Supernatur­al events reported at Gary home

- Connect with Jerry via email, at, voice mail, at 713-7237, or Facebook, Twitter, and his blog, at jerrydavic­ JERRY DAVICH

Latoya Ammons’ stepmother doesn’t believe her stepdaught­er’s highly publicized claims that her three children were victims of “demonic possession” two years ago while living in Gary.

Of all the naysayers who contacted me about this woman’s story, including a few public officials, I didn’t expect to hear from Ammon’s own family. Yet their response was the first one I received regarding my Monday column.

“My children — Latoya’s brothers and sisters — are outraged,” the stepmother told me. “They know the true story and they’re upset about the family’s name being dragged through the mud.”

The “true story” in this welltravel­ed tale of demons, ghosts and exorcisms is as hard to find as a snowman in hell, it seems.

“There are a lot of twists and turns that have not been revealed,” explained Latoya Ammons’ stepmother, a Gary woman who shares her same last name. “My family hoped this would all blow over. It has not.”

She is referring to a recent Indianapol­is Star story and, even more so, subsequent media coverage about Ammons, who now lives in Indianapol­is. Ammons and others stand firm in their claims of demonic possession, supernatur­al happenings and unexplaina­ble phenomena.

Ghostly footsteps. Creaking doors. Shadowy apparition­s. Evil smiles. Demonic voices. A levitating daughter. A ceiling-crawling son. You know the story by now.

But, as I wrote in my Monday column, “Did it all happen? Were demons involved? Satan? God? Hmmmm… Either you believe her or you don’t.”

“We don’t believe it,” the stepmother told me flat out.

“We believe none of it went on. Thank you so much for writing the article. You spoke what we wanted to say.”

She also had some unflatteri­ng things to say about her stepdaught­er, whom she hasn’t seen in several years. But I won’t go there.

Instead, I’ll share a small sampling of your responses.

“This lady is not telling a lie,” said Carla R. of Gary, a church minister. “I, too, lived in a house that’s been haunted for years. These demons take money from me, sometimes steal things from me, and sometimes try to have sex with me. You need to believe her. She’s not lying. There are spirits in that home and that neighborho­od.”

Another female caller from Gary noted, “It sounds unbelievab­le but if you put things in your mind, and you see things in your head, then sometimes they can actually come true. It’s all up to the individual. If you dwell on things, they certainly will happen.”

On the flip side, several other readers chalked up Ammons’ story to fiction even though some of it has been supported by a Catholic priest, a Gary cop and others.

“This is all a big scam,” said Thomas V. of Hebron. “Just look at all the media attention it has created. You media people are all pawns or suckers in this story. THIS is news? Please.”

Kathy G. said, “Your column caused me to go to my theologica­l notes and biblical references on the subject of exorcism. When a priest is called in, it is usually familial preference. The church in Vatican II recognized that the lay people were capable of laying on hands and delivering people from their evil grasps.

“As for me, good and evil are choices. Influence is the dominant force in choice. The evil gets an addictive hold on you and only your faith of knowing the truth can set you free. But the influentia­l power of loving outside forces for the good can act as prayer that can become your saving grace.” Get all that? Other readers simply appreciate­d the heavenly reprieve from their hellish lives.

“You don’t often read about demons, ghosts and exorcisms in the newspaper so it was fun fodder for a few minutes,” joked Gregory H. of Highland.

A benefit for Lynn

If you’re looking for an alternativ­e dinner plan for Saturday — and for a great cause, too — consider a fundraisin­g spaghetti dinner for Lynn Nolan of Kouts. She’s a sweet-as-pie mother of two who was diagnosed with non- Hodgkins lymphoma in October.

“It has been a real struggle for her,” said friend and co-organizer Christine Otterbache­r.

“We are fundraisin­g for her uninsured medical bills and the financial needs of the family,” she added. “We are also accepting donated items to raffle or auction.”

The benefit (with food provided by Fazolis) takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, 201 Washington St. in Valparaiso. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for children under 12.

Also, financial donations are being accepted at Centier banks in the name of the “Lynn Nolan Benefit Fund.” For more info or to help the cause, call Christine at 405-8411.

I’ll be there and I hope you are, too.

RIP Rayner Magee

Remember Rayner Magee, the older Gary man with those horrific bed sores whose family disagreed on his care, treatment and well-being during his last days? I recently found out that he died at a hospice center.

“We didn’t get to be there in his last days,” his son, Curtis, told me. “Sandra Magee (Rayner’s wife) checked him out of the hospital and never told any family members where he was.”

A sad situation all the way around, but hopefully Curtis’ family can finally find peace — just as their father finally did.

Reverse racism of sorts?

Bill Finik of Valparaiso brought up an interestin­g point about the controvers­y over the city of Portage helping the city of Gary with its snow plowing during a recent storm.

“For the sake of arguing, let’s say the mayor of Portage was a Democrat and the City Council was dominated by Republican­s,” he said. “Charges of racism would be flying if the City Council objected. So far, I have heard no direct charges of this. Why? Because the objectors are Democrats.”

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