Someone on Facebook shared the link to this article from the humorous blog cracked.com, and I thought my Haunted Real Estate readers would enjoy it too.
A house of horrors is the real lead character in the new FX suspense drama “American Horror Story,” which, in early episodes, finds its owners trying to illegally unload their haunted house without disclosing its dark, dark past. (Reprint this story for free with limited copyright restrictions.)
Good luck with that.
“American Horror Story” revolves around the Harmons, a family of three who moved from Boston to Los Angeles in order to reconcile a dark past and end up with a home that has some baggage of its own.
There’s unfaithful Ben Harmon, a shrink; Vivien Harmon, Ben’s pregnant wife and their teens-will-be-teens, pot-smoking daughter Violet Harmon. They are joined by Constance, the Harmon’s gun-wielding, spooky neighbor; Tate Langdon, one of Ben’s patients; Larry Harvey, who doesn’t seem bothered by the spooks; the Harmon’s housekeeper, both in her past sultry mode and in her present guise as a real come-on bitch. Continue reading
A friend on Facebook shared with me this YouTube Channel by Ghostwatching and it’s really quite good! Below is one video, but if you visit the link you’ll see a wealth of these sorts of films!
Who is this cool person who’s shared so many neat movies and clips with the ghost-and-paranormal obscessed public? Ghostwatching’s description of herself as “a Connoisseur of History the Victorian era and all things of a mysterious and spooky nature”. Looks like this is simply a labor of love and not a profit center (exactly like this site, the Haunted Real Estate Blog). Also looks like some of her content has been swiped and plagiarized at times – so if you do visit this cool site, please be respectful and don’t “pinch” anything!
Statistics vary, but up to about half the American population believes in ghosts – or at the very least, the possibility that they exist.
- A CBS poll in 2005 found that 48% of those asked said that they believe in ghosts and 45% said they didn’t. The same query revealed that 56% of women did believe in them. Surprisingly, 22% of those polled (not just of the set that believe) said that they had personally seen or felt a ghost. That’s huge!
- A Pew Research poll in 2009 found smaller numbers but that 18% felt that they had had some sort of experience with a deceased person.
- Scientific American calls these “grief hallucinations” and states that 80% of the elderly have them within a month of the passing of a close loved one. This is, of course, a surprising conclusion that the otherwise very respectable magazine failed to prove, but instead merely asserted.
Whether real experiences of the dead or, as Scientific American unscientifically claims, why is it that so few people ever talk about it?
No one wants to be labeled as crazy, nuts or disturbed. In casual conversation, friends and relatives (even if they believe and have experienced something themselves) are never going to ask, “so have you seen a ghost or felt the presence of a deceased loved one recently?” So it’s a self-imposed “don’t ask, don’t tell”.
How do you get past that so that people will share with you?
But, if for some reason they are made to feel safe in discussing it – say, if you verbally open that door – you might be surprised at the outpouring of stories. I get them all the time, often weekly. People I don’t know will call or email me about their experience because with this blog they know that they will gain a receptive ear.
You can also find a MeetUp group in your area for ghost hunters. Most of them will have a very good, personal, compelling reason for being there. And they won’t be nervous about sharing their experiences with you, either.
So if in this Halloween season you want to hear some “real ghost stories”, be daring and bring the subject up or put. Don’t make a verbal avalanche of it, but warm up to the topic a little. “This is a really interesting old house. Are there any stories associated with it?” Or volunteer something true in your own life, like “after my pet died, I really felt her presence for awhile afterward…” Or even, “my relative said that after his wife died…” The more closely it’s connected to you, personally, the safer it will be for others to share their stories and experiences with you in turn.
Yes, some people will think you are a little off but most likely you will find someone out there with a story that he or she is just dying to tell. So to speak.
How can you find out who lived – or died – on the property before you owned it or lived in it? It helps to know a friendly real estate agent or title company employee if you want to get the distant past history of your haunted land.
A title company can run a title search and get what is called the “chain of title” for you. That will tell you much more than a property profile or the county records, which often go back only about 10 years. A chain of title can go way, way back – as far as Mexican or Spanish land grants in our area.
Sometimes the chain of title will also include death certificates, so you’ll know if anyone died on the land or in the house. But don’t expect this to be absolutely perfect – no guarantees here!
The title records won’t include everyone who lived at the property address, only those who were on title, so at best it can give you a particular window. But with the owners’ names you may be able to expand your research and learn more about what took place there in days gone by. Google and other search engines can be a huge help, but so can archives from the paper (San Jose Mercury News and others). Don’t forget to just ask the neighbors – you’d be surprises at how much they might know!