Latoya Ammons’ family says they were terrified in this home.(Photo: Photo courtesy of Hammond, Ind., police)
INDIANAPOLIS (IndyStar.com) -- Sold!
Four days after The Indianapolis Star broke a story about a mother who told public officials she was possessed by demons, the home in which she and her family once lived was purchased for $35,000.
Zak Bagans, host and executive producer of "Ghost Adventures" on the Travel Channel, offered Wednesday to purchase the home in Gary, part of a media frenzy that enveloped many of those tied to the case.
Media outlets in more than a dozen countries have clamored for interviews with Latoya Ammons, her family and others mentioned in The Star's report. It chronicled her description of strange occurrences involving her and her three children - and the government's response.
Her tale spurred a series of exorcisms that a priest claims were the first authorized by the current bishop of the Catholic Church's Diocese of Gary.
The fervor over Ammons' claims surprised nearly everyone closest to the situation.
RELATED: Strange events lead Ind. family to resort to exorcism
"I figured ... that I would get uproar from ... my hometown, but I never imagined that it would go viral," said Ammons, who now lives in Indianapolis.
Ammons said people have shown up at her home and falsely claimed they were her friends. She fielded requests for interviews from media outlets, such as CNN and "The Dr. Oz Show," and movie producers but, as of Wednesday, had agreed to talk only with "Inside Edition."
But she said she stopped looking at social media sites after reading negative notes.
"They can say whatever they want to say," she said. "I'm fed up with the backlash."
The Rev. Michael Maginot has granted a series of interviews, including with "The O'Reilly Factor." Maginot, priest at St. Stephen, Martyr Parish, in Merrillville, investigated the house and, ultimately, conducted four exorcisms on Ammons.
"I was kind of shocked that it would stir that much interest."
Gary police Capt. Charles Austin, who investigated Ammons' claims, said he expected notoriety and figured a movie would come of this.
"I thought that because of my expertise in the field of law enforcement ... and the things I've seen at this house that I've never seen before in my life," he said. "(But) I didn't expect this kind of reaction, not on my life."
Austin, who said he was initially skeptical but became a believer, told The Star he's been contacted by media outlets from 20 countries, including Australia, France and in the United Kingdom.
While he's enjoying that brief taste of fame, he said he wouldn't go back to the house unless required to do so for an investigation.
"Why go where evil possibly is there? You have no idea what you may run into."
Psychologists who evaluated Ammons and her children came to a different conclusion. They characterized her fixation on demons as being part of a "delusional system."
Bagans of "Ghost Adventures" said his use of the house will likely involve research into the purported paranormal activity.
"I really (have) a passion for this stuff and the research aspect."
Charles Reed, the homeowner and Ammons' former landlord, said the current tenant called police to complain when reporters and photographers showed up, and she declined offers of money and interview requests.
You may also like...
Weird Florida: A look back at some of the strangest stories of the year
Miracle Baby: Tampa toddler has 5-organ transplant
Broke Bad: Contest winner busted in synthetic drug ring
Here kitty, kitty: Lion escapes enclosure at Pasco sanctuary
Fake Cop: Man arrested 3 times for impersonating officer
Animal tragedy: Girl's miniature horse attacked by dogs
#ShortYellows: Florida quietly shortened yellow lights
Kittens shot: Officer shoots kittens in front of children
Popular photo galleries:
Faces of Meth: Devastating before and after photos of meth abusers
Trayvon Martin Shooting: Trayvon Martin crime scene photos and George Zimmerman injury photos
Hooters Winners: Winners of the 2013 Hooters swimsuit pageant
Rejected: Funny Florida license plates rejected by the DMV ***warning graphic***
Deadly sinkhole: Home collapses, man dies in giant sinkhole
Florida Sex Offenders: Look up sex offenders in any Florida neighborhood here
Restaurant Inspections: Look up inspection reports for any Florida restaurant here