Realtor.com survey: would you buy a haunted house? Surprisingly, many would – for a discount

Haunted real estate signRealtor.com ran a consumer survey Oct 1 – Oct 3 2012 regarding home buyers and their interest in purchasing haunted real estate.  Surprisingly, 29% would buy a home with a reputation of being haunted – but only if they got a substantial discount in the price, 20% or more off  from an otherwise normal house.  For a small minority, the property would be worth more if haunted (just 2%).

Of the approximately 1900 people polled, 35% said that they would not consider purchasing a home which was said to be haunted, 32% said they would consider it and 33% said they might.  In the U.S. today, about half of all Americans believe in ghosts – an interesting point to factor in.  It is not surprising that people who do not believe in spooky spirits would be willing to live in a house or condo with a haunted reputation; what is more surprising is that a third or so of those who do believe are willing (or interested) in living in a haunted habitat, and that any of them would pay more for it!

Los Gatos Victorian House, “The Lavender Lady”, said to be haunted

A lovely old Victorian house in the historic Almond Grove District of Los Gatos at 230 Tait Avenue is said to be haunted, according to its owner.  The area is filled with homes which are more than 100 years old and I’ve often wondered how many of them are haunted.  At Halloween most of them look exceedingly spooky!

This house is in the middle of a zoning and use controversy in Los Gatos.  The town does not permit Bed & Breakfasts (I think that’s a shame – it’s really almost ideal for that use) or short term rentals, but this house was being advertised as such for at least a couple of years – I noticed because links to one of my blog posts on my Live in Los Gatos blog was getting cited.

The website for the Los Gatos rental includes a page about the haunting which states that the

friendly Ghost has been heard many times by Lynley and her children and seen only once, by someone else, since Lynley bought the home in 2003

If you have any additional information on it, please share here!

Humorous article: 4 Tips for Fixing Up Your New Home (That’s Clearly Haunted)

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.

4 Tips for Fixing Up Your New Home (That’s Clearly Haunted)

TV’s leading haunted house is a disclosure nightmare – by Broderick Perkins

house of horrors

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

Ghostwatching’s YouTube Channel – worth a visit!

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!

Want to hear some real ghost stories? Here’s what you need to do….

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?

got ghostsNo 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 learn the history of your haunted property?

Who lived here before?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!

Haunted rental home in Indiana

I received the email, below, and have permission to share it here (edited slightly for brevity and clarity). I suggested that she talk to the neighbors as they often have input. Got any ideas for her? Please leave a comment!

Home for rent with ghostsMy name is Susie and I am writing to ask about an experience we had at a rental property (in Indiana).

We have three daughters and out youngest was 13 yrs when we moved into a two story rental home. Her room was a large room over the garage with steps down into it. During our time there the room was always cold (even in the summer). Ali (my daughter) had trouble sleeping and I would go lay in bed with her and I would become uncomfortable in the room and somewhat anxious and inevitably take her to my room.

Ali finally talked to me after we had been there two or three years that there were two children – a girl in a blue smock dress and a boy in older style clothes) that were in her room. She described them as angry at times and they would pick on her. Ali would sleep walk (hasn’t since we moved out). She said they pushed her down in the bed-she said she knew they were mad at her because, she had been gone two days. They would get mad at her when she got migraines (they thought she was ignoring them). The radio would turn on in her bathroom when she showered. One day Ali was very upset about something and went into her room and a music box in the window that needed wound up turned on, on its own, and they whispered “it’s okay”.

As we got closer to moving I would verbally tell them to leave her alone and Ali told me they didn’t like me. After we moved out – they literally broke things – it was winter and the land lord blamed us for leaving the house a mess….It was spotless when we left. I saw pictures of what the landlord claims we did. The toilet in Ali’s bathroom had black water in it that had frozen and cracked the bowl. The oven had been turned on by the landlord to warm the house and all the grease on the exterior turned black. There was a huge water stain on the wood floor that could not be removed. We ended up owing $2000.00 to the landlord for repairs of things we did not do.

I did leave a necklace of Ali’s behind hoping they would not follow her. So far so good. It has been over two years. I wondered how to find out about the land the house is on but I don’t know where to start.

Haunted Real Estate Questions for Mary Pope-Handy

Normally I do not go in front of a video camera, but…due to popular demand, here’s a little commentary on why I discuss haunted real estate. Enjoy!

Article on Haunted College Campus Buildings

Today I got an email which brought my attention to an article I think my readers will like:

10 Campus Buildings That are Totally Haunted

My own children will be happy to learn that their university did not make the list!

Welcome Note!

Welcome to the Haunted Real Estate Blog. If you'd like to share a story, please email me, Mary Pope-Handy:
Mary(at)PopeHandy.com.
Since I get a lot of spam, please be sure to write something in the subject line that references what the email is about. Thanks!

Alternatively, you can send me snail mail here:

Mary Pope-Handy
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030

Or phone me at
408 204-7673
(please, no sales calls).
DRE # 01153805

Stories shared &
opinions are mine
and do not necessarily
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