Issue: Discover Hollywood Fall 2019

Living With Ghosts: The House Next Door

By David Oman

David Oman is a producer/writer, known for  House at the End of the Drive  (2014)  and soon to be released book Ghosts of Cielo Drive.

Truth be known... almost everywhere you walk and visit is haunted. So long as someone has lived, loved, played, worked or died, they have left their imprint. Those who came before us, even if they can't be seen, are still lingering here, remembering times gone by and seeing things those living in the 'real world' cannot see. I think sometimes a sensitive individual comes by and two plains of existence intersect, for a moment, in what we humans call a Ghost or Spirit manifestation. 

This much I have learned after living in the home that I built 17 years ago, experiencing unusual and, some would say, unsettling happenings. Through the years I have learned a lot about spirits, far more than I ever did from reading books about the paranormal. First, if you see a ghost, you have two responses to the situation: run, lose your cool and freak out, or stay calm and be curious about the manifestation and watch what happens. That's what I did when I saw the apparition 13 years ago at my home in the middle of the night it appeared at the foot of my bed, pointing to the left and turning a quarter turn three times before disappearing. I didn't shudder or hide in fright, I just watched his movements. Then he vanished. I have always wondered what he was doing there, and at the time I didn't recognize him. Several months later, I saw a photo of Jay Sebring with his natural hair and it matched the spirit who visited me in the middle of the night 6 months earlier.*

Since then I have seen and experienced a lot here and have had many 'Paranormal Experts' visit my home. My home has been featured on Ghost Hunters, My Ghost Story, Paranormal Witness, Haunted History, Ghost Adventures and After Shocks.

What I have found in the field is that there are so many competing theories that none are right or wrong. We are all trying to figure out what is going on with these unseen guests in my home. So far, none of the so-called experts have been able to come up with a practical theory. They always leave here either scratching their heads or claiming that I am a "Poltergeist Agent' and responsible for the activity, which I don’t believe. All I know is that for every expert who walks in they either leave me with another theory or just say "I don't know.”

I think the spirits are trying to communicate through the only means they have. Some can verbally communicate (I have recorded voices on my CCTV cameras), some can only move small objects, some appear as streaks of light in 35mm film photos, some manifest as shadow figures seen out of the corner of your eye, some appear as full bodied apparitions, and some touch people.

There is a part of my home that stirs some consternation in the experts. Under the house there is a room exposed to the earth. It is in this room that people often walk in and feel a certain heaviness. Some have complained of feeling like they're on a boat rocking back-and-forth. A person felt he was scratched when he was in there and items have tumbled off shelves. I have recorded videos of amorphic objects flying by with the lights on, and they're not bugs.

What it really comes down to is this: I believe I have no problems or fear of living here because I have and show respect. You must have respect for the dead as well as the living. I believe that without it, you expose yourself to a great problem with the unseen world. I have been living here long before they came and am still living here to this day, very happily. Many friends of mine and visitors have come to visit without issue too. Maybe it's just the few that come here to check it out that have issues with respect that have difficulties here. Otherwise, living with ghosts isn't that bad of a deal... I'm never alone, that's for sure.

* David Oman built his home next door to the famed home on Cielo Drive where Sharon Tate and others were murdered in 1969 by the Manson Family. The recent Quentin Tarantino film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood provided a fictional portrayal of the “house next door.”   See also and