A police officer and a priest in Gary, Indiana were convinced by a mother’s claims that her home was possessed by demons. Beginning with a Department of Child Services investigation, the story ended with an exorcism that finally gave the tenants some peace.
Latoya Ammons moved into the small rental home in Gary with her mother and three children in November 2011. Strange things started happening right away, according to an Indiana Star investigation. The porch was swarmed with horseflies in December, which kept coming back in swarms.
“This is not normal," recalled Rosa Campbell, Ammons’ mother. "We killed them and killed them and killed them, but they kept coming back."
The family began to hear strange noises—footsteps and doors opening and closing. Then one night Campbell saw a shadowy figure walking in the living room. He left large, wet footprints.
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By spring of 2012, things got even more disturbing. Campbell’s granddaughter, who was visiting the house at the time after a death in the family, levitated above her bed.
The family sought help from local churches and clairvoyants. Most ignored them, but some offered advice. The family made an altar in their basement, burned sage and sulfur, an recited a psalm through the house.
After a few days of quiet, things went from bad to worse. Ammons’ kids, ages 7, 9, and 12 at the time, started acting truly possessed—talking in deep voices with their eyes bulging, evil smiles on their faces. The children suffered unexplainable injuries and heard scary voices. The family even slept at a hotel some nights.
Ammons went to the family’s doctor, Dr. Geoffrey Onyeukwu, for help.
"Twenty years, and I've never heard anything like that in my life," Onyeukwu told the Star. "I was scared myself when I walked into the room."
Ammons’ sons cursed at Onyeukwu— and then the youngest was "lifted and thrown into the wall with nobody touching him," according to a DCS report.
The police and ambulance were called and the boys were taken to the hospital. A psychiatric evaluation of Ammons concluded that she was of “sound mind.”
That’s when the Catholic priest Father Michael Maginot got involved. He was called to the house to perform an exorcism.
‘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,” Maginot told the Daily Mail.
Maginot soon became convinced that evil was at hand. Both he and Gary police captain Charles Austin began experiencing strange happenings—pictures disappearing from their phones, evil voices emanating from the radio, and even physical violence with no explanation.
The family had since moved to Indiana, but came back to Gary for the DCS hearings and the exorcisms. It turns out, Maginot said, that Ammons herself was the source of the demons.
“I had thought the demons were with the kids but now I could see they were with her. She was the source. They jumped from her and they jumped from child to child – they would pick up each other’s chants, or convulse in turn, act crazy, or growl in turn. But they were with her,” he said.
Maginot performed three exorcisms on different days. He gave Ammons a rosary, and since then all has been quiet. For those involved, though, things will never be quite the same.
"It shook me, everything to do with this. It shook me. This was a situation that was so out of my normal habitat," said Capt. Austin. "Did it shake me? Yes, to a certain degree it did."