Blood Rituals, Vengeful Entities, And Demonic Influence: The Truly Disturbing Moffitt Family Haunting

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
June 15, 2024
Estimated Reading Time
17 min read
Posted in
Supernatural, Ghosts & Hauntings

The Moffitt family poltergeist case is harrowing, but it is the details of the backstory that make these events one of the most frightful paranormal occurrences on record. The case remains one of the most perplexing and thought-provoking of its kind, blending centuries-old unfulfilled promises and ancient religious practices of contacting spirits and deities from other realms.

Between 1987 and 1992, the family lived in Rancho Cucamonga, Southern California, and experienced numerous paranormal events, including messages written on the bathroom mirror with soap. These hauntings became so frequent that the family began referring to the strange demon-like presence as “Mr. Entity.”

The main witness to the events, Deborah Moffitt, would eventually write two books about the disturbing events, events that would unfold over several years and across several different homes. The encounter was also detailed in several documentaries, and the events remain of interest to paranormal researchers and enthusiasts today. [1]

Archibald Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 1984

Although the bulk of the strange occurrences began in 1987, it is likely that the catalyst for the bizarre goings-on resides three years earlier in 1984 following the marriage of the main witness, Deborah, who married Bill Moffitt Jr. and moved in with him into the Los Angeles home on Archibold Avenue. The Moffitts, in fact, owned three houses all next to each other on the street. [2]

The house that Deborah and Bill Jr. lived in belonged to Bill Jr’s parents – Bill Sr. and Lena, who most people called Lee. On one side of Bill Jr’s parents’ house was Bill’s own house – a property that had been left to him by his aunt following her death – and on the other was Bill Jr’s grandmother’s house, Dominica.

To begin with, there were no issues at all with the living arrangements, with Bill Jr. planning on renting out his property in order to bring in extra income. However, when Dominica – who had suffered a stroke several weeks earlier – returned home from hospital, events would be put in motion that could very well have led to the bizarre happenings that would engulf the family several years later.

It quickly became apparent to the family that Dominica required much care than they had initially anticipated – round-the-clock care, in fact. Around the same time, and by pure chance, a local woman – Junaita – who had moved to the United States from Guatemala discovered the family required care assistance. As she was in need of work in order to continue her work visa, she offered her services, which the family eagerly and gratefully accepted.

To begin with, things appeared settled once more. Ominous change, however, was on the horizon.

“I Was Only Trying to Help!”

Although Dominica’s health initially appeared to be improving, she would become increasingly sick as the weeks went on. Furthermore, she was also not responding to her medication as her doctors expected. In retrospect, we can perhaps highlight Dominica’s failing health as being the start of the bizarre and surreal events that would follow.

In an effort to help the family, as well as perhaps being concerned for her own employment, Junaita looked to her religious practices for help – ultimately, the ritual practices of Santeria. This ancient religion is practiced throughout the Caribbean and involved, at least in part, ritualistic blood sacrifice. Followers of this religion often use these rituals in order to communicate and even bargain with ancient deities from other realms, with the sacrifices being used as payment for good luck and fortune. As would become seemingly apparent, this appeared to be what Junaita was attempting to do when Dominica’s health began to fail.

A short time after her health took a downward turn, Dominica passed away. The following day, Bill Jr. and Bill Sr. went to Dominica’s property and discovered Junaita severely distressed and seemingly in a state of shock. The two men attempted to calm her down but it was clear to all present that she was absolutely terrified. Moreover, she believed that someone – or something – was trying to get her. Even stranger, she kept repeating over and again that she was “only trying to help!”

The family eventually contacted a family member to come and pick her up. Before she left, however, she warned the family, specifically Lee (which would become a point of interest later) that they should stay out of Dominica’s house, elaborating that there was an evil presence there.

As events would unfold over the following years, the family would contemplate more deeply just what Junaita might have meant, and what she might have been doing in the final days before Dominica’s death, and, ultimately, just what kind of power she might have unleashed on this otherwise quiet Los Angeles suburb.

