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Portal to Hell: The Gary, Indiana Incident, Part Two

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Have demons taken up residence in Gary, Indiana?

Reactions to the Portal to Hell house—and subsequent exorcisms of Latoya Ammons—have gone viral across the world. And as expected, has produced quite the opinion think-tank as a result.

The paranormal community is not necessarily buying the whole affair. From a personal perspective, the occurrences that have been reported by Ammons—enduring the forces of darkness alongside her three children and mother Rosa while residing in a rented house in northern Indiana—read like a textbook sampling of every paranormal scenario I have ever heard of; and with a firm and steady push towards the demonic for effect!

Do I smell a book or movie deal here?

There have been many credible observations made over the days since this story broke in the January 26, 2014 edition of the Indianapolis Sunday Star. There have also been others that border on the silly:

“The two words that make this story completely believable are ‘Gary’ and ‘Indiana’.”

Or

“That place [Gary] is Hell on earth. Just ask the Jackson family.”

This will be an article of reactions…and only a thimble full compared to what is actually out there. The final conclusion is up to the reader. Or we can patiently wait to see how it all pans out in the coming weeks. Paranormal investigators, after all, are a patient bunch.

Kristen comments: “It’s possible. People will do just about anything these days to make a buck, but with so many eyewitnesses’ seeing these activities going on, I wouldn’t doubt it. Demons are real. We fight them everyday. They are here and they are real….It may not be the portal to hell, but it sure is a hangout spot for lost souls and demons.”

Adam adds: “As an unlicensed yet still called and operating deliverance minister I can tell you that this stuff is real. And evil is becoming bolder. It used to be that evil was content at hiding, but now their time is so short they are more and more willing to make an open show of themselves. I rebuke those who call these folks liar or showmen or schemers. I deal with this stuff, albeit generally less severe, on a weekly basis.”

Mark Glanemann doesn’t fully commit…which just may be the safer venue: “Well I doubt she saw any of the money from the selling of the home. She rented it. She didn’t own it. Plus, even case workers and policemen even believe a lot of it. Some even seen the kids do unnatural things. Could all be BS, but maybe not? Maybe so…who knows.”

Writer Sharon Hill commented January 26, 2014 on her internet blog Doubtful News in an article entitled Demonic tale sounds like Hollywood, has little else to hold it up. Here are just a few excerpts:

“…we see typical behaviors related to “possession”. But we also see many eyewitness reports and ZERO solid evidence. Are there photos? Videos? None given. The medical records mostly state that the family suffered from delusions and possibly psychological stress. Also we see an excess of religiosity in their daily lives that could have fed this belief in demons….the landlord did not have problems before or after these particular tenants so he suspects it may have been relative to them. Involvement of the church and the police added credibility to the story. But the bottom line is EVERYONE can be scared or fooled by their senses and perception, especially if they believe demons to be real. There are SCADS of holes and loose ends to pull in this story just from reading the account given….no actual researchers were brought in to examine the situation….the bottom line s, putting out these stories as ‘REAL’ accounts perpetuates a dangerous and backwards belief in the supernatural, distracting from actual problems that can be occurring….remember, hearsay and ‘it happened to me’ stories are worthless. We’ve gotten these for centuries and we haven’t pinned down actual demons yet….your story is NOT enough to make me believe in demons.”

Some have problems with the details as outlined in the Indianapolis Star newspaper. One commenter posted her views on Facebook: “…I am in no way saying this is not possible, I do however believe you could drive a truck through the holes in this story.”

Catholic clergy initially offered up the explanation of ghosts, then adjusted to demons. Which one was it? Maybe both…merrily co-existing. It can be a wacky supernatural world!

Danielle Pitcher-Garrison states: “It’s going to be the next Amityville. Tip of the iceberg.”

Internet user JPL has his opinions: “Today, the idea that such events are going on and no one—absolutely no one—takes pictures or video just seems wildly improbable. People stand outside of plane crashes, train wrecks, and brutal mob violence with their phone held at arm’s length, recording. The fact that there seems to be not one reliable video or image of this thing on the internet really strains credulity.”

John Winkle adds: “I just find it amazing that with all the alleged activity, and the easy access of cell phones with video, that not one incident was documented on film/video/audio anything. I sense a major scam here, and with the house sale, I see red flags flying everywhere regarding this incident.”

Kriss Stephens states: “What people don’t realize is that sometimes religious iconography and rituals only make the situation worse. If you are convinced that this is not a ghost, that it is something older and stronger, then just leave. Don’t even try to deal with it. Children are usually a focus. Iron items are protective (the stuff they found in the basement). Someone opened a gateway or summoned something to that house….”

