Starring Zak Bagans, Dr. Barry Taff, Jay Wasley, Billy Tolley
Directed by Zak Bagans
One of the single most controversial paranormal cases of the last few decades is without question what happened in Gary, Indiana, during 2014. That was the year the world became familiar with what has become known as a portal to hell… The Ammons House. The case drew world media attention and was reported on by just about every single media outlet.
What made this case so compelling? The credibility of the people who reported witnessing demonic and paranormal activity of a most frightening kind. Back in December 2014 Latoya Ammons reported that both she and her three children had been possessed by demons. This report immediately led to the Department of Child Services stepping in to investigate along with the police and many medical professionals. These weren’t loonies or Internet trolls. These were real, reputable people in positions of public safety and service.
So many bizarre, and frankly impossible, things were reported from disembodied growling and barking to odd wet footprints left around their home where no one had ever walked. There were instances of levitation, and according to the Child Services report, children were being picked up and hurled into walls without anyone touching them. But the worst was yet to come. The story exploded when the medical staff at a local Indiana hospital reported that one of Ammons’ sons “walked up the wall backwards” and “flipped over and landed on his feet.”
“Twenty years, and I’ve never heard anything like that in my life,” said Dr. Geoffrey Onyeukwu, the family physician who evaluated Ammons and her three children. “I was scared myself when I walked into the room.”
Shortly after all of the media attention, the story hit the radar of “Ghost Adventures” host and creator Zak Bagans, who immediately bought the house to investigate it. Would this place yield the kind of evidence that Bagans and his crew had sought after for so long? After seeing Demon House, I think it’s safe to say he got a lot more than he bargained for.
Throughout the film Demon House explores a variety of possibilities. Could it have all been a hoax? Was it mass hysteria? What makes Bagans and company so successful at what they do is that they go out of the way to try to disprove as many claims of the paranormal as possible, leaving us just with the unexplained. With Demon House Bagans is not looking to convince anyone of the existence of ghosts or demons. It’s just an account of what happened before, during, and after he owned the structure which has drawn so much attention.
Let me be clear… This is in NO WAY a spin-off 90-minute episode of “Ghost Adventures,” in which the guys use a number of devices and tons of night vision and/or full-spectrum cameras to tell their stories and collect evidence. Instead, Demon House utilizes the people who were affected by the case to convey just how insanely scary the events surrounding this building actually are. Was there possession? Is it haunted? Was the house used for nefarious purposes? Every time you think that things cannot get any stranger, the story keeps building and the tension keeps mounting. Throughout the film Bagans is both in and very much out of his element. He displays as much a roller coaster of emotions as there is a roller coaster of events. His usual precise and well-thought-out demeanor, though as present as it is in his Travel Channel series, is rattled quite a few times. There are many moments in which even he is like, “Okay, what in the world is going on here?” This wasn’t an investigation that lasted one evening and was then assembled into a 43-minute series; this is one that went on for months, taking an intense toll on all of its participants.
Demon House will leave you with a lot of questions about the existence of both the normal and the paranormal. It’s a masterfully created and seriously frightening account of what can happen when things just end up getting far out of control… when events occur that supersede rational human comprehension and reason. It’s one of the single most compelling documentaries on the existence of the supernatural that I’ve ever witnessed. Whether or not The Ammons House was haunted or is the portal to hell is still very much debatable. As always, there will be people who believe and those who do not. However, the effect that it has had on everyone who has ever walked through its doors is undeniable.
Demon House is a wildly frightening and compelling look into the unexplained that will haunt you for some time to come.
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