The Slow Burn To Strange Events

Several weeks after Dominica’s death, her family entered her home in order to clear it of unwanted items and retrieve some of her more treasured possessions. However, upon stepping into the property the scene was like something out of a horror movie. On the walls strange symbols had been carved and etched into the wall. Even stranger, there were several knives seemingly left at random place around the property as well as multiple candles, some unused, others burnt out.

They also found, perhaps much more worryingly, feathers all around the house, as well as blood stains and splatter marks. Although the family didn’t realize it, we might imagine that these are signs of some kind of ritual blood sacrifice.

As strange as these discoveries were, the family began to get back to normal, and for several years, life carried on without bizarre incidents. By 1987, with Deborah and Bill Jr. still living with Bill’s parents, Bill Jr. had rented out his property to a local man named Danny. His rental agreement, however, came with a condition.

Bill Jr. had an extensive sports memorabilia collection, such a large collection, in fact, that he required a room in the property he was renting to Danny to store part of it. Although Danny had full run of the rest of the house, this room was off-limits and, as such, was kept locked. Although he might have found it a little odd, Danny was perfectly happy with this arrangement.

One particular day, however, while Bill Jr. was in the room searching for a specific item of memorabilia, he noticed that several collectible “bobbleheads” had been taken down from the shelves where they usually sat. In fact, they had been placed purposely on the floor so they made the shape of a triangle.

As perplexed as he was he settled on the notion that Danny had somehow gained entry to the room and was playing some kind of prank on him, and with that he placed the bobbleheads back on the shelf. However, when he asked Danny about, instead of enjoying the joke with him he insisted he had not been in the room and had certainly not moved any of his items.

Bill Jr. put the account to the back of his mind but the strange events would continue.

Items Appearing Out Of Nowhere

The bizarre encounters began to take place in Bill Jr’s parents’ house a short time after the strange discovery in his sports memorabilia room. Lee was seemingly the first to notice these increasingly disturbing events. In her bedroom, Lee had a small alter that she would pray to each evening before bed. One morning, upon waking, she discovered underwear had been draped over the statue of Jesus. Although she was a little concerned by the discovery, she didn’t say anything about it to the rest of the family. This was, though, just the start.

Lee began to notice other objects appearing on the alter over the following weeks. One morning, for example, she discovered a man’s watch; on another morning another item of male jewelry was left there. Then, one particular morning, Lee awoke to find a wallet in the alter. When she checked inside the wallet, she discovered it belonged to their neighbor, Danny. Furthermore, they found out that Danny was also missing his watch.

They surmised that the other items left on the alter were also likely Danny’s. They also realized how strange it would be to turn up at his house with no explanation as to why they had his missing items. Instead, they waited for when he was out and discreetly placed the items back in his house. However much to their shock and dismay, several days later, the items began appearing at the alter once more.

Then, things turned even stranger.

Danny’s Sudden Departure

One day a short time after these strange occurrences began, Danny knocked on Bill Sr and Lee’s door and informed them that he would be leaving the property. Moreover, he could only give them 24 hours notice and would be leaving the following day. True to his word, the following day he was gone.

The family went inside the property in order to inspect it. They were a little perplexed to discover that Danny had left many of his possessions behind. However, strangest of all, they discovered strange symbols drawn onto each of the light switches in crayon.

Several days later, while tidying the room and clearing it of unwanted items, Deborah found herself alone in the house. As she was undertaking her chores, she noticed a row of ornamental dogs on a shelf in front of her. Each was facing outward. She took her focus from the shelf for only a second, and by the time she looked back, each of the dogs had been turned around to face the wall.

However, when she told Bill Jr. about this, he dismissed it, insisting that she must have imagined it. In order to prove it, if only to himself, he made a mental note of where items were in the house before he left to return home for the evening.

