A Possession in Indiana

Latoya Ammons House

Latoya Ammons House in Gary, IN

Someday A Possession in Indiana, Based on Actual Events will be in movie theaters everywhere. This true case of demonic possession has all the elements of a great story, including page after page of official reports, startled witnesses and church involvement.

Here’s the scary story…

The Setting:

A quaint, rental house on Carolina Street in Gary, Indiana.

The Cast:

Latoya Ammons – Devoted mother of three

Ammons Kid One (unidentified) – 12 year old girl

Ammons Kid Two (unidentified) – 9 year old boy

Ammons Kid Three (unidentified) – 7 year old boy

Rosa Campbell – Latoya’s Mother, protected from evil spirits by birthright

Victoria Washington – a social worker

Boy – An unknown supernatural entity

Police Captain Charles Austin – a 30 year veteran of law enforcement

Clairvoyant One and Two

Dr. Geoffrey Onyeukwo – a kind doctor

Father Michael Maginot – The Exorcist

The Actual Events:

In the cold of winter, black flies suddenly swarm the house in Gary, IN. The Ammons family kills them, but the horde returns again and again.

At night, Campbell and Ammons hear footsteps climbing the basement steps and the basement door creaking open.

Campbell sees a shadowy figure pacing the living room. She finds large, bet boot prints on the floor.

Ammons Kid One is seen levitating above her bed while unconscious. Guest who witness the event refuse to return to the house.

Latoya Ammons reaches out to local churches. None of them offer any help or guidance. Latoya Ammons then reaches out to the Clairvoyants. The Clairvoyants determine that the house is infested with 200 demons. Wisely, they advise Ammons to move. Ammons is strapped for cash and decides to conduct her own extermination ritual instead. After the ritual, the home is quiet for three days. Then shit hits the fan.

Ammons and all three children show signs of demonic possession (could be a First Plot Point) such as bulging eyes, evils smiles and speaking in unnaturally deep voices.

Ammons Kid Three sits in a closet speaking to a boy that only he can see. Boy describes what it’s like to be killed.

Ammons Kid Three is thrown out of the bathroom.

Ammons Kid One is hit with a headboard. The wound requires stitches.

Latoya reaches out to a family physician, Dr. Geoffrey Onyeukwo. In the exam room, Ammons Kids One and Two curse at Onyeukwo in demonic voices. Medical professionals witness the incident and, as if that wasn’t bad enough, see Ammons Kid Three thrown into a wall by an invisible force. Both boys pass out and are rushed to a local hospital via ambulance.

At the hospital, Ammons Kid Two wakes up and is fine. Ammons Kid Three (the youngest boy) screams and thrashes. It takes five hospital workers to hold him down.

Meanwhile, the Department Child Services receives an anonymous tip about Latoya. Victoria Washington is sent to investigate the complaint. She interviews the Ammons Boys at the hospital. During the interview, Ammons Kid Three wraps his hands around his brother’s throat and proceeds to choke him. He growls and bares his teeth during the assault. This incident occurs again later that night. This time the youngest tells his brother, “It’s time to die.”

Washington and a Nurse witness Ammons Kid Three “glide backwards on the floor, wall and ceiling.” Both Washington and Nurse flee the room.

Washington advises her superiors that an evil influence could be affecting the family.

DCS takes custody of the Ammons children.

Father Mike Maginot

Father Mike Maginot

A Hospital Chaplain contacts Father Michael Maginot. Maginot interviews Latoya Ammons. During the interview, he observes a light flickering in the bathroom. The light stops flickering each time he approaches it. He also sees venetian blinds swinging as if caught in a breeze even though there is none and observes large, wet boot prints in the living room. He attributes his observations to a demonic presence. Maginot blesses the houses, but advises Ammons and Campbell to leave. They take his advice.

A few days later, law enforcement accompanies Ammons and Campbell back to the house for a DCS inspection. Police Captain Charles Austin is on the scene. Austin and other officers find the concrete floor around the basement door cracked. Their audio recorders signal low batteries even though fresh batteries are in place. What tape can be played back has a strange, “Hey” on it. Pictures snapped on a phone have cloudy images that, when enlarged, appear to resemble a face.

Regardless, psychologist remain unconvinced and the state retains custody of the Ammons Children.

Now these events go on and on… I’m not kidding. If we were writing this as a horror novel we’d be dangerously close to a boring series. It’s best to treat this part as the third act lull and move on.

DCS sets goals for the family, one of which is to refrain from all talk about being possessed. At the same time, Marginot petitions Bishop Dale Melczek for permission to conduct an exorcism. Melczek denies the request, but authorizes a “minor exorcism.”

Marginot conducts the two hour ritual on Ammons in front of DCS and law enforcement personnel. He then advises Ammons to identify the names of the demon tormentors by looking them up on the internet. Ammons finds that many high ranking demons as well as lieutenants and sergeants have been attacking her. Melczek approves the exorcism.

Marginot conducts a series of exorcism rituals and, ultimately, wins the battle against evil. DCS returns the children to the home. No demonic spirts or incident have occurred – yet.

This story has amazing potential.

The police captain and social worker could be worked into a secondary plot line as a blossoming relationship. The actual events need to be fleshed out and perhaps juggled a bit. Organically speaking we have a bit of drag in the second act. We also need to find a better way of identifying the demons rather than using the internet. No horror writers worth his own blood would take such an easy way out.

