Indy Star’s Bizarre Tale of Real-Life Exorcism Wins Huge Mobile Traffic, but Cashing In Is Harder


Gannett’s Indianapolis Star is happily learning what movie studios have long known: Ghost stories are a huge draw.

“The exorcisms of Latoya Ammons,” a 5,300-word feature by investigative reporter Marisa Kwiatkowski, has become one of the most widely read pieces in the paper’s history since it was published last month, according to Jeff Taylor, the Star’s editor and VP-news. But even as the story continues to rack up social shares to make BuzzFeed jealous, including 62,000 on Facebook, the paper may find more luck cashing in via Hollywood than on Madison Avenue.

The feature describes a Gary, Ind., family that endured an experience not unlike the story in last year’s movie “The Conjuring.” Their rented house exhibited odd behavior — swarming black flies, creaking doors, the sound of mysterious footsteps — which they claimed was followed by demonic possession of the mother and children.

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Lars M. B. Anthonisen is Regional Business Lead, Southeast Asia Strategic Accounts at Google. Previously, he held various digital marketing positions at media companies across Europe and Asia including Regional Digital Director at MediaCom APAC, Marketing Director at Adform and Digital Manager at Universal McCann Worldwide.

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