When he returned to the property the following morning, however, after initially finding each item where it should be, he discovered a lamp that had been in the corner of the living room the previous evening, now positioned in the middle of the floor. At this point, he informed Deborah of what he had found, and she became immediately convinced that something truly out of the ordinary was taking place.

In fact, she was so infuriated that she shouted out loud that whoever was behind these events should show themselves. There was no response, to begin with. Moments later, when the couple were in the kitchen, they saw the kitchen table being dragged into the middle of the room as if by a pair of invisible hands.

Something very strange was happening indeed.

The Arrival Of Tom And Michelle

Following these unsettling events, Bill Jr. and Deborah informed Bill Sr. and Lee of the strange events. Lee, who had had her own strange discoveries immediately recalled Junaita’s warning on the day she left with her family, and was convinced that something otherworldly was behind the unnerving goings-on. By contrast, Bill Sr. appeared largely disinterested, insisting that it was his family’s overactive imaginations that was the problem.

Despite these events, the activity appeared to settle down again in the weeks that followed. So much so that Bill Jr. managed to rent his property out once more, this time to a young couple, Tom and Michelle. Even as they moved in, Bill joked with them that the building “might be haunted”, something they appeared have little concern for.

Nothing out of the ordinary occurred for the first several weeks of Tom and Michele’s tenancy. However, one morning, Deborah discovered Michelle sitting on the doorstep of her house. What’s more, she seemed to be upset. By the time Debroah walked over to her, she could see that Michelle had a bruise on her face.

Deborah asked what had happened and Michelle immediately broke down and stated that Tom had hit her following an argument. She stressed that this was something that he had never done previously. In fact, not just that, but ever since they had moved into the house she had noticed Tom’s personality had changed dramatically going from gentle and reserved to aggressive and violent.

An Out-Of-The-Blue Knock At The Door

Within a few days, Deborah was seemingly nowhere to be seen. When Deborah asked Tom about her, he offered that they had had an argument and as a result, Michelle had moved out and so ending their relationship. Even stranger, less than a week later, Tom had also moved out. And he did so without giving the family any notice or explanation.

They waited several weeks, and when they were certain that Tom wasn’t coming back, they entered the property in order to check its condition. Unlike previous times they had been in this situation, however, they discovered the house to be in absolutely immaculate condition. In fact, it appeared as though the entire property had been cleaned from top to bottom. There was, though, a large rug seemingly missing from the house. Considering what they were perhaps expecting to find, they simply surmised that it had become damaged and discarded.

Then, after several days a gentleman knocked at the Moffitts’ front door asking to speak with Tom. When Deborah informed the man that Tom had moved out several weeks previously, the man bluntly informed Deborah that his girlfriend – Michelle – had been discovered dead, her body dumped in a nearby landfill and wrapped in an old, large rug. According to what this mystery man told her, she had been beaten to death. The man then turned and left without identifying who he was or who he worked for.

Needless to say, Deborah was a little shaken by the news. However, when she told her husband, Bill Jr. about the incident, he insisted that he had seen nothing in the news about a woman’s body being discovered nearby. Despite this, Deborah thought they should contact the police and inform them of the mystery man, as well as what they knew about Tom and Michelle. At this point, though, Bill Sr. became quite agitated, insisting that they not contact the police. In fact, he said, they should just forget about the encounter.

A Decision To Move

Following this run of strange events, the Moffitt family decided to sell all three of the houses on Archibald Avenue and then buy a larger house elsewhere in the city, in part hoping that moving home would put a stop to the strange events that had plagued them over the previous few months. However, almost as soon as the decision was made and the house was put on the market, the bizarre activity suddenly increased in intensity.

Objects would be moved around the house, for example, on an almost daily basis, while pictures or paintings were regularly discovered turned around or facing the wall. Even stranger, several items just simply vanished into thin air. With the house up for sale, the Moffitts simply decided to wait things out and cope with these unsettling events as best they could. Eventually, the day where they were to move into their new property arrived. However, whatever was behind the chilling incidents, they were seemingly not willing to let the family go quietly.

