Friday, January 23, 2015

Sharon's Premonition II

Sharon Tate's Tragic Preview of Murder
Fate Magazine May 1970

All of the images here appeared along with the article.

by Dick Kleiner

The meaning of a psychic experience Sharon Tate related to me some years ago seems obvious now-- but it didn't at the time.  The lovely starlet understood it not at all-- but today it is clear she foresaw the manner of her own death.

In my capacity as Hollywood correspondent for the Newspaper Enterprise Association, Inc., a news feature syndicate, I visited the set where Sharon Tate was working on a feature film on August 1, 1968.  I hade met Miss Tate once or twice so she recognized me.  Between scenes she invited me into her trailer.

We talked for a half hour or so about her film career, her current movie and many other things.  Then I asked if she ever had psychic experiences.  It wasn't an idle question.  I always ask the stars and celebrities I interview if they have had such experiences at any time in their lives.

I had begun asking that question perhaps 15 years ago and I find a large number of actors and actresses recall such experiences.  They range from simple and commonplace- Deja vu and such- to fantastically dramatic stories.

So I posed my pet question to Sharon Tate, one of the most beautiful girls to become a Hollywood star in many years.

She answered unhesitatingly, "Yes, I have has a psychic experience- at least I guess that what it was- and it was a terribly frightening  and disturbing thing for me.  It happened a year or so ago.  Maybe you can explain it."

I said I wasn't too good an "explainer" but I would like to hear her story.  And this is what Sharon Tate related.  Remember, we talked a year before August 8, 1969- the date she, Jay Sebring and the others were brutally murdered.

At the time of her experience Sharon Tate was being squired around Hollywood by Jay Sebring.  A steady twosome, both exceptionally attractive, they made a striking couple.

Jay was a popular man-about-town.  His profession (he was a barber but in Hollywood they called him a "men's hair stylist") might seem a strange on to yield a "man-about-town" but Jay made a lot of money styling the hair of the famous and near-famous in Hollywood.  He had become reasonably wealthy and had purchased an expensive home in as exclusive part of the Los Angeles area.

His house was in Benedict Canyon which cuts north from Beverly Hills into the mountains.  The house had been owned years earlier by Paul Bern, an agent who became famous when he married one of his clients, a girl named Jean Harlow.

Bern's house, now belonging to Sebring, was located right on Benedict Canyon, the street that parallels the canyon itself.  It stood only a mile or so south of Cielo Drive, a short street that cuts off from Benedict Canyon.

It was in a house at the end of Cielo Drive rented by Sharon and Roman Polanski, the brilliant young Polish director whom she married in 1968, the five murders took place.  But Sharon's psychic experience occurred in Jay Sebring's house.

Jay had been called to New York on business.  A New York promoter was talking about franchising Jay Sebring Hairstyling Parlors and Sebring was there to talk about the deal.  At the time by sheer coincidence Sharon had no place to live.  She had given up her apartment in the expectation that another she had rented would be available but there had been a delay.  She couldn't get into the new place for a week or so.  She was planning to move into a hotel when Jay said she could stay at his house while he was in New York.

She happily agreed, for she was anxious to see the house anyway.  It was famous in Hollywood.  Everybody knew that here Bern had brought Jean Harlow when they first were married.  Everybody knew, too, that from here Jean had walked out on him.  And here too Bern had committed suicide.
***
Sharon moved a few things into Jay's house in the afternoon, cooked a little supper, read for a while, then went to bed early, tired from the moving.  But she couldn't sleep.

"I had a funny feeling," she told me.  There was nothing else, nothing external, all internal.  It was just a "funny feeling" that disturbed her and prevented sleep.  Every little noise- and what house doesn't have its little noises?- made her jump although she wasn't ordinarily skittish or excitable.

She turned on a bedside lamp, mainly to regain a sense of reality.  It didn't shed much light but enough for her to see something stirring outside her bedroom door.  "I saw this creepy little man," Sharon said, shuttering involuntarily.  "He looked like all the descriptions I had ever read of Paul Bern."

The vision, or whatever it was, made no threatening move in her direction.  The figure came into her room but did not approach Sharon's bed.  He simply prowled around the room, going rather fast for what she took to be a ghost, and bumping into things.  He- or it- didn't behave as she thought a ghost should- nor like a prowler.  He was moving too fast, he was clumsy, and he seemed to be almost solid, rather than transparent. 

