Haunted Real Estate Blog by Mary Pope-Handy mary@popehandy.com

Haunted and stigmatized properties fascinate the American population. Some of it may be the movies we all grew up with, the stories told by campfires, the fears that kids have in the dark. Or it may be something more – a hunch we once had, or an experience that happened to us, perhaps one we wouldn’t share with too many people. . . unless we were sure that they’d believe us first and not think us crazy.

Whatever the case, about half the population here in the U.S. believes in ghosts. A few years back, I added a page on one of my real estate websites: Haunted Real Estate. The response was incredible and over time, it has grown so much that soon I’ll be expanding it into a site of its own.

Realtors are in and out of homes all the time, and most of us get a sense that some homes feel happy or sad, tense or nurturing. People who would not claim to be psychic or intuitive can walk through a place and get a sense of it having a particular “vibe”. But others not only get an impression of the overall energy of a home, they get a bit more.

That’s what happens to me. I’m somewhat intuitive (unfortunately at unpredictable times) and sometimes go into a home or store and get a feeling about what has gone on there. Once a girlfriend and I walked through an estate on a Realtor’s tour and we both felt, strongly, that something bad had to have happened there. A few days later, we learned that it was the site of a murder. 

That’s one of the events that got me collecting ghost stories and related things at HauntedRealEstate.com. After awhile, total strangers started telling me their stories and wanted to hear mine. And eventually it was other real estate professionals sharing amazing tales with me too.
Monterey, CA, Ghost Tour (photo by MPH)Photo from Monterey, CA, ghost tour (photo by MPH)Why a blog on haunted real estate? Recently my forays with webmarketing for real estate have led me into blogging. Writing is fun for me and I’m a believer in following your passions with your work as much as possible – so when I was invited to be a participant and contestant in Project Blogger (which is now in the 14th and final week), it didn’t take me long to say yes. My mentor and coach for this project , Frances Flynn Thorsen, asked if I wanted to do a Haunted Real Estate blog and encouaged me to consider doing one. I wasn’t ready then, but did write an article for Real Town (an online real estate community, of which she is the general manager) about this hobby of mine and our work as real estate agents – Haunted Real Estate: A Primer for Real Estate Agents. On my webpage, I just collected stories and links. With this article, I was writing about ghosts and real estate in an article of my own. For the contest, I developed a blog about my town in Silicon Valley, Los Gatos (Live in Los Gatos). I did post a few entries on my town’s haunted places and again, I got a great response on these in particular.

So the contest is winding down and I’m ready to introduce a haunted real estate blog now. My hope is that in addition to adding content here myself, I will get others to post their experiences here too. In the last two weeks, two of the other 12 apprentices working away at Project Blogger each posted entries involving their own stories with ghosts.  Tisza Major-Posner wrote “A Ghost Post Mostly for Mary Or What I Did On My Summer Vacation” about her recent trip to Virginia City, Nevada. And Jackie Colson-Miller queried, “Haunted Houses…What Should An Agent Disclose?” I have a feeling that real estate blogging generally will never be the same since I introduced the angle of haunted houses to the platform on Active Rain!

So this is the launch of Haunted Real Estate Blog. I am looking forward to the interaction from many good folks, especially those connected with the real estate industry.  Today is my first time working with wordpress (of which I’ve heard many good things), and I’m knee deep in a learning curve and I ask your indulgence as I figure out formatting and such. Today’s initial attempts to both upload images and align them did not go so well. (I guess I should read the directions.) And that is one disappearing act I won’t blame on an unseen spirit…. Luckily, I have my own in house tech support: my 17 year old son who’s a computer whiz. So the blog’s starting as a collaborative effort and my hope is that it will remain that way. Please add your stories and comments. I’m looking forward to reading them!