As the two women of the house, Deborah and Lee, were rounded up last-minute items before they left, they suddenly heard a huge, booming crash come from the kitchen. Both women rushed to the kitchen to discover that one of the kitchen cupboards had been seemingly ripped from the wall and sent hurtling to the floor. As they were taking in the carnage of the kitchen, the two women suddenly heard the sound of breaking glass as each window in the property suddenly shattered.

At this stage, the Moffitt family were now eager to vacate the houses on Archibald Avenue. When they did, though, the bizarre events continued.

Strange Activity Follows The Moffitts

Like previous times, the activity suddenly settled down again, causing the Moffitts to think they had indeed put enough distance between themselves and this menacing entity. However, as the months went on, the unsettling incidents began once more.

After the usual disturbances involving moved objects and turned pictures, the family was frequently awakened in the middle of the night by their burglar alarm. Each time it happened, the house was empty, and there were no signs of an attempted break-in.

More unsettlingly, the Moffitts began to hear sudden screams from the upper floors of their new home. Equally chilling, they started hearing their names whispered when they were the only ones in the room.

Then came direct communication.

Example of the writing left on the mirror

Example of the writing left on the mirror

One day, Lee walked into the bathroom and found the phrase “talk to me” written on the mirror in soap. After each family member denied playing a prank, Deborah wiped the message away to see if another would appear. Minutes later, a new message did appear, reading “No escape.”

These bizarre and often cryptic messages continued in the days and weeks that followed, ranging from ambiguous to outright hostile. Perhaps the most disturbing was a message that read, “I Hate Lee.” This prompted Bill Sr. to demand that whoever was responsible reveal themselves. The next day, in apparent response, the word “Prince” was found.

The family decided to ask a local priest to bless the house, which he did. However, this only seemed to aggravate whatever force was behind the messages and strange activities, with a particular focus on Lee. For instance, messages like “Lee Die” were discovered on the mirror.

A Powerful “Ancient Entity”

One evening, after returning home from a night out with friends, the Moffitts discovered a strange triangular symbol drawn throughout their house on walls and floors—the same shape in which the bobbleheads had been arranged at their old property.

Frightened, Bill Sr. and Lee moved to the lower floors with Bill Jr. and Deborah. Almost immediately, messages began to appear there too, still primarily targeting Lee.

As the months passed, the Moffitts started researching the paranormal and invited various investigators to their home in an attempt to understand the bizarre incidents. One team of psychics suggested that the force behind the activity was an “ancient entity” and a powerful one.

In response to these investigations, the paranormal activity intensified. The family began finding knives placed where they would sit or sleep, seemingly intended to stab or at least injure them. Again, Lee appeared to be the primary target.

The family felt trapped. Even if they sold the house and moved again, whatever had followed them from their previous property would almost certainly follow them once more. When they stayed in hotels, they often found the now-familiar symbols carved into the walls of their rooms.

Suspicions Around Bill Sr.

Desperate, the family decided to try communicating with the entity through the messages on the mirror. They hoped that by establishing communication, they might be able to reason with it. Initially, this seemed to work, as the activity ceased briefly. However, the disturbances soon resumed and quickly escalated.

The situation became dire, with the family increasingly fearful for their lives—everyone except Bill Sr., who alternated between extreme fear of the danger they were in and complete indifference. He often criticized the money spent on various paranormal experts and investigators as a waste.

Example of the writing left on the mirror

Example of the writing left on the mirror

Around 1988 or 1989, the family invited several shamans to perform a cleansing ritual in the attic. During the ritual, Deborah saw what appeared to be a skeletal face in the insulation, complete with horns where ears should be. After a moment, the face vanished.

