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The First Investigation
Several days later Washington, accompanied by two police officers, including Captain Charles Austin from the from Gary, IN Police Department and an officer from the Hammond, IN police department, met with Campbell and Ammons at the home.
Acting as amateur ghost hunters and imitating “investigators” on various ghost hunt TV shows, the police officers entered the home with Washington and Campbell. Campbell told the three that the demons seemed to come from beneath the stairs.
During the “investigation,” one of the officer's digital recorders seemed to suffer power drain even though the officer had placed fresh batteries in the recorder earlier that day. A second recorder seemed to have and EVP with a voice whispering "hey" as well as “You outta here.” One photo of the basement stairs had “a cloudy white image in the upper right-hand corner” that when possibly resembled a face (which can be caused by a rebounding flash). The enlarged photo also shows a green figure in a female form. Additional photos taken by Captain Austin’s iPhone also seemed to have silhouettes.
Following the “investigation,” Austin reported that his radio in his police vehicle malfunctioned. Once home, his garage door would not open. His car seat in his Infiniti began moving on its own but the dealership ruled this to be mechanical failure.
In spite of the police’s willingness to believe in the possession, mental health professionals had other opinions. In April 2012, Department of Child Services (DCS) petitioned Lake Juvenile Court for temporary wardship of the three children. The request was granted, in part because in 2009 Ammons had previously been investigated and found negligent by DCS for her failure to have her children attend school. Then as well as in the current case, Ammons claimed that she could not send the kids to school because "the spirits would make them sick, or they would be up all night without sleep."
DCS temporarily placed the daughter and older son at St. Joseph's Carmelite Home in East Chicago. Ammons' youngest son was sent to Christian Haven in Wheatfield for a psychiatric evaluation.
At St. Joseph's Carmelite Home, clinical psychologist Joel Schwartz examined Ammons' daughter and older son and wrote that "There also appears to be a need to assess the extent to which (the daughter) may have been unduly influenced by her mother's concerns that the family was exposed to paranormal experiences." According to Schwartz the daughter claimed to see shadowy figures in the home and had twice gone into a trance. The older son claimed that "doors would slam and stuff started moving around."
At Christian Haven, clinical psychologist Stacy Wright was reaching the same conclusions. Noting that the boy was generally coherent and logical except when he talked about demons. He most often would only act possessed when he was “challenged, redirected or asked questions he didn't want to answer.” At that point, his stories became "bizarre, fragmented and illogical" and his stories altered with each rendition. The boy would also attempt to change the subject. Wright did not believe the boy had a psychotic disorder and wrote:
This appears to be an unfortunate and sad case of a child who has been induced into a delusional system perpetuated by his mother and potentially reinforced.
Psychologists examining Ammons said that while she was "guarded," she did not seem to be "experiencing symptoms of psychosis or thought disorder." However, Latoya Ammons is a religious believer with a high superstition quotient that believes in invisible entities. She consults “clairvoyants,” one of whom told her “the house was infested by demons” and insists that she knows "for a fact” that the house was “filled with more than 200 demons.” Ammons also told the doctors that her home had “various demons and evil spirits due to someone dying in the home,” and that she had “taken the children to various temples and churches to remove the demons.” One psychologist did recommend that Ammons be assessed to "determine whether her religiosity may be masking underlying delusional ideations or perceptual disturbances."
As part of the DCS action plan, in addition to therapy, one of the requirements was that the children "not discuss demons and being possessed and ... take responsibility for their actions.” It was also required that Ammons use "alternate forms of discipline not directly related to religion and demon possession." Recommended discipline included encouragement, rules and withholding privileges. Ammons was also required to find a job and alternate housing "due to the paranormal activity" at the house on Carolina Street.
The Second “Investigation”
On 10 May 2012, another group gathered to “investigate” Carolina Street house. In addition to Campbell, Ammons, Captain Austin and Maginot, 4 other police officers as well as the new DCS family case Manager, Samantha Ilic.
The police dog showed no interest in anything in the house.
DCS family case Manager Ilic, volunteered to go in Washington's place after Washington refused to return. According to her report while in the house, she “touched some strange liquid she saw dripping in the basement, and said it felt slippery yet sticky between her fingers.” While standing in the living room, her left pinky finger began to tingle, whiten and feel broken. Less than 10 minutes later, Ilic had a panic attack, couldn't breathe, and went outside the house.
Maginot asked the police to check the dirt under the stairs for a pentagram or personal cursed object which could indicate a “portal to hell” according to a Lake County police report. An officer dug a 4-foot by 3-foot hole. The only items found were a pink press-on fingernail, a white pair of panties, a political shirt pin, a lid for a small cooking pan, socks with the bottoms cut off below the ankles, candy wrappers and a heavy metal object that looked like a weight for a drapery cord. Finding nothing else, the officer replaced the dirt and raked over it.
Maginot blessed some salt and spread it under the stairs and throughout the basement. When Maginot began to question Ammons in the house, she complained of a headache and shoulder pain and left the house.
