Combine our Would you send your child to a religious school even though it’s not your religion? article with our Ghost Towns of America post and we arrive to this one: Would you live in a haunted house if the price was right?
Let us tell a story to set the mood. Lower the light, put on some ghostly music and brace yourself.
Years ago, Edwin Gonzalez and his wife Lillian Otero came across an exquisite three-story Victorian home in Gardner, Massachusetts. Built in 1875, this 6,661 square foot mansion with its nine-foot tall mahogany doors, sweeping rooms, and stately ground was love at first sight for the couple. There were a few renovations needed, but mainly aesthetic stuff. They envisioned themselves living there for the rest of their lives, raising their children and all; so the home renovation project was actually a feature. They were looking forward to that. That is; until strange things started to happen.
One night, Edwin woke up to the sound of his wife crying. He opened his eyes to find her sitting at the edge of the bed. With her back turned to him, he asked “What’s wrong, honey?” only to hear the reply coming from the bathroom, from where Lilian was coming out after waking up to pee; that wasn’t his wife crying! When he looks back to the bed… the woman is no longer there.
After freaking out a little, he brushed it off. The plumbing renovations were so stressful it was making him hallucinate, he thought. But more and more the eeriness started to creep in. Lillian woke up one day feeling her hands pinned to the headboard by invisible forces. Then, both of them began to collectively see things that weren’t there, to go for days without remembering what happened, and to hear constant footsteps that never translated to human intruders. Yes, by that point, they were already wishing it was an actual thief because it was getting clearer by the second: they were living in a haunted house.
The toll of living in that scary house was so heavy; they moved to Lilian’s sister’s house.
Alright. Stop the music and turn the lights back on.
From a real estate standpoint to this story, we could say that the couple could have the deal reversed and their money back, because the home seller failed to mention the Victorian home was a haunted house. Yes, actually, most states in the US go a step further from the traditional seller disclosure requirements of structural problems of a house and ask for the disclosure of “emotional defects” that could impact a real estate property evaluation. This includes the occurrences of suicides, homicides and other traumatic events; including spectral activity. But even if it’s not the case in your state, especially after reading about this scary house, you should remember to – when asking for full disclosure – specifically question in writing if the owners and the real estate agents or brokers have any evidence of that property’s history as a haunted house. Be broad: don’t single out “Does the haunted house come with phantom dogs howling? Do ghost babies toddle across the floor?”. Just ask if it’s a haunted house with a history of eerie paranormal activities. That way, if something happens and you want to get out, your bid to recover sunken funds gets a lot stronger.
But that’s assuming you would mind to live in a haunted house.
What if you don’t mind to live in a haunted house?
Yes, believe it or not, there are people that are actually excited to live in a haunted house. Or at least own it. For instance, do you know what happened to the scary house in the story? It was sold to a guy who had the dream of having a scary house with a history of paranormal activities turned into a thrill ride of sorts, where he runs a macabre Airbnb renting joint for people that want to stay in a haunted house for a night or two – we think whoever has the courage to, should have a progressive discount for the subsequent nights, because… yikes!
But in all seriousness, that’s actually smart real estate investing; you can get a fine piece of property for cheap and profit off the many many curious minded and paranormal activity fans. And the deal becomes even sweeter if you don’t believe that sort of things or can manage to share the big scary house with roommates from the spiritual world and experience otherworldly occurrences.
Lastly, there’s also a scenario where you do mind the ghosts, but the price is too good for you to run away from the property and you want to live in it, not turn it into a business. What do you do? Who you gonna call?
Unfortunately, outside of the movies, the Ghostbusters rate of success in “cleaning” a scary house off paranormal activities is, at best, debatable. None of our staff has ever dealt with otherworldly creatures in their lifetime. But we’re not minimizing people that have. We believe it’s a thing that’s “not for everyone”; a matter of individuals that have a different sensibility and are able to cross the material world border. And because of that, there’s a lot of sneaky people making money out of people’s desperation. So… should you try to believe in Ghostbusters? It’s up to you. If we were in your spot, we’d probably run, but like we said, we don’t believe in ghosts and we’ve lived long enough to know great opportunities slipping through our fingers. We would try some renovations to take the haunted house aspect of it, pray to all possible religions – so we are fully covered – and even try to make a deal with the ghosts. A nice property is worth otherworldly efforts!
What about you? What would YOU do if you found yourself in a haunted house? Go unfazed, sipping tea with folks from the 1700’s? Or run crazy out the scary house as fast as you can, forever staying away at least 100 miles from it? Give us your thoughts on the comments!