Whispering voices. Unexplainable shadows and odors. Flickering or flashing lights. Missing objects. Cold spots. TV is randomly playing. Horror movie fans might be thrilled at the idea of moving into a spooky house but other people –normal people – would consider it a nightmare.
Movies about haunted houses like Poltergeist and The Conjuring satiate thrill-seekers and it’s interesting to learn about notorious homes like the Charles Manson murder house and Chris Watts’ murder home where spine-chilling crimes took place. However, what would be your answer if you were asked to live in those houses?
It’s one thing to watch a Netflix documentary that features some of the most horrifying spooky houses but living in a house where you’d constantly hear footsteps late at night, smell weird odors and experience a creepy feeling that someone is watching you is a completely different matter. After all, no one wants to live in a house where you can hear marbles dropping on the floor, see objects moving on their own, see electronic devices being switched on and off on their own and catch glimpses of shadowy figures. And, even when you don’t believe in ghosts or spirits, you can find it difficult to buy a house that’s been tagged as “haunted.”
So, if you don’t want to end up buying and living in a spooky house, here’s how to cover your bases when you are going for house hunting.
Know About the State’s Laws
Believe it or not, but there are some who are willing to pay extra for a haunted house. But, even then, sellers are more likely to hide this important piece of information when they are putting the house on the market. However, buyers can ask whether the house is haunted or not and in some states, sellers are under some kind of legal obligation to disclose such information.
In California, for example, a seller is under the legal obligation to reveal to the buyer if there have been any deaths on the property within the last three years. In Oklahoma, a potential buyer has the right to ask a seller in writing if the property is haunted or not.
It’s also interesting to note that in some countries a buyer can legally sue a seller for failing to disclose the fact that the property was haunted.
One of the best ways to ensure that you don’t end up living in a scary house is by relying on the good old-fashion house hunting technique: research.
Instead of asking the owner, Google the address and try to obtain maximum information on the property. You can also visit libraries and look for newspaper clippings or historical records to find if there have been any deaths on the property. DiedinHouse.com, for example, is a reliable website where you can find out if anyone has died at a specific US address.
Also, try to find out about the land on which the house was built – maybe it was an ancient burial ground or a former battlefield.
Talk to the Neighbors
Neighbors are the only ones who have the inside scoop on what’s happening inside a house. So, if you suspect a house of being haunted, try asking the neighbors. You can start by striking up a casual conversation and then swiftly talk about how you’ve heard rumors about the house next to them being haunted.
Ask for a Visit
Touring homes is a critical part of the home purchase journey and yet, there are many who’ve skipped this phase. And, today, most people opt for virtual home tours. I don’t have anything against 3D walkthroughs but if you don’t want to end up buying a haunted house, I strongly suggest you opt for a live house tour. Only then will you know if a house is really haunted or not.