Whether you believe it was truly a case of demonic possession or some other paranormal activity, the bizarre case of the exorcisms of the children of Latoya Ammons was one of the strangest and most disturbing that the police and children’s services in Gary, Indiana, ever had to deal with.
Gary police Capt. Charles Austin, a 36-year veteran of the Gary Police Department, said he initially thought Indianapolis resident Latoya Ammons and her family concocted an elaborate tale as a way to make money. But after several visits to their home and interviews with witnesses, Austin said simply, “I am a believer.”
Not everyone involved with the family was inclined to believe its incredible story, which involved a mother of three who claimed her children were possessed by demons. Among the other incidents of “paranormal activity,” Ammons’ 9-year-old son was said to have been seen walking backward up a wall in the presence of the family’s social services case worker and a nurse!
The Ammons family’s experience with demonic oppression started with an unusual swarm of black flies. In November 2011, Ammons’ family moved into a rental house on Carolina Street in Gary, a quiet lane lined with small one-story homes. Big black flies suddenly swarmed their screened-in porch in December, despite the winter chill.
“This is not normal,” Ammons’ mother, Rosa Campbell, remembers thinking. “We killed them and killed them and killed them, but they kept coming back.”
Then, other strange things began happening too.
After midnight, Campbell and Ammons both said, they occasionally heard the steady clump of footsteps climbing the basement stairs and the creak of the door opening between the basement and kitchen. No one was there.
Even after they locked the door, the noise continued.
Campbell said she awoke one night and saw a shadowy figure of a man pacing her living room. She leaped out of bed to investigate, and found large, wet boot prints.
On March 10, 2012, Campbell said, the family’s unease turned to fear.
It was about 2 a.m. Normally, Campbell, Ammons, and her children would have been asleep, but they were mourning the death of a loved one with a group of friends.
Ammons, who was in Campbell’s bedroom, startled everyone by screaming, “Mama! Mama!”
Campbell said she ran into her bedroom, where her then-12-year-old granddaughter and a friend were staying.
Ammons and Campbell said the 12-year-old was levitating above the bed, unconscious.
According to their account of events, Ammons and several others surrounded the girl, praying. Campbell said she remembers being terrified.
“I thought, ‘What’s going on?’ ” Campbell said. ” ‘Why is this happening?’ “
Eventually, Campbell said, her granddaughter descended onto the bed. The girl woke up with no memory of what happened, Campbell said.
Campbell and Ammons said the people who were visiting that night refused to return.
From there, things got progressively worse.
The family said demons possessed Ammons and her children, then ages 7, 9, and 12. The kids’ eyes bulged, evil smiles crossed their faces, and their voices deepened every time it happened, Campbell and Ammons said.
The grandmother, Campbell, said the demons didn’t affect her because she was born with “protection from evil.” She said she, and others like her, have a guardian who protects them.
Ammons said she felt weak, lightheaded, and warm when she was possessed. Her body shook, and she said she felt out-of-control.
“You can tell it’s different, something supernatural.”
The youngest boy, then 7, sat in a closet talking to a boy that no one else could see. The other boy was describing what it felt like to be killed.
Campbell said the 7-year-old once flew out of the bathroom as if he’d been thrown, and a headboard once smacked into Ammons’ daughter, causing a wound that needed stitches.
The 12-year-old would later tell mental health professionals that she sometimes felt as if she were being choked and held down so she couldn’t speak or move. She said she heard a voice say she’d never see her family again and wouldn’t live another 20 minutes.
Some nights were so bad the family slept at a hotel.
Seeking Help Where They Could
Finally, in desperation, they went to their family physician, Dr. Geoffrey Onyeukwu, on April 19, 2012. Ammons said she told him what they were going through, hoping he might understand.
Onyeukwu told local paper The Indy Star it was “bizarre.”
“Twenty years, and I’ve never heard anything like that in my life,” he said. “I was scared myself when I walked into the room.”
He said he could not speak in more detail about the case to the paper because it would violate the doctor-patient confidentiality agreement, which she did not waive.
However, in his medical notes about the visit, that he would share with The Star, Onyeukwu wrote “delusions of ghost in home” and “hallucinations.” He also wrote “history of ghost at home” and “delusional.”
What Ammons and Campbell say happened next during Onyeukwu’s visit was also detailed in a DCS report of a family case manager’s interviews with medical staff.
Campbell said Ammons’ sons cursed Onyeukwu in demonic voices, raging at him. Medical staff said the youngest boy was “lifted and thrown into the wall with nobody touching him,” according to a DCS report.
The boys then abruptly passed out and wouldn’t come to, Campbell added. She cradled one boy in her arms; Ammons held the other.
