US - Latoya Ammons (pictured left) moved into a home with her mother and 3 children in Gary, Indiana in 2011 and started hearing footsteps in the basement. Over time, she and her children, aged 12, 9 and 8, became 'possessed'; their eyes would bulge, they'd shake and growl. A clairvoyant said the home was haunted by 200 demons. Sons were taken to hospital after one was inexplicably thrown in the house. While there a nurse and a CPS worker saw him walk backwards up a wall. Full story below..
It is a clear, calm voice – a whisper that cuts across the voices of the Indiana police officers recording proceedings.
‘Hey’ – a simple word rendered chilling because nobody present in the basement that day said it, much less heard it, at the time.None of the police officers sent to investigate claims of supernatural occurrences, possession and paranormal activity at a modest rental home in Gary, Indiana in spring 2012 really believed this could be anything other than a hoax. None of them thought that they would be descending into ‘a portal to hell.’
But today that is exactly what Gary Indiana police captain Charles Austin (pictured above) believes the basement of Latoya Ammons’s former family home contained.
Speaking to MailOnline he said: ‘Everyone of us who was there that day in the basement and who saw what we saw, went through what we went through after…we all think the same, we all call it the same. That bit of dirt is a portal to hell.
'I came into work on the Monday and asked my sergeant if anything had occurred out of the ordinary over the weekend. He told me that there had been a contact by a party in reference to a house in Carolina Street where the mother was living with three children and her mother, their grandmother.’
Since the news of the so-called possession and exorcism of Latoya Ammons broke the story has been met with intense skeptism by some and unwavering belief by others. But no-one can remain unmoved or unsettled by this odd, alarming tale.
When Capt Austin heard of it that Monday afternoon his sergeant told him that Child Protection Services were involved.
The children had been missing school and had been removed from their mother’s care but both Latoya Ammons and her mother Rose Campbell insisted that the wrong at the heart of their household was supernatural in nature.
Capt Austin said: ‘The sergeant told me that the children had been missing school and there was talk of satanic goings on. He was very leery of it. I contacted some people, high-ranking officers; we decided to take a look.
‘I walked in there thinking this was nothing but a hoax, a concocted story.’
Instead what he experienced that day in the spring of 2012 shook him to his core, threatened his life and became part of the documented history of one of the most disturbing and baffling cases in Indiana’s police history.
That voice - picked up by a police tape recorder as Capt Austin and his colleagues recorded their tour around the house with a growing sense of unease – was either a welcome or a challenge, according to Capt Austin, 62, but whatever it was, it was not human.
Capt Austin’s assertions were echoed by Roman Catholic priest Father Michael Maginot, also interviewed by MailOnline.
Father Maginot may be a more natural
candidate to believe in supernatural phenomenon than a cop of 37 years'
standing who prides himself in being an ‘aggressive and assertive law
But, like Capt
Austin, he set out to disprove the story forwarded by Latoya Ammons and
her mother Rose. Instead he would conduct one minor and three major
exorcisms on the mother of three and told MailOnline that he himself had
been the target of demonic attack for his involvement in the case.
a six-month period Latoya claims that she and her children were
possessed by demons. She says that the house in which they lived was
ravaged by malevolent spirits, that her daughter, then 12, and sons, 9
and 7 respectively were physically attacked – thrown against furniture,
dragged from the sofa, punched and tormented till their gums and noses
bled and they struggled to breath.
a family she says they fell ill – she to three kidney infections, her
children to a variety of ailments and disturbances. She says the house
‘dripped oil,’ that shadowy figures walked the rooms at night, that
footsteps could be heard coming up from the basement only to be followed
by a furious pounding on the door leading form it to the main house
when, in increasing terror, she and her mother put a lock on it.
There were swarms of dead horseflies
on the porch – swept up one day only to return in equal abundance the
next. Lights flickered, phones played up, television signals scrambled
and reverted to normal on a whim.
