I have two reasons for doing this review. Obviously the primary one is to review Demon House, because I’ve been a fan of Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures show since it began, and been dying to see this documentary ever since news broke of its existence, the second is now I finally have an excuse to talk about the handful of supernatural experiences I’ve had in my life thus far, with one of them bordering on evil, which fits in perfectly with this review.
So, let’s get to it.
The minor incidents involve walking into my bedroom one day and feeling like I walked into a spider’s web. I even brushed my face thinking that’s what happened, but this was the middle of a bright and sunny day. I’ve also had two instances, again, in my bedroom, of being tapped on the head. The first instance came in the late 90s, when I was seated at the desk writing on my word processor, when out of the blue I felt someone tap me right on the top of the head. The other tapping, again, occurred in my bedroom, as I was looking at a DVD schedule I had taped to the wall (I print out a list of review copies I either have coming or intend to inquiry about, with release dates). This incident also during a sunny day.
Now I shall chronicle my one instance (so far) of actually seeing a ghost, and yet again this happened in the middle of the day, summer to be exact, in the mid-2000s, when I was in my mid-30s. It happened on a bike ride, and on a route I’ve taken a million times. On this particular day it was hot and humid, and instead of going around and up this hill I generally take I decided to bypass it all together this day and take the road that went around it. Keep in mind it was sunny and hot, the kind of hot you can see the highway ripple with mirage, and at first this is what I thought it was. There’s a field on the left that comes into view on this road, and as it came into view I spotted what looked like a disembodied head walked towards the road, and it was on a track that would eventually intersect with me. The effect looked like something you’d see in a movie, like a CGI effect. All I could see was the outline of a head, hollow eyes, and the closer we both got to each other the more I stared at it in awe and shock. I kept thinking, what the hell is that, which then turned into, holy shit that looks like a fuckin’ ghost heading towards me!! When the “effect” and I intersected I lost track of it. I slowed the bike down and kept looking back, hoping to spot it again, but it was gone for good.
Now, this next “event” is more troublesome and that stems from an episode I saw of a show that chronicled this demonic haunting this family had. What’s interesting and maybe strange is I can no longer remember the case, or the woman, or even the show I saw it on. I want to say it was on My Ghost Story, if not that Paranormal Witness. And I cannot tell you why it fascinated me to the point I looked up the woman on Facebook and sent her a PM telling her I just saw her account on this show, and hoping it was all over, or words to that effect. She replied a week late on a Sunday, and I think she told me she still suffers from the haunting, I then made the mistake (which I can now in hindsight see that it was) of telling her to contact Lorraine Warren. She replied again, and again on a Sunday and told me she had heard of her but didn’t know how to contact her. I think I linked her to Warren’s site. There was one more reply from her, and, yes, it came on a Sunday, thanking me, and that was that.
Right after that I began having these for lack a better word, “fucked up dreams.” I’ve had nightmares before and still have on occasion, but this was different, and they occurred every night for a week. They always involved being somewhere surrounded in mist, the one I can really remember was being back in freshman year of high school (the absolute worst year of all schooling I’ve ever had), back in shop, and the room was filled with menacing mist. And this “hag,” would appear, open her robe and show me all her exposed innards. I would always wake with a terrible start, but when I went back to sleep, there I was again,m surrounded in mist, being made to look at this hag’s exposed organs. Safe to say my nights were not filled with restful sleep, and I began to link it to getting in contact with that woman, which taught me a valuable lesson, don’t poke your nose into other peoples “supernatural” problems, especially if you can give them sound advice on how to make those “problems” go away, because you will get noticed by those “problems.”
At any rate this all came to end one Saturday night, when before I fell asleep I said this little prayer, “God, give me the strength to conquer any and all nightmares I might have tonight,” The dream that night was different. I dreamt I was lying in my bed sleeping, but there was this presence lying behind me, and what it was doing was draining my energy. I’ve always had a fascination with ‘psychic vampirism,’ (FYI, two best horror movies on this topic are 1983’s One Dark Night and the 1985 scifi/horror flick, Lifeforce, based on Colin Wilson’s 1976 novel, Space Vampires) and this is what I felt this thing behind was doing, and it felt horrible. But then suddenly this light appeared above me, it felt like the sun, and what I thought was, ‘oh, cool, the sun just came out,’ and the moment this sun shined down on me, the thing behind me turned into a burnt and dead skeleton. I then turned around, said to it, “Take my energy, will ya? How ‘bout I take yours!” and jammed my fingers into its charred skull and began to drain it. I remember thinking, well, this is kind of disappointing, because it’s clear this thing, whatever it was, was killed the moment that sun shone, so it has no idea what I’m doing to it, which kind of diminished my revenge, and the moment I thought that I woke up. And that’s how that all ended, thanks in no small part to, maybe, God, and/or guardian angels, or perhaps a combination of both, wherever that “sun” originated from I give those forces of Good many thanks!
The older I get the more I bump up against realities of certain sayings, like money is the root of all evil. I never fully believed that until I dropped out of the middle class (not willingly mind you), and we live in a world where not enough of it, or the total absence of it, even too much of it causes profound misery, so is it unreasonable to believe impoverished areas and households would be the ideal places for the forces of Evil to set-up shop?