She didn't like what was going on.  She jumped out of bed and put a robe on and ran downstairs.  Shortly she wished she was back upstairs- for what she saw as she ran down the flight of stairs was enough to make anyone wish to be somewhere else.

"I saw something or someone tied to the staircase," she said.  "Whoever it was- and I couldn't tell if it was a man or a woman but knew somehow that it was either Jay Sebring or me- he or she was cut open at the throat."

She said she almost flew past this apparition and raced into the playroom, wanting a drink to steady herself.  She was sure that Jay had a bar somewhere in the room or at least a liquor cupboard.  But she had no way of knowing where it was.

Mysteriously something seemed to tell her- although she heard no voice- that she should open up one of the shelves behind the bookcase.  She groped around and found a tiny button.  When she pushed it the bookcase opened and behind was a hidden bar.  Quickly she poured a stiff one and gratefully swallowed the liquor.

She tried to clam down to assess her situation.  She told herself the whole thing must be just a horrible nightmare.  To test it she pinched herself- and was delighted to realize she had felt nothing.  It was only a dream.

Next the same soundless informer who had told her how to find the bar commanded her- irrationally it seemed- to tear away the wallpaper at the base of the bar.  This was ridiculous!  But her curiosity overwhelmed her.  She tore at the wallpaper and it came away easily.  Behind it was solid copper, a lovely base for the bar, which had been papered over by some boorish former owner.  She peeled away all the paper until the beautiful copper was completely revealed.

Again she reminded herself it must all be a dream. The incongruity, the apparition upstairs, the awful thing on the staircase and now the crazy business of ripping away the wallpaper to find solid copper- those are the ingredients of dreams.  She pinched herself again.  Still no feeling.

She thought she could go to bed now and sleep. she started back upstairs.  The thing, mutilated and gushing blood, still was tied to the newel post in the downstairs hall.  Upstairs the creepy little man still prowled about.  She skirted the former and dodged the latter and made it safely into the bedroom.  Surprisingly, once in bed, she immediately fell into a deep and untroubled sleep.

She awakened, late the next morning, to the sound of a male voice from below.

"Hey, Sharon, are you home!"  She recognized Jay Sebring's voice.  When she went downstairs, he explained the business trip had been cut short and he was home again.

As he talked she remembered the nightmare and laughed.  He wondered what she was laughing about but she couldn't tell him.  It would have been foolish to describe the two apparitions and the crazy business with the bar.

Then they walked together into the playroom and suddenly it all became reality again.  There was the bookcase open and the copper base shining and the scraps of wallpaper on the floor.
***
Sharon Tate, talking about this in the trailer on the movie set, laughed again.  It was the only psychic experience she ever had in her life.  Was it a dream?  Or were there ghosts?  She asked me what I thought.

I didn't know what to tell her.  Perhaps the "creepy little man" was a ghost, the troubled spirit of Paul Bern.  Perhaps the business about the bookcase and the wallpaper was feminine intuition or an ordinary hunch.  But the apparition tied to the staircase- that horrifying figure she felt was either Jay or herself- that I couldn't explain at that time.  Now it seems obvious. What could it have been but a preview of the horrifying drama to come?







15 comments:

Michael Hloušek-Nagle said...

Throat cut open? So this is a 'premonition' of something that didn't happened to either of them. Kind of like saying after the event that record cold winters are the result of the climate change that was theoretically predicted to bring warmer wetter winters.

I agree there may well be things currently unknown that the men in lab coats will one day kindly deign to 'validate' for us by measuring and labelling them. We may currently intuit things beyond our powers to quantify; but when a creative/imaginative actress goes to a place as creepy the Paul Bern house, knowing the story of what happened there, and spends the night alone, and has a drink (or something else), and sees a jumble of images some of which bear a vague and inaccurate resemblance to something that later happens to her.... I'm not entirely convinced. As rationalists remind us - when we think of a particular person and two seconds later we get a phonecall from them we tend to forget the dozens of times we thought of them and they didn't immediately phone. The brain looks to construct pattern and meaning.

Robert Hendrickson said...