Father Maginot speaks rapidly and
earnestly. He is affable, open and welcoming but he is no fool. He set
out, he insisted, to disprove any notion of the occult. To do an
exorcism permission is needed from the Bishop and, to be frank, he
admitted he was reluctant to go down that path having approached Bishop
Dale J Melczek, Bishop of Gary some years earlier on another matter
involving possible supernatural events only to receive short shrift.
said: ‘I set out to disprove it because to be honest I didn’t want to
get the bishop involved. But I had policemen, social workers, doctors
and security guards telling me what they had witnessed.
short, she claims, the family was terrorized beyond all endurance. And
the impact in school-time lost and medical treatment sought saw the
Department of Child Protection Services step in and call in first he
police, and finally after one particularly harrowing event, Father
Sitting before the
fire in the main room of St Stephen the Martyr’s rectory in
Merrillville, Indiana Father Maginot admitted he only became involved by
chance. He happened to be covering for the usual chaplain of Gary ER on
the weekend when a medic called in some distress to report a bizarre
He said: ‘We
were having our bible study after mass when I got the call saying
“You’re a Catholic priest. You do exorcisms. We need you to do one.”
They went onto tell me that a little boy had just walked, glided,
backwards up a wall and flipped over to land on his feet.
‘They said he was growling, they described all sorts of things. I went of course.’
‘I couldn’t just dismiss them all. That was a Friday. So I met with the mother and grandmother on the Sunday.’
But he became convinced, he said, that Latoya was indeed possessed and that the house in which she and her children lived had become cursed as a result of a hex placed on her. Shaking his head, aware perhaps of how unbelievable the story, he admitted; ‘I think there was a curse placed on the mother, that she was the focus possibly by an ex-boyfriend or his wife and that that combined with some tragedy and perhaps occult practices that had taken place in that house before and that had opened a portal.’ It is the conclusion Capt Austin has drawn against every logical thought that told him that just could not be true.
Speaking from Gary Police Department Headquarters, he has run every department from narcotics to homicide, gang intelligence to autodetail. He has taught 500 officers and received the department’s highest reward for his service. He doesn’t believe in the sort of ‘garbage’ he thought he was being fed in by the two women at Caroline Street in Gary two spring’s ago.
He said: ‘I was skeptical. I was leading the pack through the house. We walked in and the first thing we see is in the living room there’s a candle burning and a bible and a little altar with a crucifix – same in every room in the house. There was a drawing on the refrigerator done by one of the boys that was Jesus on the cross but behind him there looked like demonic figures.’
There were similar drawings elsewhere he recalled. He sat as Latoya’s mother, Rose, told him how the Venetian blinds would get wet and appear to drip oil, that the basement door would open and close and that they heard a dog barking sometimes and scratching.
Capt. Austin listened but, he said, ‘I thought it was a joke.’ But the further into the house he investigated the less comfortable he felt. Things just seemed ‘odd.’
He said: ‘Underneath the stairs was dirt and a candle. I was trying to figure out what was going on there because the rest of the basement was cement. ‘I took pictures of the candles and crucifix under the stairs on the dirt.’ Those pictures, taken on his iPhone, subsequently disappeared he said and the phone which he used that day never behaved the same again.
But before those images disappeared, he said, he saw that they contained figures he had not seen before; figures he said were not there before, standing around him and beneath the stairs. According to Capt. Austin: ‘The officer behind me took pictures of me standing in front of him and in his pictures he saw lots of figures too.’ With the practiced narration of an experienced witness, Capt. Austin continued: ‘I said, “Enough of this garbage.” On leaving the property I went to a gas station and made a phone call. ‘I had my police radio, my squad car dash AM/FM radio, my police cell and my iPhone. I was looking at the pictures I had taken on my iPhone when I made this call and all of a sudden this growling voice came from my AM/FM radio. ‘It said, “YOU OUTTA HERE” Then a lot of garbled other stuff and static.’ The memory clearly disturbs the veteran officer to this day. He said: ‘I’m thinking something is seriously wrong here.’