The shamans informed Deborah that the skull was a manifestation of the entity tormenting them. They suggested it was connected to Bill Sr., possibly feeding off his life energy or even possessing him. This revelation made the family reconsider Bill Sr.’s indifferent behavior and reluctance to address the unsettling occurrences. The shamans claimed they had transferred the spirit to the family’s dog as a way to deal with it. However, the dog died suddenly a few days later, and the disturbing events continued.

Attacks Turn Physical

At this point, paranormal investigator Gary Kent took an interest in the case. Almost immediately, the strange activities shifted focus to him. Much like what had happened to Lee, objects were thrown at Kent, and his clothing was shredded before his eyes. One morning, while he was having breakfast at the house, the family heard strange “snipping” sounds. To their shock, clumps of Gary’s hair fell to the floor as if cut by invisible hands. Feeling unsafe, Kent quit the case and left the property immediately.

Shortly afterward, Ed and Lorraine Warren began their investigation. Lorraine immediately identified an “ancient demon” in the property. They attempted a ritual to drive the demon out. During this procedure, Bill Sr. began to act strangely, growling and howling like a dog. At one point, he threatened to bite off Ed’s hand, speaking in a voice the family didn’t recognize. Then, just as suddenly, Bill returned to normal, as if nothing had happened.

Despite their efforts, the Warrens were unable to help the Moffitt family, who were left alone once more to face the demonic force. The events grew even more severe. Lee began to experience physical attacks. She was pushed on several occasions and, at one point, pulled into the kitchen pantry by invisible hands, feeling an iron grip around her throat. When the family freed her, red marks were visible around her neck.

Deborah, who had recently given birth to her and Lee’s first child, tried to communicate directly with the entity again, specifically asking it not to harm the baby. Remarkably, the entity responded that it wouldn’t harm anyone—except Lee. The entity then revealed some fascinating information about itself and its intentions toward Lee.

Vengeance Across The Centuries

The entity claimed that in the 1600s, several French monks had engaged in Satanic rituals and promised to sacrifice a nun to it. However, they reneged on their promise, freeing the nun and helping her escape instead. According to the entity, that nun was Lee in a past life, meaning Lee “belonged” to it.

Deborah continued to communicate with the entity until one day, a message appeared stating that “Lee would die in 10 days.” Disturbingly, on the tenth day, Lee was rushed to the hospital with pneumonia. Although she eventually recovered, she spent several weeks in the hospital, during which she reported seeing a “black shape” in the room with her. Meanwhile, the activity at the Moffitt home suddenly ceased.

Example of the writing left on the mirror

Example of the writing left on the mirror

When Lee returned home, she continued to see the black form, which often appeared as her mother, Dominica. Additionally, she frequently discovered that the tubes on her oxygen tank had been slashed or disconnected.

One particularly ominous event occurred one evening when Bill Sr. woke to find a spearhead in his bed—an object no one in the family had ever seen before. Simultaneously, a message appeared on the bathroom mirror stating that Lee was to be killed with the spear. Deborah refused this order, and moments later, all the windows on the house’s second floor shattered. Experts later examined the spear, identifying it as a “ritualistic tool” likely from Africa, though it appeared almost brand new.

One Of The “Seven Princes Of Hell”

Not long after these events, parapsychologist Dr. Evelyn Paglini investigated the case. She suggested to the family, similar to the shamans, that Bill Sr. might be unintentionally giving the entity power and permission to stay in the house, thus providing it with energy. Additionally, she believed the entity’s description of itself as “Prince” was more accurate than the family had realized. Paglini posited that the entity was indeed demonic and one of the seven princes of Hell.

Like many other paranormal investigators before her, Paglini was unable to help the family, and the disturbances continued.

In early 1990, events took another strange turn when Gary Kent returned to the Moffitt home in a second attempt to rid them of the evil presence. Once again, the entity’s focus shifted to him. When Deborah asked why, the presence responded that it had known Gary in a past life—he was, according to the entity, one of the priests who had helped the nun escape. As such, it would settle for Gary’s life instead of Lee’s.

