There’s a portal to Hell in Indiana, and it’s in Latoya Ammons’ basement – or at least that’s what Reverend Michael L. Maginot believes.
Not only is Reverend Michael convinced that there’s some malevolent spirit that was torturing Latoya and her family, Gary Indiana police Captain Charles Austin, a veteran with three decades of experience, is convinced as well based on what he saw himself. On top of that, there’s some very startled Department of Child Services workers who swear up and down that there was some funky stuff happening to Latoya and her three children – specifically that they were under attack by demonic entities that were possessing her and her children.
Most people would chalk this up to mental illness, and that’s exactly how DCS originally approached it. Reading the original report reveals how DCS was tipped off that Latoya’s children had been missing weeks of school at a time. Latoya’s delusions were being egged on by her kids, the anonymous tipster said, and that they were performing for her. DCS called her and her kids in for interviews and evaluations, only to discover that Latoya wasn’t suffering from any discernible mental illness.
However, during an interview of Latoya’s nine year old child, he had an episode according to DCS witnesses where he growled like an animal, rolled his eyes into the back of his sockets, and then walked backwards up the wall and flipped over his grandmother’s head as she held his hands.
Later, the police investigated Latoya’s home – standard procedure in DCS cases to determine if children were living in poor conditions – and found the house clean and stocked with plenty of food, but investigators discovered strange phenomena. Captain Austin reported the charge on his police radio exhausting itself despite having brand-new fully charged batteries that were changed just this morning, and other equipment malfunctions occurred when they investigated the house’s basement. There are even reports of a ghostly voice being caught on tape.
Finally, Latoya decided she had been through quite enough and reached out to the clergy to help her save herself and her family. She was put in contact with Reverend Mike, who met with her and determined there was something otherworldly affecting her family. Reverend Mike returned again to help investigate the basement a second time with a group of police. They excavated the dank patch of earth underneath the basement stairs – the only place where the concrete floor was broken – and unearthed strange objects including a fignernail, a pair of woman’s panties, hair beads and ankle socks that had been cut short. Mixed in with these objects were several candy bar wrappers and a large drapery cord weight.
Finally, Reverend Mike received permission from his bishop to perform a church-sanctioned exorcism on Latoya, who had since moved from the house. After two more exorcisms over the course of several months, Latoya was supposedly freed of demonic influence, and she has since moved far away with her children – and they report no instances of demonic possession. Likewise have the new tenants in their old home reported no disturbances as well.
So is it true? Are there fallen angels crawling their way up out of the lake of fire to mess with random kids and their parents in Indiana? I suppose that depends primarily on whether you believe that supernatural entities exist and that they can interact with people. The personal experiences of a police captain, a priest, and a handful of DCS employees might sound compelling, but there’s no actual documented evidence of any of the things these people claim to have seen with their own eyes. It may seem flippant to simply dismiss the eyewitness accounts of the people involved in this entire incident, but without something definitive such as video evidence how can we truly be sure that these people are telling the truth? Remarkable claims require just as remarkable evidence after all. At the same time, the sheer number of eyewitness reports are rather staggering in this case. Police and DCS officials all claim to have had personal experiences with the supernatural and were so convinced that they entered the details of these experiences in their official reports.
Personally I don’t know what to think. I’m uncomfortable with the leap of faith it requires to believe this story. Then again, that’s what this is about, isn’t it? Proof always denies faith. Still, I just can’t bring myself to believe it personally. I’m not ruling out the possibility – I remain open-minded – but until I end up seeing some incontrovertible evidence or I experience something myself that convinces me, I’m going to reserve judgment.