Someone from the doctor’s office called 911. Onyeukwu said seven or eight police officers and multiple ambulances showed up.
“Everybody was … they couldn’t figure out exactly what was happening,” he recalled.
Police and emergency personnel took the boys to Methodist Hospital’s campus in Gary.
The boys woke up in the hospital. The older boy, then 9, acted rationally, but the youngest screamed and thrashed, Campbell said.
She said it took five men to hold him down.
Meanwhile, someone called DCS and asked the agency to investigate Ammons for possible child abuse or neglect. The caller, who is not named in the DCS report, speculated that Ammons might have a mental illness. The person believed the children were performing for Ammons, and she was encouraging their behavior.
The Disturbing DCS Report
DCS family case manager Valerie Washington was asked to handle the initial investigation. She gave the following account to police and in her intake officer’s report:
Hospital personnel examined Ammons and her children and found them to be healthy and free of marks or bruises. A hospital psychiatrist evaluated Ammons and determined she was of “sound mind.”
Washington interviewed the family in the hospital.
While she spoke with Ammons, the 7-year-old boy started growling with his teeth showing. His eyes rolled back in his head.
The boy locked his hands around his older brother’s throat and refused to let go until adults pried his hands open.
Later that evening, Washington and registered nurse Willie Lee Walker brought the two boys into a small exam room for an interview. Campbell joined them.
The 7-year-old stared into his brother’s eyes and began to growl again.
“It’s time to die,” the boy said in a deep, unnatural voice. “I will kill you.”
While the youngest boy spoke, the older brother started head-butting Campbell in the stomach.
Campbell grabbed her grandson’s hands and started praying.
What happened next would rattle the witnesses, and to some, it would offer not only evidence but proof of paranormal activity.
According to Washington’s original DCS report — an account corroborated by Walker, the nurse — the 9-year-old had a “weird grin” and walked backward up a wall to the ceiling. He then flipped over Campbell, landing on his feet. He never let go of his grandmother’s hand.
“He walked up the wall, flipped over her, and stood there,” Walker told The Star. “There’s no way he could’ve done that.”
Later, police asked Washington whether the boy had run up the wall, as though performing an acrobatic trick.
No, Washington told them. She said the boy “glided backward on the floor, wall, and ceiling,” according to a police report.
All three children were eventually taken into the care of child protective services, based on the fact they had missed enormous amounts of school (which Campbell and Ammons attributed to “the demons making them sick.”) Mental health professionals at the facilities were the children were sent all seemed to agree that the children were acting out on delusions that were forced on them by the mother and grandmother.
“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 by other relatives,” one child psychiatrist wrote in her psychological evaluation of the younger son.
Clinical psychologist Joel Schwartz, who evaluated Ammons’ daughter and older son, came to a similar conclusion.
“There also appears to be a need to assess the extent to which (Ammons’ daughter) may have been unduly influenced by her mother’s concerns that the family was exposed to paranormal experiences,” Schwartz wrote.
Yet despite such conclusions, Ammons — and all three kids — continued to insist they were possessed by demons.
During their time apart, DCS recommended that she stop talking to the kids about demons and God, get a new job and move from the “possessed” home if the family were ever to be reunited.
While the kids remained as wards of the state, investigators, including a Catholic priest, DCS representatives, and officers from the police department, including Austin, returned to the home. The bizarre things they all encountered there convinced the priest, Rev. Michael Maginot, that an exorcism was in order.
Maginot wrote a report detailing his findings and asked Bishop Dale Melczek’s permission to perform an exorcism on Ammons.
The Exorcism of Latoya Ammons
With the Church’s sanction, Maginot ultimately performed three major exorcisms on Ammons – two in English, and the last one in Latin – in June 2012 at his Merrillville church.
Maginot said he blessed the family’s new home to prevent more problems.
In the final exorcism at the end of June 2012, Maginot said he prayed and berated the demons in Latin, rather than English.
Police officers did not attend, so Maginot said his brother stood guard. Maginot said Ammons convulsed while he condemned the demons but did not convulse during prayer.
It would be the last time Ammons saw Maginot. She and her mother drove back to Indianapolis, where they say they now live without fear.
Ammons regained custody of her three children in November 2012, about six months after they’d been removed. DCS continued to check in on the children and make sure they were going to school until the case was closed in February of 2013.
“The family is no longer fixated solely on religion to explain or cope with the children’s behavior issues,” Olejnik and her supervisor wrote in a request for dismissal of wardship dated Jan. 24, 2013.
Ammons called her children’s return the happiest day of her life.
1 thought on “Child Welfare Department Deals With Case of Demonic Possession!”
The devil is real, but we all have power over him. Rebuke him in the name if Jesus. Command him to leave. Don’t ask.