The disturbances persisted, and Bill Sr.’s behavior grew increasingly worrying and strange. He was often found alone, sitting bolt upright and seemingly speaking to an unseen figure. By late 1990, he had taken to sleeping in an upstairs room of the house. One evening, the family heard movement in the room and crept upstairs. They were shocked to see Bill Sr. sleepwalking and howling like a wolf. Bill Sr. had no recollection of these incidents.

A Sudden End

With nowhere left to turn, the family reluctantly agreed to try an exorcism of the property, despite it being against Lee’s religious beliefs. During the exorcism, Bill Sr. had to be physically restrained from attacking the priest performing it. However, the exorcism failed, and the bizarre activity continued.

The family eventually concluded that Bill Sr. had been secretly communicating with the entity, seemingly removing messages from the mirror before they could see them. Deborah became convinced that the entity was trying to persuade Bill Sr. to kill Lee, while Lee began to suspect that Bill wanted to kill her for a potential inheritance.

Regardless of the truth, Bill Sr. voluntarily entered an institution to assess his mental health. During the two weeks he was there, the activity at the property ceased. When the family went to pick him up from the hospital, the situation took another twist. Based on what Bill Sr. had told them, the doctors believed that Lee had been orchestrating the bizarre events and wanted to evaluate her mental state.

Ultimately, this led to Lee and Bill Sr. separating. Instead of moving back in, Bill packed his belongings and left the property. With Gary also out of the house, the events seemed to decrease dramatically. While there were occasional disturbances, the activity had almost entirely stopped.

However, when Gary returned to the house in 1992, the events resumed with the same brutality as before. One night, Gary awoke to find a loaded shotgun in his bed. At this point, Gary decided to move to England and asked Deborah to communicate with the entity, requesting it to go with him. She did so, but the entity responded with several obscene messages, indicating it would not leave the house.

On the day Gary left, a final message appeared on the mirror: “Goodbye, my family.” Whether the entity had left or not, the Moffitt family never experienced anything strange after that. However, they lived in constant fear of its return and avoided speaking about it, worried that doing so might provide enough energy or acknowledgment for it to come back.

Interestingly, Gary Kemp reported seeing the strange triangular symbol carved into the walls of his property in England for several months, suggesting the malevolent spirit had followed him across the pond. However, over time, these symbols appeared less frequently and eventually stopped altogether.

A Truly Perplexing Case

The true nature of what happened to the Moffitt family remains a subject of debate. Was a genuine entity haunting the family? Did this manifestation appear by chance, or was it summoned by Juanita through ancient blood rituals to cure Dominica’s health, only for her to lose control of it? Did something similar occur hundreds of years ago in a different lifetime involving Lee and Gary? Or was Bill Sr. behind the strange events for reasons known only to him? Alternatively, was the entire situation orchestrated by the family for financial gain?

The fact is the Moffitt family haunting remains one of the most mind-blowing supernatural encounters on record. And the case remains of interest to many researchers today, perhaps because it straddles so many fields of interest. As well as the ghostly activity itself there is the issue of the apparent ancient rituals and blood sacrifice and how this might have played into the events, as well as the idea of vengeful spirits tracking down those who have wronged them across centuries, which in itself suggests the apparent reality of people have multiple lives.

Above all else, if there is any truth to the entity being a “prince of Hell” then what does that say to us about the reality of such places or realms of existence? Even many in the paranormal world suggest that Hell, at least as we understand it, is nothing but a legend. However, if there is any truth the Moffitt family haunting, that stance might need to change.

The short video below explores this remarkable incident in more depth.


1 ‘Mr. Entity: The Moffitt Family Haunting’ – Blumhouse’s Latest Horror Franchise Revealed, Bloody Disgusting
2 The Case Study Concludes – The Maffitt Family Poltergeist Case, Metaphysical Articles

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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