While Austin left the investigation at sunset, the other officers remained. During the course of the night, the officers observed an oil-like substance on the blinds in one of the bedrooms. Unable to determine a source, they clean it off and sealed the room. Twenty five minutes later they returned and the oil was there again. Maginot assert that the oil was proof of a demonic presence.
The First Exorcism
Maginot compiled a report and sent a letter to Bishop Dale Melczek requesting permission to perform an exorcism on Ammons. After reviewing the case, Bishop Melczek denied the request to do a church-sanctioned exorcism.
According to Maginot, he was redirected to contact other priest with experience in exorcisms.
Instead, Maginot decided he would continue and perform the ritual for a minor exorcism from the internet, which does not require church approval. Maginot claimed to do an "intense blessing" on the Carolina Street home to expel bad spirits and then performed a minor exorcism on Ammons. The ritual consisted of prayers, statements and appeals to cast out demons. Two of the police officers from the second investigation and Ilic attended the ritual.
According to Ilic, she got chills during the nearly two-hour rite and “felt like someone was in the room with you, someone breathing down your neck." Following the ritual, Ilic said she had a string of medical problems after visiting the home including a third-degree burns from a motorcycle, three broken ribs Jet Skiing, and a broken hand when she hit a table and a broken ankle from running in flip-flops. "I had friends who wouldn't talk to me because they believed that something had attached itself to me… I'm already evil. They try to find something that's not evil and corrupt it. They wouldn't waste their time on me."
After the minor ritual, Maginot claimed he had learned the names of the demons plaguing Ammons. Among the named demons was Beelzebub. A report was again prepared and submitted on 21 May 2012.
Following the minor exorcism, on 30 May 2012, Bishop Melczek granted permission by phone for Maginot to perform a full exorcism.
In June 2012, Maginot and an assistant performed 3 exorcisms on Ammons in the Merrillville church. The first exorcism occurred on 1 June followed by a second on 8 June and the final major exorcism on 29 June 2012. Two police officers from earlier investigations attended the first two exorcisms to assist the priest if Ammons needed restraining.
On 7 June, just prior to the second Exorcism, Maginot claims to have been attacked by the demons. Spending the afternoon riding his bicycle, Maginot had an unusual number of near accidents which culminated with him being thrown from his bike into the grass. According to Maginot, “I looked and saw that the seat of my bike was completely twisted but it made no sense because it was absolutely tight and I had to really pound it to straighten it out. I was in no doubt I had been attacked. I was being warned.”
Before the third exorcism, Ammons and Campbell had moved into a new home in Indianapolis, which Maginot had blessed.
The third exorcism was conducted in Latin while Ammons convulsed when Maginot condemned the demons, she did not react during prayers.
After the final exorcism, Ammons has reported no demonic issues. In November 2012, DCS allowed Ammons to regain custody of her children. After supervision, the case was formerly closed in February 2013. DCS family case manager Christina Olejnik wrote in her notes on 24 January 2013, "No demonic presences or spirits in the home.” In the request for dismissal of the case, Olejnik continued with "the family is no longer fixated solely on religion to explain or cope with the children's behavior issues."
Since the third exorcism, Ammons has lived demon-free in Indianapolis, IN and maintains a full time job (as required by the court). The children are receiving Medicaid, foodstamps and housing assistance.
It is important to note that not all members of the Ammons family agreed with the public statements about the events that occurred in the Carolina Street house. Shortly after the story was made public, Latoya Ammon’s step-mother contacted Chicago Post-Tribune reporter Jerry Davich. According to the elder Ammons, “My children — Latoya’s brothers and sisters — are outraged... They know the true story and they’re upset about the family’s name being dragged through the mud… There are a lot of twists and turns that have not been revealed. My family hoped this would all blow over. It has not… We don’t believe it… We believe none of it went on.” The elder Ammons continued with many negative remarks about Latoya’s character.
Prior to the arrival of the Ammons at the Carolina street home, according to Charles Reed, Ammons’s landlord, there had been no previous reports of paranormal activity within the home. Also subsequent tenants reported no activity in the home. In fact, according to Reed the only issues following the departure of Ammons were frequent police squad cars passing by to tour the house as well as frequent trespass reports from curious reporters or tourists.
On 6 February 2014, it was announced that Maginot had signed a movie deal with Evergreen Media Holdings and Executive chairman Tony DeRosa-Grund, the producer of “The Conjuring.” Maginot has also announced that he will be working with Ghost Adventures star Zac Bagans. The Carolina Street home was purchased for $35,000 in January 2014 just after the exorcism case was made public. By 21 February 2014, filming had started at the house.
Carolina Street basement stairwell
Bishop Dale Melczek
St. Stephen, Martyr Parish, in Merrillville, Indiana.
Disclaimer: This work has been completed as an educational tool for students of history, religious and paranormal studies. The author wishes to discourage any use of this work in conjunction with paranormal field investigations of demons.
Written by Kyle T. Cobb, Jr.
Nos tibi credere.
A Case History
Captain Charles Austin
Campbell providing a television crew a tour of the house.
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