Clarissa Johal: Thoughtful Thursday-Haunted Houses for Sale

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Thoughtful Thursday-Haunted Houses for Sale

Photo courtesy of AcrylicArtist via Morguefile
Would you buy a haunted house? Some people would never consider it, while others would be intrigued. Personally, it would depend on the type of activity whether or not I would buy a haunted house. Reports of spirit sightings and encounters? That wouldn't bother me--it is what it is. Violent activity or history? I would probably steer clear of that.

Some years ago, my husband and I were house hunting and came across two historical pieces of property. One house "looked" haunted, both inside and out. The other was absolutely pristine and beautiful. When we went to check out the haunted-looking one, I felt perfectly comfortable and would have gladly moved in. The pristine house, on the other hand, was a definite "no." The moment I walked in the door, I knew there was no way I could live there. When I asked the Realtor about the history, she mentioned the original owner had kept slaves.

Some states require you to tell prospective buyers if a house is haunted — just like you would disclose if there were a structural issue or mold and mildew. But this is a grey area of real estate. In Massachusetts, if the property is “psychologically impacted,” the law requires the seller disclose the information (ie. it may be haunted and people can feel these impacts, but not necessarily see them). In California, sellers must disclose "emotional defects and deaths" on the property only if they have occurred within the past three years. There have been lawsuits regarding haunted houses impacted by activity, so the recommendation is to either cleanse the house before sale, or come clean to potential buyers about the activity.

Here is a list of haunted houses that have been, or are currently up for sale. Unless they were already famous, these were very difficult to find. My guess is most people aren't disclosing if a house is haunted!

For Sale by Owner $144,000
1217 Marion St, Dunmore, PA 18509

Owner reports the house is, "Slightly haunted. Nothing serious, though. e.g. The sounds of phantom footsteps. A strange knocking sound followed by a very quiet (hardly noticeable, even) scream at 3:13am, maybe once a week. Twice a week, tops. And the occasional ghastly visage lurking behind you in the bathroom mirror. Even still, this occurs very rarely and only in the second floor bathroom."

Buxton Inn
List Price: $3,900,000

Reports of paranormal activity date back to 1920, where it was believed that the original homeowner’s ghost, Orrin Granger, still remained. Although named the most haunted “Inn” in America, it is said to host some of the friendliest spirits.

List Price: $499,000

Former residence of axe murderer Lizzie Borden, has been on the market several times over the last few years. Over the years, the house has been through multiple owners, and many price reductions.

1140 Royal Street, New Orleans, LA
List Price: $3,550,000

This 150-year-old house is known as one of the most haunted in New Orleans' French Quarter. The house's original owner was Madame LaLaurie, a Louisiana-born socialite and serial killer known for her involvement in the torture and murder of slaves. 

The Hampton Lillibridge House
507 E Saint Julian St , Savannah, Georgia
List Price: $2,400,000

Before he was tried four times for the same murder, antiques dealer and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil protagonist Jim Williams moved this 1796 house to its current location. During its relocation, a worker was crushed when a neighboring house collapsed. Eerie incidents ensued and continue to this day: a Dixieland band strikes it up, footsteps are heard, the spectre of a dark-suited man in a top hat haunts the second floor, and a couple of wraiths in formal attire occupy the widow's walk.

The Exorcist House
Price: $169,900 (asking)
St. Louis, Missouri 

The boy who inspired the novel (and subsequent film adaptation) The Exorcist resided at this two brick two-story brick colonial house. Father Raymond Bishop, one of several priests who exorcised the boy, kept the house out of the diary, chronicling the exorcism activities in an attempt to conceal the boy's identity as much as possible. Gary Stafford, who owned and was attempting to sell the house in 2005 said, "It's certainly not something we'd need to disclose to the future buyer—that, some 50 years ago, a boy who stayed in the house may or may not have been possessed."

Well...any takers?


Rhea Rhodan said...

I've lived in several haunted abodes (including the house I grew up in). As you say, some are creepy, while others are almost comforting. I never knew what had happened in these places before I moved in, only after I'd experienced...things and researched (or in one case, was informed by a pretty freaked out acquaintance on her first visit--since she knew the guy who'd killed himself there).

Anonymous said...

Great post. I enjoyed it. And friendly spirits or not, I would not live in a haunted house.


Clarissa Johal, Author said...

That wouldn't be comforting to know, Rhea. How sad. It would make for some interesting writing though, Stan. ;)

Unknown said...

The houses look lovely, but like the saying goes ... it's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.

Clarissa Johal, Author said...

I thought all the houses were beautiful too! Thanks for stopping by :)

Anonymous said...

This is a great post! I find stories of haunted houses so intriguing, although have no interest in sharing a bathroom with a ghost.

Clarissa Johal, Author said...

That would be awkward, Alicia! lol Thanks for stopping by :)