No, it wouldn’t.
Until I watched this doc I didn’t know Gary, Indiana is an impoverished area with rampant unemployment, abandoned homes, and poverty, the perfect place for a demonic infested home. Zak Bagans equated this 3-year investigation to the Amityville haunting, and, yes, there are similarities, even the accusations it was all a hoax, which the doc explores and makes you think for a little while it is, but then ‘”reality” sets in and by the end you’ll understand this was all too real. So evil was this domicile Bagans eventually made the correct call to demolish the house totally, but even then this may be bigger than an infested house, the land may be “cursed,” and it doesn’t help occasionally the property is visited by people who perform Satanic rituals upon it.
The past on this house is a bit sketchy according to the doc. There was a previous family that lived in it that apparently had no problems, but when Latoya Ammons, her three kids and her mother moved in in 2011, it triggered something, and it all came to head in April 2012 when her kids were admitted to the hospital in a condition one could reasonably construe as “possessed.” This is where this particular infestation becomes unique. Every once in a while I stumble across news and accounts of a haunting that stands out from the rest (ex. The Entity, The Amityville Horror, The Haunting In Connecticut), and one of the reasons this one does is because one of the possessed boys was seen crawling up a wall backwards, and Zak manages to interview one of the child care workers who saw it happen.
That certainly made an impression on me.
But another thing that makes this “haunting” unique is how it affects anyone who comes into contact with it. Naturally, I was aware demonic infestations tend to target anyone who gets involved, but there was something about this one that felt more intense. Zak will show a list of terrible events that befell people who set foot in the house, with most of these events requiring emergency room treatment, like leading attempted suicide, cancer, broken bones, burns, organ failure. The one incident in this department chronicled that stand out is what happened to paranormal investigator, Barry Taft, Zak welcomes for added help. I became familiar with him through reading about The Entity case decades ago. Naturally, he’s “attacked” performing his tests in the basement, but after he got back to his hotel room he continued to be “attacked,” and his last interview in the doc is from a hospital bed where he tells us all his organs began to shut down. Not just one at a time, like apparently it’s supposed to happen, if paranormal events aren’t involved, but all at once! Don’t worry he lives to investigate another day. He also said that was a life changing event, for me too, and I’m only a viewer.
I can’t recall another case I’ve heard of where the Evil forces were able to affect human biology to such a degree. In Zak’s ever present search for evidence he decides to board himself up in the house for an entire night, boarding up all the windows and doors, and if he wants out he’ll have to call the fire department to bust him out. I should stress something I forgot to do earlier, the Ammon family abandoned the house long before Zak’s investigation began and when he heard of this haunting he bought the house sight unseen, so he owns it lock, stock and barrel. During his solo night’s stay he was visited by a black mass, later on he’s eyes began to hurt like hell. He got double vision soon after. He had doctors look at it, his brain scanned, the whole nine yards, and none of them could figure out the cause. An operation could be done, but there’s a high risk of blindness; for all intents and purposes his condition is now permanent. I also have double vision, but I acquired mine through a head injury in a near fatal car accident when I was 27. On the plus side it took 18 years for it to develop to a point where I finally noticed it in March of 2014; and the specialist I saw traced it back to that accident, the only time in my life I had a head injury. But to hear a demonic encounter can do to your vision what a physical head injury from a car accident can?! Well, that impresses me, and not in a good way. I mean horrified impressed, if there is such a thing.
A camera man quit, and another had such a horrifying encounter he eventually went off his rocker and had to be fired. The aftermath of this encounter is chronicled and it’s yet another creepy and disturbing element of this investigation. Both he and the child care worker had to seek psychiatric help. Not surprising at all.
There are three deleted scenes, one involves that camera man taking a polygraph test, which he passes, along with a brief interview with him; another documents the capability these forces have in affecting electronic equipment, and one, I think, should have been included as an epilogue. It’s a brief scene of Zak returning 9 months later, presumably after he demolished the house, to learn a serial killer has been killing and dumping bodies in the abandoned homes in Gary, and all these discovered dumpings are in the vicinity of where the “Demon House” used to be.
Really impressive paranormal docs are hard to come by, at least in my opinion they are, but if you liked this one, seek out An Unknown Encounter, and the docu-drama, A Haunting In Connecticut. The former used to air on the SyFy channel every October; the DVD, however, is out of print; the latter used to run on the Travel Channel, but the DVD of that one is still in print. I generally don’t like docu-dramas, but this one was different. The real-life participants are interviewed and they’re interspersed throughout the creepy re-enactments. Demon House is now number #3 on this list! And if you want to own it, it’s available to buy now on Amazon!
Video/Audio/Subtitles: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen—5.1 English Dolby Digital (surround)—English subs only
Extras included . . .
- Deleted Scenes (3 scenes) (Adam Polygraph—4:36; Serial Killer—2:45; Alarm System—5:33)
(Note: There are some discrepancies in the specs listed on the back cover; the doc isn’t 2.40, but 1.78:1, and there is no 2.o track).