Later he called his fellow officer who told him, ‘Those pictures that we took under the stairs, there’s silhouettes of other people under the stairs with you.’ After that, according to Capt. Austin, every other officer present that day had problems with their radios, phones and house alarms. Most alarming for Capt. Austin was an incident he had two weeks later when he was, he said bluntly, ‘attacked.’
Returning home in his Infiniti SUV he said, ‘the electric door to my garage would not open. It had been fine before. I pressed the keypad it must have been 10 times then gave up.
‘I exited the vehicle and went to flip the main power in the garage but that didn’t work, then the house and finally that worked. ‘But when I went back to my car the drivers seat was just moving backwards and forwards by itself. Backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards. ‘When I took the car to the shop to get it looked into they said if I hadn’t brought it in it could have caused an accident and I could have been killed because for some reason the seat was about to collapse.’
The next time Capt. Austin was in the house it was with Father Maginot several weeks later.
They brought a dog, thinking perhaps they would find a crime scene, perhaps human remains, that might account for the disturbances but the dogs found nothing. The men dug, five foot down into the dirt in the basement and unearthed a bizarre collection of objects: boys’ socks with the ankle portion cut out, a fake fingernail, women’s panties, a heavy, corroded iron weight, a broken plastic shoe horn and a red oval kettle lid.
Household trash? Or objects ritualistically buried in an attempt to summon something up or keep something at bay? By then even the most level-headed present were open to the latter explanation and several of the people who had visited the house on the first inspection, including the original CPS case worker, had become so shaken by the day and its aftermath that they refused to go back.
Father Maginot’s experience of the exorcisms of Latoya Ammons is similarly unnerving.
He met with Latoya and her mother at the house and, he said, for two hours they conducted an interview without any incident.
The women told him what they claimed was going on – the footsteps, the pounding, sometimes an animal growling, the horseflies, the youngest boy was often found talking to another boy whom no-one else could see and then there was the jarringly horrible tale of an ‘old woman with red eyes’ who disappeared as suddenly as she had appeared to the children in the yard one day.
He said: ‘Only the children saw definite figures but the grandmother saw a shadow of a man and they would find dirty footsteps in the front from in the morning just paced to and fro and going nowhere.
‘Ghostly things are easier to deal with,’ said Father Maginot, explaining, ‘A lot of the time as Catholics you can have a mass, pray for them, tell them to go into the light, not to be afraid. But demons are different. You're inviting in guests from other realms and they don't necessarily want to leave.'’
During his visit to the Carolina Street house Father Maginot said that among the many strange phenomenon he witnessed were walls dripping with oil, Venetian blind rods tilting from side to side in unison and apparently for no reasons, seemingly set footprints appearing on the floor. Lights repeatedly flickered then stopped when approached in such a way that the priest became convinced this was ‘an intelligence’ not simply an electric fault. The final straw, the family told him, was when they were sitting as a family watching television and a bottle of Febreeze floated up, moved to and fro in the air before being hurled into Latoya’s room, smashing a lamp. In the aftermath they saw the shadow of a man.
They left the house for a hotel that night and never returned to live there again. A clairvoyant who had visited the house and told Latoya she saw ‘hundreds of demons’ in the basement had told her to anoint the house with oil and put salt down to seal the gateways to demons.
Father Maginot did the same during his visit uttering blessings and trying, at every turn, to find a logical explanation for the things he was seeing and the things these women were telling him. But increasingly he struggled.
He said: ‘I was trying to find a focus for it, to understand where it was coming from because that can help solve these things.’
Father Maginot became convinced that Latoya’s former lover was a ‘trigger’ or possible ‘source.’ Every time he asked her about this man – who is not the father of any of the children – Latoya complained of more symptoms of the possession, fever, cold, headaches, nausea and convulsions. He said: ‘After almost four hours when she was going through one of these moments I took my crucifix and put it to her forehead and she began convulsing.