The Real Story of Zak Bagans' 'Demon House' Mar 7, 2019 21:21:22 GMT -5
Post by Graveyardbride on Mar 7, 2019 21:21:22 GMT -5
The Real Story of Zak Bagans’ Demon House
Sometimes real life is even stranger than the Hollywood story: When Zak Bagans, the host and executive producer of the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures, read an IndyStar story about a family allegedly possessed by demons in their home in Gary, Indiana, he was hooked. Latoya Ammons (above) claimed she and her three children had been possessed by spirits while living in the rental house from 2011 to 2012. The Gary Police Department and Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) investigated, a priest performed exorcisms and even some skeptics allegedly became believers. Bagans’ 2018 documentary horror film, Demon House, chronicling Ammons’ strange tale, was released March 16 of last year.
Here are the answers to 10 frequently-asked questions about the documentary and the real-life case that inspired the chilling tale:
Who is Zak Bagans? In addition to hosting and producing the Ghost Adventures series, Bagans is also an author, actor and paranormal investigator.
Is Ghost Adventures real? The Travel Channel investigations are real, but whether the ghosts are real is up to the viewer.
What happened at the Demon House in Gary? Ammons claimed she and her three children were possessed by demons as soon as she began renting the house at 3860 Carolina Street in 2011. Immediately after they moved in, she told the Star that despite cold December temperatures, large black flies swarmed around their screened porch. According to Rosa Campbell, Ammons’ mother, the inspects kept coming back, even when the family “killed them and killed them.” Then, things got really strange. The two women heard footsteps on the basement stairs late at night and both the basement and kitchen doors would creak open.
And then the demons got to the kids. Ammons and Campbell told the Star the children’s eyes bulged, their voices deepened and when the demons were inside them, their smiles turned “evil.” The 9-year-old boy described what it felt like to be killed and allegedly walked up the wall in the presence of a family case manager and hospital nurse. The 7-year-old clenched his hands around his older brother’s throat and wouldn’t let go until an adult physically pried his hands loose. The 12-year-old girl floated above her bed while unconscious, family members reported.
The police investigated and DCS found Ammons guilty of neglect for not sending her children to school regularly and removed them from her custody until she found a job and appropriate housing. She regained custody of her kids six months later and the family moved to a new location, where there were no reports of demons and DCS closed the case in February 2013.
What does demonic possession feel like? In an interview, Ammons said she felt “weak, lightheaded and warm” while possessed and her body shook. According to mental health professionals, the 12-year-old girl claimed she was paralyzed and felt she was being choked. “You can tell it’s different, something supernatural,” Ammons said during a Star interview.
What happens during an exorcism? According to a priest, the exorcisms the Rev. Michael Maginot performed on Ammons and her family were the first authorized by the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Gary in his 21 years of service.
Casting out Demons: The Exorcism of Evil. Before the major exorcism Maginot performed on Latoya Ammons, he prayed over her and appealed to the Church for permission to perform an exorcism. He named the demons tormenting Ammons during the ritual after she looked up their identities online – allegedly while the computer kept shutting down – because he claimed names had power. Then, with the authorization of the Church, he cast out the demons while holding a crucifix against Ammons’ forehead. She convulsed violently and said later the pain was as intense as giving birth. Maginot performed three major exorcisms on Ammons, two in English and a third in Latin, in June 2012.
Was there really a demon in the Demon House? Bagans asserted he could find no other explanation. “Something was inside that house that had the ability to do things that I have never seen before,” he informed the Star via email in 2016. “There was something there that was very dark, yet highly intelligent and powerful.”
In 2014, Gary police Capt. Charles Austin (above) admitted he initially thought Ammons and her family were liars out to get rich, but after he visited the home and interviewed witnesses, he came out “a believer.” Maginot, the priest who performed the exorcisms, also said he was convinced.
What happened to the Demon House? After buying the home in 2014, Bagans bulldozed it in February 2016. He filmed the demolition for the Demon House documentary.
Where is Latoya Ammons now? Ammons, her mother and children now live in Indianapolis.
Movie Deals. Both Ammons and Maginot signed movie deals, separate from the Bagans documentary, with Evergreen Media Holdings in 2014. Lee Daniels is set to direct the film, but the current status of the project is unclear.
When and where can I watch the Bagans documentary? It is available to stream via Amazon Video, and can be rented or purchased from iTunes, YouTube, Google Play Movies and Amazon Video.
Is Demon House worth renting or purchasing? The film was originally released on March 16, 2018, and currently has a 33 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. One critic called it “patent balderdash,” but another praised its “crawling sense of escalating paranoia.” Of note, Bagans refers to the possession of the Ammons family as the next Amityville, which doesn’t say much for his film since the Amityville case was proven to be a hoax many years ago. He also recounts a dream of a dark goat figure that breathed black smoke and upon awakening the following morning with sore lungs. Shortly thereafter, he first heard the story about the Gary house. Latoya Ammons refused to participate in the documentary, ostensibly because she was afraid of demons being transferred to her by Bagans, but the real reason was that she’d already signed a contract with Evergreen.
Sources: Sarah Bahr and Marisa Kwiatkowski, The Indianapolis Star, December 31, 2018; Kenny Biddle, "Demon House Deconstructed," May 21, 2018; and Aimee Murillo, OC Weekly, March 16, 2018.