Exorcism: The story behind the story of demonic possession in Gary

Foreword: This case is one of the most bizarre cases in recent memory.  Multiple media accounts detail reports from reliable witnesses; such as the Family Services investigators called upon to determine wrong doing on the part of Ms. Ammons.  Be sure to go to https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1004899-intake-officers-report.html and read the entire document, especially page 4 paragraph 2 which details the account of one child walking up the wall backwards and page 2 paragraph 10 in which medical personal at a clinic treating the children report watching the one child thrown through the air by an unseen entity.  While skeptics have tried to debunk this case, it still remains a credible testimony to the existence of paranormal activity.

The story behind the story of demonic possession in Gary

by Marisa Kwiatkowski for the Indianapolis Star

As The Star’s social services watchdog, it’s my job to be a voice for those who can’t speak for themselves.

I’ve investigated gaps in intensive mental health services for children with developmental disabilities and mental illnesses. I’ve written about the struggles of families to pay for children’s hearing aids. I’ve studied the state’s response to a paralyzed young woman’s death. And my colleagues and I investigated Indiana’s day-care system, which helped spur a change in state law.

But the article I’m most known for? Nope, it’s none of those. It’s a tale of demonic possession.

When it was published in January, “The exorcisms of Latoya Ammons” became an instant sensation. I fielded hundreds of calls and emails from people all over the world. Movie and TV producers clamored to connect with Ammons for the right to tell her story. Zak Bagans, host and executive producer of “Ghost Adventures” on the Travel Channel, was so intrigued that he bought the Carolina Street home in Gary, Ind., where the family says many of the events occurred.

“The exorcisms of Latoya Ammons” is now the most-read piece in The Indianapolis Star’s history. Not bad for an article that almost never published.
Today, on Halloween, amid the usual frivolity over ghosts and goblins, it seemed an appropriate time to finally share the story behind the story. So here goes:

My deep dive into the world of levitation, fear and faith started the way most articles do — with a tip.

A source I’d met during my years working for a paper in northwestern Indiana brought Ammons’ story to my attention. You’ll never believe this case I was involved in, he told me. The source sent copies of reports detailing a police investigation into paranormal activity at Ammons’ home in Gary, Ind.

I was intrigued.

As is true of most reporters, I’ve encountered my fair share of people asking me to investigate crazy happenings. But this was the first time that the wild claims were backed up by high-ranking police officials and two Indiana Department of Child Services employees.

Ammons claimed that she and her three children had been possessed by demons. But that’s not what really fascinated me. What I found so intriguing was the unusual responses by state and local agencies to Ammons’ assertion.

From the very beginning, records indicated those closest to Ammons’ case believed her story of demonic possession. A DCS family case manager and registered nurse even claimed they’d seen Ammons’ then-9-year-old son walk backward up a wall at a hospital.

And when DCS removed Ammons’ children from her home, it wasn’t because of the traditional definitions of abuse or neglect.

“All of the children were expericing (sic) spiritual and emotional distress,” a DCS employee wrote in an official court document.


Read the rest of this story at the indystar.com

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