Zak Bagans and The Indiana Horror House
Zak Bagans, Ghost Adventures Overview
Before we delve into the topic, let’s become acquainted with The Ghost Adventures team and the television production.
Zak Bagans is a producer, writer, and director. Yet, Bagans is notable as the main host to Ghost Adventures. The paranormal-themed reality show once featured Nick Groff, now serving as a producer. Aaron Goodwin, Billy Tolley, Jay Wasley round out the cast to The Travel Channel’s most popular show. Ghost Adventures is now in its thirteenth season. In 2014, an interview themed spin-off titled Ghost Adventures: Aftershocks launched. This new paranormal-series spotlights guests affected by their haunted locales.
Ghost Adventures presents a compelling yet entertaining context into paranormal research. Although the team tests scientific theory against the supernatural, the evidence they’ve gathered remains debatable. In each episode presented are allegations of the paranormal, from Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP’s) to video footage. Each shred of evidence implies proof of ghost activity. This is a reality show and there is always the possibility of fabricated evidence to engage viewership. On the other side of the coin, the captured footage from The Ghost Adventures team may allow legitimacy to an afterlife and/or hauntings.
Ghost Adventures took roots with a documentary released in 2004. The concept led to the established television series seen by millions today. Bagans, Groff, and Goodwin root their accomplishment with their indie documentary film, Ghost Adventures. The study of the paranormal was not as mainstream as it is today and the documentary helped propel a look on the subject. Explored in the documentary were two purported ghost infested areas; The Old Washoe Club and the Goldfield Hotel. Both in Nevada, each is considered America’s most haunted sites.
1. Indiana Hell House Case
On or around January 2014, Bagans’ personal research/crusade on the paranormal led him to Gary, Indiana. Bagans purchased a nondescript home located at 3860 Carolina Street for thirty-five thousand dollars. The investment was the initial step towards a new paranormal-themed documentary. At the time Bagans’ pre-production investigation centered on the home and its previous tenants, a family of five.
A single mother, her mother and three children once lived at 3860 Carolina Street and are said to have encountered an unnerving haunting. Their life-altering event forced them to retreat from the one-story rental home. Soon their ordeal developed into the focal point of local authorities and The Department of Child Services. Their story later seized media attention.
Hollywood also had interested in this modern day narrative of the supernatural. In fact, on November 2014 Deadline issued an exclusive reported that a film adaptation to this case was in the works. Relativity Pictures secured the rights to and were in development of Demon House. The report specified that Director Lee Daniels was entering to direct the Horror, Thriller. As of April 2016, Demon House credits do not show on Lee Daniels’ IMDb profile
An article published February 2014 by The Indianapolis Star published on another secured Hollywood contract. Evergreen Media Holding solidified a film adaptation of its own. The company behind The Conjuring inked a deal with Reverend Michael Maginot of St. Stephen, Martyr Parish in Merrillville, Indianapolis.
Rev. Maginot played a crucial part in the purported Indiana haunting case. His engagement is best encapsulated as the courageous priest summoned to battle the forces of evil. This is a classic image illustrated in many supernatural Horror films. According to the article Rev. Maginot also secured a deal to cooperate on Zak Bagans’ documentary.
Whether supernatural causes were at play or the work of hallucinations did persons involved in this incident monetized their situation? Inking lucrative film deals may cause red flags on the paranormal aspect and its validity.
2. Zak Bagans’ Hell House Docu-Production
Over the past two years, Bagans invested efforts and resources in his paranormal themed documentary. On April 2014 production began only to have stopped months later. The sudden halt occurred during the Summer of 2014. Bagans halted production based on circumstances that threatened the safety of the production crew.
An article published in November 2014 by The Examiner reported on a member of the film crew almost getting attacked by a demonically possessed woman. Another crew member quit because of the purported episode. The home exhibited strange phenomena and unsuppressed evil energies, all unaffected by the practice of exorcisms. Filming resumed December 2014.
It’s also reported that demonic activity stirred within the home once filming began. This despite landlord, Charles Reed insisting no activity stemmed prior to the 2011 incidents. Owners before and after the occurrences had no obscene tribulations with the supernatural while living within the abode.
The documentary on the Indiana haunting wrapped production in mid-2015. On February 2016, the epicenter of media attention and that of the curious reduced to a pile of rubble. The home once believed to be a haven for demonic forces was no more. Bagans’ reason for the home’s destruction is a feature included in the documentary. No official release date for this upcoming documentary.
