One of the most popular posts on my website is the murder house of Sharon Tate at 10050 Cielo Drive in Benedict Canyon, Los Angeles. Everyone knows the story of how she was brutally murdered in her home along with 4 others including her former boyfriend, famous Hollywood hair stylist, Jay Sebring.
Sharon Tate & Jay Sebring
Lesser known is the eerie story of Jay Sebring’s house which was just a short drive away from Sharon’s house in Benedict Canyon.
Sebring purchased the home in 1963 in part because of its dark Hollywood history. You see, in the early 1930’s, the house was owned by MGM producer Paul Bern and his wife, famed actress, Jean Harlow.
9860 Easton Drive, Beverly Hills, was a Bavarian-style house built sometime between 1910 and 1920 (I could not find an exact date). Paul Bern owned the house in the 1920’s and ’30’s and had his new bride move in with him after they were married in July of 1932.
Jean Harlow & Paul Bern in front of their house, 1932
Bern had helped launch the career of the illustrious bombshell, but tragically, 2 months after they were married, Paul Bern was found dead in the home with a gunshot wound to the head and what appeared to be a suicide note. The official cause of death was ruled a suicide but there have long been rumors that Bern’s death was actually a murder staged to look like a suicide.
It was an odd match to begin with – Harlow, the magnetic platinum blonde Hollywood sex symbol, and Bern, the homely, intellectual brooding little man.
The pictures I have included here depict Bern and Harlow in an around their home on Easton Drive.
Jean Harlow is pictured (above) at the Easton pool.
The home has some interesting architectural features including carved figurines on the wooden downspouts which portrayed famous Hollywood actors from the silent film age.
There was also a large mural on the ceiling of the living room which you can see in the photo below:
I found two photos from the crime scene investigation which gives us only a small glimpse of the master bedroom:
Bern’s body was discovered in the dressing room adjacent to the bedroom.
Many people claim that Bern’s death somehow hexed the house with a curse that has seen tragedy strike its occupants on multiple occasions. After Bern’s death, Harlow moved out but later died an untimely death at the age of 26 from kidney disease. In the years that followed, two other people committed suicide in the Easton Drive home and one person drowned in the pool.
In 1963, the ill-fated house on Easton drive was purchased by young celebrity hair stylist, Jay Sebring.
Jay was already a successful fixture in Hollywood when he met a young actress named Sharon Tate in the early 1960’s. The attraction was immediate and the two dated for several years until Sharon broke up with Jay in 1966 and started dating her future husband, Roman Polanski. Even after Jay and Sharon parted ways as a couple, however, they continued to see each other as close friends. Some accounts even claim they were planning on getting back together at the time of their deaths in August 1969.
Sharon spent a lot of time at Jay’s house while they were dating – she even lived there with him for a short time. Jay entertained quite a bit at his house with its large pool and private grounds. There is actually a surviving home video shot on the pool deck at one such party when Sharon and Jay were dating. You can view that footage here on You Tube.
Then there was the dream incident.
In 1966, Sharon was spending the night alone at Jay’s house, sleeping in his master bedroom. She later recounted to several friends how she was suddenly awoken by an apparition of “a creepy little man” who was walking through the bedroom. Startled, Sharon bolted out of bed and ran down the stairs where she saw another apparition, this one a dead body tied to the staircase banisters – the corpse’s throat was slit. Sharon later said that she believed that the the first apparition in the bedroom was the ghost of Paul Bern.
Many people believe that the second ghost – the murdered one – was a chilling premonition which foreshadowed Sharon and Jay’s own tragic deaths.
Below is the last photo taken of Jay and pregnant Sharon on the day they died:
We all know what happened on that horrific night in early August of 1969 when Sharon, Jay, and friends Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski and a guest of the groundskeeper, Steven Parent were brutally murdered by members of the Manson Family.
After his murder, Jay Sebring’s house was sold to a doctor and his family and it is reportedly still owned by the same people today.
Given all of the deaths and tragedies associated with the house on Easton Drive, many believe it is haunted, both by the ghosts of Paul Bern and Jay Sebring.
You can view an exterior tour of the property here. The current owners allowed an amateur film crew on the property to take some footage, but they would not allow them inside for privacy reasons.
The estate also had a carriage house where the staff was boarded in Bern & Harlow’s time. At some point the carriage house was parceled off from the main house and sold separately. The carriage house most recently hit the market in 2014. You can view pictures of it here.
Unfortunately, there are few existing pictures of the interior of the main house that are in the public domain. If you happen to know of any, please let me know!