Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Indiana family's demonic possession claims supported by police captain as eerie picture of figure at window of empty house emerges

Latoya Ammons, who is a mother of three from Indiana, has told authorities that demonic spirits caused her 9-year-old son to walk backwards on a hospital ceiling and her 12-year-old daughter to levitate above her bed, writes Rob Williams.

This image via the Hammond Police Department appears to show a figure at the window on the right side of the porch. Source: Hammond Police Department
This image via the Hammond Police Department appears to show a figure at the window on the right side of the porch. Source: Hammond Police Department

The unbelievable story, which emerged in the Indianapolis Star newspaper, and is detailed in social work reports, was supported by Gary Police Captain Charles Austin.

Captain Austin, a police officer with 36-years experience, initially said he was sceptical about the family's claims but that he had been convinced after visiting the home and conducting interviews with the family.

The bizarre and unlikely tale began when Ms Ammons, her mother, Rosa Campbell, and three children - moved into a rental house on Carolina Street in November 2011. Ammons reported a plague of flies swarming onto the window of the porch despite it being the middle of winter.

She also reported regularly hearing things going bump in the night, along with the sound of footsteps and doors creaking and shadowy figures pacing in her living room.

According to the Indy Star matters took a turn for the worse in March 2012 when Ammons reported witnessing her daughter floating above her bed.

"The family said demons possessed Ammons and her children, then ages 7, 9 and 12," the Indy Star reports. "The kids' eyes bulged, evil smiles crossed their faces, and their voices deepened every time it happened." After contacting clairvoyants Ammons was told the house was filled with more than 200 demons.

The paper reports that the behaviour of Ammons' children then began to get worse.

Just days later Ammons claims she saw her 7-year-old fly out of the bathroom and that her 12-year-old daughter required stitches after receiving a hit to the head.

Documents obtained by the local newspaper from the social services department detail Ammons claims that there are demons in the house that are attacking the children.

The claims of demonic possession gained further attention after a photograph of the property was distributed showing what some have suggested is a "figure" visible on the enclosed porch.

According to the Indy Star "officials say the home was unoccupied at the time the photograph was taken."

The family's claims have been supported by priests, police captain Austin and family service caseworkers - all of whom have stated they believe a supernatural evil resides in the house.

The paper reports that such is the police fascination with the story that the current owners had to ask officers to stop driving past the house at all hours.

Not everyone is swallowing the bizarre story however.

After visiting the family home a local doctor described Ammons in his notes as "delusional" and wrote about "delusions of ghost in home" and "hallucinations."

An unnamed witness described to caseworkers how the kids were "performing" for Ammons. They also said that Ms Ammons encouraged the behaviour.

The paper reports that the children were eventually removed from the family home, and Ms Ammons moved from the property.

The day after the children were taken from Ammons the hospital chaplain called on Rev. Mike Maginot to carry out an exorcism on the children and their mother.

The children were returned six months later when the problems subsided.

There are now new tenants in the property and the landlord has not received any further reports of demonic possession.

Further reading

Catholic Church sets up an exorcist hotline to deal with demand

Exorcism: Why does the Catholic church still try to drive out demons?

'I see dead people everywhere, even in shops'

Did the pope perform an exorcism?

Exorcism: Playing with demons 

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