The synopsis of the documentary reads as follows:
“The story takes place with doing a docudrama about the home he purchased in Gary, Indiana. He convinces a couple of previous tenants to come back and discuss their accounts of the frightening ordeals that they endured during their stay at the home. A woman becomes possessed and begins speaking in tongues. Following the extreme amount of activity documented, production had to be halted, but the movie has been finished one year later and, boy, are you in for one edge of your seat demonic thrill ride.”
3. The Ammons Haunting Fact or Fiction
In 2011 a modern tale of the paranormal unraveled. A series of strange occurrences culminated into a traumatic event. The incident would forever change the lives of everyone involved. This supernatural event centered on a family living on a normal residential expanse. Testimony would describe unimaginable horrors experienced within the rental home. Latoya Ammons’ her mother and Ammon’s three children were afflicted with paranormal activity.
The abode although ordinary had a plethora of strange anomalies. Demonic possession and other examples of the paranormal took place, this according to the official narrative. News on this event captured global headlines. Carolina Street, the once unpretentious district in Gary, Indianapolis turned into a media spotlight. The story had the trappings of a Horror, Thriller film yet, this wasn’t an act of fiction. Latoya Ammons’ story reverberating across numerous articles, news segments, and interviews.
The claims on the paranormal could be connected with hallucinations or perhaps something paranormal was awry. The event would turn into the strangest examination supervised by The Department of Child Services. Witness testimony from law enforcement, medical personnel, and psychologists comprise an eight hundred page article on the Indiana haunting case.
The following is a list of compiled events on the Latoya Ammons’ haunting:
Horse flies swarmed within the screened-in porch
Latoya Ammons and her mother Rosa Campbell witnessed a 12-year-old levitate above the bed
Footsteps were heard on the basement stairs and doors opened between the basement and kitchen.
Shadow figure of a man walking across the living room
Wet footprints were reported to be found on the floor
Local churches refused to assist.
One church confirmed the Carolina Street house was indeed haunted.
Two clairvoyants claimed 200 demons resided within the home
Latoya Ammons children (ages 7, 9 and 12 at the time) were purported to be possessed by demons
7-year-old boy chokes his brother and attacks grandmother at the local hospital
The Department of Child Services case manager Valerie Washington and registered nurse Willie Lee Walker reported Ammons’ 9-year-old child to have walked backward up a wall and unto the ceiling.
The Department of Child Services took custody of Latoya Ammons’ children
Rev. Michael Maginot confirmed Demonic forces resided in the home
Law enforcement officers from Gary and Hammond police departments along with family case manager Valerie Washington encountered weird phenomena within the home
On and/or around April 2012 Ammons’ children are sent to adolescent residential/treatment centers; St. Joseph’s Carmelite and Christian Haven
Clinical psychologist Stacy Wright and Clinical psychologist Joel Schwartz diagnose children as delusional, symptoms attributed to the mother
Rev. Michael Maginot performs a blessing on home and an exorcism on Latoya Ammons followed
The Ammons moved from the home thereafter. The Department of Child Services closes it case on Latoya Ammons. On/or around November 2012 Ammons regains custody of her children. On/or around January 2013, a dismissal of wardship is issued by The Department of Child Services
4. Closing Remarks
Latoya Ammons’ story captured public attention, including the paranormal research community and skeptics. Did these events occur as Ammons claim? Were other witnesses affected by the shared psychotic disorder and/or induced delusional disorder? We may never know.
Those connected with the Indiana haunting may have profited from the situation. Some may say nothing eases traumatic event best than monetary compensation. There’s also the issue on Latoya Ammons’ long history with The Department of Child Services. In 2009, The Department of Child Services stated that Latoya Ammons neglected her children’s education.
Bagans jumped on the opportunity to invest in and document Latoya Ammons’ claims. It’s inevitable that Bagans’ documentary will become a hit with his longstanding enthusiasts. Perhaps, the demolition of the home was strategic in business nature. The move deters other paranormal investigators and/or skeptics to refute Bagan’s claims on the unknown.
Paranormal activity is something more profound than a string of low cost found footage films. In today’s current society lies the unexplained and perhaps the paranormal. Most have experienced circumstances that confound rationale and experimental analyses. This opens the podium to question the paranormal. Claims, photographs, and recordings pass for efficient TV entertainment. Yet there is the “what if?” component. Examining the unknown with an impartial mind is essential to recognize it.