The Chilling Tale Of This Indiana Demon House (And Why It Was Demolished)

Tales of the paranormal remain big business in the world of entertainment and the tourism industry for one reason. Populated by countless ghost tours and paranormal-hunting experiences, they are utterly compelling. A staggering 41% of Americans today say they believe in ghosts according to YouGov, however, somewhat surprisingly, an even higher number, 43%, say they believe in the existence of real-life demons.

This may explain why a spooky story about a family being terrorized by supposed demons went viral after being picked up by the Indiana Star in 2014. Gary, Indiana, became a site of national interest after it was claimed that a family made up of a woman named Latoya Ammons, her three children, and her mother Rosa Campbell moved into the rental property in November 2011 and within a month were assailed by an unseasonable number of large black flies on their porch. But things soon got far weirder, with sightings of shadowy figures, unexplained noises, and Ammons' children reportedly levitating in their sleep, being hurled around the house by invisible forces, uttering demonic threats, and walking backward up an interior wall.

The tale of the Ammons' possession gained greater prominence when it was revealed both the Department of Child Services and the local police had become involved — and that one officer investigating the events in question had become entirely convinced that the family had become the target of supernatural forces, telling the newspaper: "I am a believer." Ammons then contacted a priest who performed several exorcisms on the family, who later left the house. They have stated that since then, the paranormal activity has ceased to affect them.

The demolition of the demon house

The Ammons family home in Gary, Indiana has gone on to be known by a number of names, including the Demon House and the 200 Demons House. And of course, with so much interest in the property despite the Ammons having secured multiple exorcisms and moved on with their lives, the property was of obvious interest to celebrity paranormal investigators such as Zak Bagans (via the Indiana Star).

Bagans' "Ghost Adventures" is a show purporting to uncover supernatural phenomena. Bagans bought the house to use as the basis for a feature-length documentary, "Demon House," about the Ammons case, released in 2019. Following Bagans' crew's investigation — the movie of which garnered mixed reviews — the supposedly demonic house was torn down under Bagans' direction.

He later explained by email to the Indiana Star: "Something was inside that house that had the ability to do things that I have never seen before — things that others carrying the highest forms of credibility couldn't explain either ... There was something there that was very dark yet highly intelligent and powerful."

The skeptic's view

But not everyone was convinced by the Ammons family's claims of demonic possession, suggesting there may have been no good reason for the property, which could have continued to house tenants, to have been pulled down. Such views chime with those of the Ammons family's physician who visited the house when they first claimed it was possessed, and who wrote in his notes that the family was "delusional." The Department of Child Services later took the three children from the Ammons' and put them into temporary care. Skeptical investigators such as The Skeptical Inquirer's Joe Nickell, believe the children had simply manufactured the possession to deceive believing adults.

Charles Reed, the long-term landlord of the Demon House before it was sold to Zak Bagans, claimed that there had never been any other supernatural activity at the property in question before (Nickell reports that even a final tenant who lived in the house before it was purchased remained unconvinced). But that exorcisms were performed as a result of the Ammons' claims had reportedly made Reed less skeptical than he was before. Meanwhile, the journalist who broke the story for the Indiana Star, Marisa Kwiatkowski, has refused to say whether she believes the Ammons' claims or not but points out the fact that when the Department of Child Services removed the children from the home, they cited "spiritual and emotional distress" rather than typical neglect. Latoya Ammons and her children have since been reunited.