Hollywood mysteries the haunting of the Jean Harlow and Paul Bern residence

Jean HarlowEaston Drive, Benedict Canyon is arguably one of the most disturbing hauntings in South California. This beautiful beach house is a Bavarian style mansion, with wooden carvings of various silent screen stars such as Pickford, Fairbanks and Valentino. In the late 20’s and early 30’s the house was owned by the movie star Jean Harlow and her husband MGM producer Paul Bern. However, this was a very stormy relationship and after only 6 weeks of marriage, Bern was found dead with a bullet hole in the brain. The coroners verdict was suicide, but this was suspect and for many crime buffs numerous questions remained unanswered. Some people claim that the mansion was jinxed because of Bern’s death. Two other people also died there, drowning in the swimming pool. One man who didn’t believe in jinxes was Jay Sebring. He was a popular hairdresser to the stars who bought the house in 1963.

He shrugged off the idea that the house was cursed’, though perhaps he shouldn’t have. Jay met and fell in love with a young 20 year old actress called Sharon Tate. In 1969, Sharon would fall victim to one of the most savage slayings in the history of Hollywood. But three years before she was brutally murdered at the hands of the Charles Manson family’, she glimpsed a ghostly image of the horrific fate that awaited her. Could the glimpse into the future have been provided by the phantom of Paul Bern? Sharon and Jay dated for 3 years and even announced their engagement, but in 1966 Sharon broke off the engagement for her soon to be husband Roman Polanski. Jay accepted this and considered Sharon and Roman his family and Jay and Sharon stayed very good friends, up to their murders at the hands of the Manson family. In 1966 just before Sharon fell for Roman, she was spending the night alone in Jay’s mansion.

Paul BernTrying to sleep in Jay’s master bedroom, she was overwhelmed with an uneasy feeling of a strong presence. Jumping at every noise, she lay on the bed with the lights on. Suddenly, an apparition of a creepy little man’ scuttled into the bedroom. She immediately recognised the ghost to be Paul Bern, who was so intent on his mission of wandering around the room to find some unknown thing. Putting on her robe Sharon hurried out of the bedroom. What happened next was especially chilling in light of events to come. Sharon started down the stairs, but halfway down them she froze in shock. Tied to the staircase posts at the bottom of the steps she saw a figure. It was unclear if it was a man or a woman, but she could clearly see that the figure’s throat had been cut. The apparition then vanished. Sharon was very shaken and went into the living room to pour herself a drink, but couldn’t find where Jay kept the alcohol.

Jean HarlowShe felt an inexplicable urge to press on a section of the bookcase which opened to reveal a hidden bar. Without thinking she tore away a piece of wallpaper at the base of the bar as she nervously poured herself a drink. The next morning she was convinced the whole episode had been a terrible nightmare…… until she saw the wallpaper that had been torn way from the bar. She had indeed seen Paul Bern and at that time, had unknowingly seen a vision of her fate. In 1969, after she married Roman, and was almost 9 months pregnant, she, Jay and two others were staying at Sharon and Roman’s mansion on Cielo Drive. Roman was away directing a film at the time. The Manson family invaded the home, Jay died trying to defend Sharon, who suffered a ghastly death, just like the vision she experienced on the stairs that night at Jay’s home.