn’t a typo, it was a zoning issue. The city had zoned the street incorrectly and that meant that the owners of the lot weren’t able to develop it. They started building a house into the side of the hill and had to quit after laying the foundation. Oman’s father realized the mistake, so they bought the lot and petitioned the city to rezone the street. It worked and they were cleared to develop the house. Originally David Oman’s father wanted to sell the place, but David knew that it was his dream home.

David Oman with Lance Henriksen

Not long after moving in, Oman started having haunted experiences, including a full-bodied apparition of Jay Sebring, the famous Hollywood hairdresser who was murdered right down the street in th Sharon Tate home. He invited a ghosthunting team to investigate and they started to get strange readings, particularly their EMF and magnetic readings (we covered this earlier in our episode about the Manson Family as well, so you can get a little background there.)

Dr. Barry Taff of The Entity fame investigated and has seen some amazing things there, SyFy’s Ghost Hunters and of course, Zak Bagans and the Ghost Adventures team have been there as well.

Zak Bagans talking to Dr. Barry Taff about his experiences at the Oman House

Oman also had flashes of movie scenes come to him. Scenes that he believes were shown to him by the ghost of Sharon Tate. These would eventually culminate in the film, House at The End of the Drive, produced in 2015.

In October of 2019, David Oman released a book, The Ghosts of Cielo Drive where he talks about his experiences and we talked to him extensively about the book and the paranormal encounters including:

  • Oman’s encounter with Lindsay Lohan when she showed up wanting “to see a ghost”
  • Why David Oman isn’t scared of the paranormal phenomena in his home
  • Why he feels the place called to him to build there and reveal its secrets
  • More of the electromagnetic anomalies people have experienced

For the song this week, we were inspired by the cult of celebrity around Sharon Tate, Charles Manson, and true crime. We just can’t get enough of real life drama with these entertainers we’ve elevated to princes and princesses. But fame has its price and sometimes it’s a “Pound of Flesh”.

A map to the stars
and a map to graveyards
I want to know where the bodies are buried
Where history comes alive
like on Cielo Drive
I want to be as seen on TV

Lifestyles of the rich and famous
this appetite is heinous
hey now they’re just like us
when they’re all blood and guts

Another piece of me
another piece of meat
another pound of Flesh
for the paparazzi
You know the bourgeoisie
love their crime scenes bloody
And we’ll dance on the graves
of dead celebrities

189 – Portal To Hell: Zak Bagans vs. Demon House

The story of the demonic possession of three children in Gary, Indiana in 2011 is one of the most compelling paranormal stories of the Twenty-First Century. What started off with a black fly infestation starts manifesting itself in strange behavior from the children, from dangerous imaginary friends to threats and strange voices. A local clairvoyant claims that there’s up to 200 demons who are active in the house.

Unlike most supernatural tales where the police don’t quite believe in it or the doctors immediately find some other explanation, the story of LaToya Ammons’ children is backed by the authorities. A worker from Child Protective Services sees one of the children climb the wall and launch over his grandmother, the local police captain believes his squad car is acting strangely, a local priest feels threatened and that the demons not only got into his computer but endangered him on a bike ride.

It becomes a major story in the age of Internet tabloids and there’s no surprise that a paranormal reality show celebrity would get involved. In 2014, Zak Bagans from Ghost Adventures purchases the home in order to make a documentary there. And four years later, we have Demon House.

demon house

Of course we had to check the movie out opening weekend! We had met the priest involved in the case at the nearby Chicago Paranormal Convention in 2015 and Darkness Dave Schrader from Beyond The Darkness podcast was freaked out enough that he wouldn’t even tell me the demon’s name when we were out at a bar. Zak Bagans ended up demolishing the house in 2016, but what did he find there? He had years to make the movie, how many investigations did he go on there, just how many nights did he spend in the Demon House?!

Well, the answer is not many. We don’t even get a proper interview with LaToya Ammons or her family because she’s bound by a exclusivity agreement with a different company making a movie about the case. The best we get is her brother. The priest Father Michael Maginot shows up as does Gary Police Captain Charles Austin, who steals the movie with his rendition of what he says he heard over his car radio, a mysterious voice shouting “Who in der?!”

We also get former tenants (whose daughter ends up with some strange activity on her own and Father Maginot has to bless that family), the landlord, squatters living in the house, and Barry Taff from The Entity. 

Demon House
Oh no, the Goatman!

The strangest thing is probably the mysterious 12-Foot tall Demonic Goat that Bagans has seen in his dreams. Even the minds of Zak’s crew end up getting messed with by the Goatman, but unfortunately the re-enactments with this fearsome beast  mostly just made me think about the Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks Dragnet film.

I’ve been critical of Zak Bagans and his confrontational investigative style in the past, but the man often knows how to create compelling television entertainment. So, how do his dramatic re-enactments, goat costumery, and paranormal evidence captured on film hold up? Well, you’ll have to listen to the episode to find out as Allison from Milwaukee Ghosts, Scott Markus from What’s Your Ghost Story.com and Wendy and I discuss our experience in the Demon House. 

(Full disclosure: there might have been a drinking game involved when we watched the movie!)

We’ve never recorded a rap-metal song before so we figured this episode would be the perfect opportunity to get our best Fred Durst and Kid Rock on. Turn those hats backwards, yo, Sunspot is goin’ to the “Demon House”.

Welcome to the Demon House
Who in der?
You’re in the Demon House

Yeah something totally whack happened to an innocent family,
You better watch this at your own risk cuz evil’s coming through your TV

Yo, you know I had to buy this house
Sight unseen baby
There’s 200 spirits creeping around
And not one chips in for the heat.
I go on the Ghost Adventures and seen all kinds of Forteana
I thought I was going to Hell but it’s just Gary Indiana

Welcome to the Demon House
Who in der?
You’re in the Demon House

There’s shadows and there’s black flies and kids climbing up the walls
There’s a pain wracking my brain and messing with my eyeballs

Yo, this place scores an 8
on the demon scale
It’s a portal that goes straight to Hell
Just like Sunnydale.

Old guys getting organ failure and the Devil’s messing with my crew,
Who’s down there in the basement.
It’s the Goatman coming for you!

Welcome to the Demon House
Who in der?
You’re in the Demon House
You even lift, bro?
Welcome to the Demon House
Oh God, it’s the Goatman
You’re in the Demon House
Demon House.