In any case, the only question that remains is which horror writer is going to pen the book that film companies will fight over?

Stay in the light, sweet readers. LL

Source for this article can be found here. The video clip contains footage of the people involved and is worth a watch.

The Exorcism of Roland Doe

the exorcistDemonic possession and exorcism month continues with the exorcism of Roland Doe – or the exorcism of Robbie Mannheim if you prefer – the real life exorcism story behind the book and film The Exorcist. For the sake of simplicity, this article will use the name Roland Doe.

Synopsis of the Roland Doe Exorcism Case:

It’s important to note the The Exorcist fueled many investigations. A number of documentaries, article and books have tackled the subject. One notable is Thomas B. Allen’s Possessed – The True Story of an Exorcism*. In any case, the accounts offer information that is contradictory according to some and blatantly erroneous according to others. I am not speaking as an authority on the case. I’m a fan of – and contributor to – the horror genre and this interest includes actual events. Now let’s sink our teeth into this grisly tale of demonic possession.

We know that Roland Doe was the only child of devout parents. We also know that he was especially close to an aunt who fancied herself a spiritualist. This aunt introduced young Roland to the spirit world and showed him how to use the Talking Board, better known as the Ouija Board.

ouija board talking board

In January of 1949 Roland Doe’s aunt died in St. Louis. The grieving boy attempted to contact his beloved aunt via his Ouija Board and, wouldn’t you know it, strange happenings began.

  • The family heard the sound of marching feet
  • Furniture moved on its own
  • Ordinary objects levitated or flew across rooms
  • Scratches appeared on the boy’s body
  • Blessed objects such as vials of holy water smashed to the ground on their own accord
  • Religious pictures vibrated on the wall

The troubles seemed to center on poor Roland and even followed him to school. According to one source I found, it was reported that his desk moved on its own in front of several witnesses.** Apparently, this alleviated any concerns that the problem was an ordinary haunting or simple poltergeist activity.

Roland Doe’s dutiful parents had their boy examined by medical and psychiatric professionals. With no explanation found, they turned to their clergyman. The pastor arranged for the boy to spend the night with him for observation. That night, the minister heard vibrating sounds from Roland’s bed and inexplicable scratching sounds coming from the walls. Likewise, he witnessed a heavy armchair topple over. Satisfied by his observations, he began the exorcism of Roland Doe without hesitation. The ritual was unsuccessful.

The case was then referred to a Roman Catholic priest who attempted to exorcise the demon. This time, the boy tore a bed spring from his mattress and inflicted a punishing wound upon the pastor. The cut required stitches and the exorcism was put on hold. Roland went home with his family. While there, family members observed the words Saint Louis appear across Roland’s chest in blood. They immediately took the train to St. Louis and wound up in the capable hands of Rev. William S. Bowdern. The real battle began.

Over a period of two months, Bowdern performed the exorcism thirty times with Walter Halloran assisting and acting as witness. Roland spat in the eyes of his rescuers, spoke in a deep, unnatural voice and broke Halloran’s nose. His bed shook violently. The words evil and hell appeared on his body. As dramatic as these events surely, good ultimately triumphed over evil. The demonic forces relinquished control over the boy.

What Happened to Roland Doe?

Perhaps the most curious question about the exorcism of the Roland Doe is what became Roland Doe himself. The available accounts seem to agree that he reached adulthood without further incident and became a well-adjusted, family man. One source claims that he took a job working for the government. Most sources agree that Roland Doe remembered nothing of the possession or subsequent exorcism.

If he’s ever talked about the experience, I wasn’t able found it. It seems that none of the aforementioned writers or documentarians spoke directly to him or his family members. That’s a shame.

The Exorcist Phenomena

the exorcist from book to filmLater that same year (1949) a young William Peter Blatty, a student at Georgetown University, read an article in the Washington Post, “Priest Frees Mt. Rainer Boy Reportedly Held in Devil’s Grip” by Bill Brinkely. Obviously, the subject matter stuck with him. While writing the novel, Blatty changed the victimized character from a teen boy to a twelve year old girl. The Exorcist’ first printing came in 1971, became a runaway bestseller and then the scariest movie of its time. Incidentally, Blatty shed some light on the two version in his non-fiction piece On The Exorcist – From Book to Film. I haven’t read it so I have no idea if he shared any of his research into the real story.

In any case, it’s a macabre and interesting tale, isn’t it?

The documentary below features Bowdern and Blatty in the telling of this story. It’s worth viewing.

Part II and Part III.

This documentary ends with a bit of video footage from The Haunted Boy, another documentary, showing the room where the exorcism took place. (See if you can watch it without anticipating a good scare.) In spite of the bad reviews, I’ll have a copy of The Haunted Boy on my DVD shelf soon.

*Showtime made a movie based on Allen’s work - Possessed. Part I is below. **This movies portrays the desk-moving scene quite well, by the way.

Thanks for visiting The Scary Story. If you like this sort of subject matter, subscribe to the newsletter. You might also enjoy this article about Daniel Lutz, one of the children who experience the Amityville Horror house - The Boy From Amityville. Pleasant dreams… LL

william bowdern grave