Another reader has a viewpoint on the affair: “There is a lot of confirmatory bias in the subjects—e.g. flies and ‘Lord of the Flies’ and all that stuff, if you tend towards superstition. Some of it sounded like a rehash of the claimed Amityville events—flies, levitation, etc. Footsteps and loud banging directly on the basement door—I doubt that would be an animal—animals tend to scratch and scurry and chew. I personally doubt the Biblical accounts and cosmology of ‘demons’. I do believe in malicious ghosts and poltergeists of human origin. Crucifixes and oil and salt and all the rest of it are very unlikely to work, unless the ghost had a deeply held belief in Christianity in life….”

Mary Hicks Barrett simply offers; “Wow, who didn’t see that coming!” while Weldon Glenn contributes “Anybody want to take bets on how fast you can pay to ‘research’ the house.”

Another contributor adds: “As to flies and footsteps….Been there, done that. An animal living in the walls or residing in the hidden spaces of a home can sound exactly like footsteps. Should that animal die…you get flies, and plenty of them.”

Kenny Biddle weighs in; “This isn’t the first time kids have perpetrated an elaborate hoax such as this. Especially with mom’s help….”

Indiana author of the paranormal, Wanda Lou Willis, states bluntly: “ It’s unbelievable, and actually unbelievable.”

There were reported witnesses that became a key part in the “legitimacy” of the story. Scott has his say regarding this: “…mass hysteria / conversion disorder.”

Cat throws out: “I’d be inclined to believe this story because of the testimony of objective witnesses like the medical professionals, police and CPS, but the lack of evidence, even a video or photo (not just a white silhouette in a window), makes me skeptical. This occurred in 2012, people whip out their cameras over someone tripping!”

Internet commentator idoubtit says: “Eyewitness testimony is NOTORIOUSLY unreliable. This case reeks of overzealous belief, hype and hoax.”

People have a tendency to want to be a part of something big. Witnesses recollections can grow foggy even after a short amount of time…or influenced by a good story. I’ve seen this in reports of UFO sightings. It’s not always deliberate, yet sometimes it is….

On January 29, 2014, Eliana stated her thoughts of the Gary demon house on the internet during the early morning hours. Maybe she couldn’t sleep…maybe she had a lot on her mind…perhaps her thoughts were on the children of Latoya Ammons. She does make some credible observations which are worth printing in their entirety:

“Who hasn’t heard of things like this before? Poltergeists, Amityville Horror, etc. In these stories [the Ammons incident] the evil spirits are always doing parlor tricks: throwing things, levitating things, making noises, etc. In other words the evil spirits are acting kind of weird, or kind of like naughty children, but not…evil. Devils/demons show their terrible powers by…clomping up and down somebody’s cellar stairs? Does that make any sense, really? While good angels tread cellar stairs silently?”

“Imagine the children in this family, just children, so their sense of what’s real and what’s not real is still extremely fluid and confusing to them: they’re experiencing all this uproar and attention over what they are told by the significant adults in their lives are demons which are focused right on their little selves. Holy cow, what a psychological Pandora’s Box nightmare for their young minds to endure!!!! How would we expect that children might act in reaction to such attention and such news?? And when the little girl was levitating above the bed for several minutes while people stood around her, why didn’t somebody reach out and pull her down from that ridiculous position? Or at least try to??? Or…if not that…at least do what everybody does nowadays at every and any other of life’s memorable moments, i.e. grab a cell phone camera???”

“Where are the photos of some of these events? People, get those cell phones ready, then put it up on YouTube. Can’t imagine why nobody’s thought of that….”

And finally, Nancy Ratliff adds her own unique perspective: “I just want to be able to crawl on the wall and ceiling and then do a flip and land in front of you.”

Latoya Ammons has spoken exclusively with Inside Edition (at the time of this writing) of her ordeal. I would suspect there will be many more interviews in the weeks and months to come. The cow needs to be milked until it’s dry. And even Latoya appears to be having her own personal reactions to just how far her story has accelerated. Latoya apparently didn’t consider the price that would be paid in becoming entrenched in the “big” story. She has stated that she figured it would draw some attention from her hometown, but never anything on the scale it has become. Really Latoya? And she is well aware of the negativity and scrutiny by folks that weren’t there during her ordeal…and has grown quite sick of it. Or so she says….

“They can say whatever they want to say,” she simply declares.

Rod Dreher, writing for the American Conservative adds: “But, whatever the cause of the creepy occurrences that befell the family—whether they were seized by a systematic delusion or demonic possession—it led to one of the most unusual cases ever handled by the Department of Child Services.”

“It’s a tale, they say, that started with flies.”

Next in the conclusion: Police report, photos and audio—Oh My!...Zak Bagans—Hoosier homeowner and good neighbor…Ric Ocasek of the Cars got it right when he sang “Let the good times roll.”

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