I would agree with you Michael, and in this case, Sharon was likely just helping to promote "Eye of the Devil" with a personal "story"
.
BUT there are instances where people can temporarily develop a super-sensitive state of awareness. It is extremely rare and, at the time, a person may not even realize they are experiencing an altered state.

I remember Gypsy packing, at the Spahn Ranch, when the "fire" that eventually burned the ranch to the ground was 25 miles away and on the other side of the mountain range. In my entire life, never had a fire reached the San Fernando Valley from such a distance. But Gypsy "knew" it would reach them AND I thought she was, for sure, crazy. Well, let's just say: "Maybe the Devil takes care of his own." But poor George lost most everything - thanks to the Fire Department.

Dogs have photographic memories and even know how to "use" it to their advantage. BUT most people are taught from birth to ignore their special talents, otherwise they will be ridiculed for being different.

Just look at mankind - after thousands of years of supposed mental development and man still ONLY knows how to solve dangerous problems with VIOLENCE. And we call animals sub-human.

Matt said...

I agree, RH. People tend to ignore that 6th sense. It's by going with it that helps people to develop it. That's why I think small children are so much more intuitive than adults - they haven't been ridiculed for it yet.

Shorty's pistols said...

How did the Fire Department err?

I thought that fire was pretty much out of control by the time it hit Spahn.

AustinAnn74 said...

Did Sharon Tate really say this happened, or was this just a story from a reporter wanting to sensationalize? I still don't understand how you could see a f*cking ghost of a suicide victim, then go downstairs and see something else, then simply have a drink, and stroll back upstairs past the same apparitions to hit the sack. Ah hell NO, man! Running out of that house and never stepping foot in it again would of been the first order of business. Of course, I come from a Mexican/Texas background, so tales from this area would make you shit yourself. My mom is from Mexico, and the stories that come out of that country are even more freakier. Don't get me started! We are a very superstitious group. We don't need scientists to prove jack shit either. If Sharon Tate really did tell this to a reporter, I find it extremely chilling.

Suze said...

AustinAnn, you are so funny. You frequently make me laugh. Just wanted you to know that!

Krissy Deen said...

Sharon really did tell this story- at least according to her close friend Sheilah Welles, she talks about it on one of the Sharon biographies, I'm pretty sure it was the one on the E channel that was on several years ago. She not only told Ms. Welles she also told her mother about it. ( Sheilah's not Doris) She laughed it off though, she said Sharon had a great imagination and was always coming up with wild stories. Who knows- but the first thing I thought of when I heard it was who could go back to sleep? Not me.

Michael Hloušek-Nagle said...

Another thing - everyone is quick to link the 'creepy little man' spectre to Paul Bern; but I think it's just as likely a ghastly premonition of her future marriage to a certain vertically-challenged child rapist.

Robert Hendrickson said...

OHHH Michael: Go ahead - open the other can of worms.

YES Matt: Our Education system even seeks to identify "Special NEEDS Children," but NOT "really" specially gifted ones.
We're headed in that direction now, but for the specific purpose to recruit these "brain-children" for the CIA, West-Point, Chemical Weapons development, etc.

Today's news headline is all about gender "equality" INSTEAD of exploiting "specific" gender "talents."

You want women to be "equal" to men? Squeaky already PROVED women have a bigger pair of balls than most men.

Besides, don't we have enough "dicks" in this world ?

AustinAnn74 said...

Suze, thank you, I guess. haha....I don't mean to, but I guess the way things come out sometimes sounds funny. :-)
Take care!!

Healter Skelter said...

It would have been more believable if she would have had the premonition at Cielo and saw 2 bodies on her living room floor or 2 out on her lawn.

HellzBellz said...

Mr Hendrickson sayd ; ,Dogs have photographic memories and even know how to "use" it to their advantage. BUT most people are taught from birth to ignore their special talents, otherwise they will be ridiculed for being different'
Now THATS thruth !!

Matt said...

Agreed Hans!

Jody Welch said...

Sounds like an acid trip to me.

CrisPOA said...

The little man could be Charlie too, remember she described him to Hatami as "the creepy looking guy"...(going too far here!) but the dead person at the stairs makes no sense.
The only way i could get to sleep after seeing a ghost would be taking some "reds".