A number of cultures like to tell spooky stories in the heat of summer. Getting the chills from a spine-tingling tale is a surefire way to cool down on a hot day. One of the most well known signifiers of a ghostly presence is a temperature drop – so do you think you’d like to hang out with a chilly spectre during one of these heat waves? Or maybe you might just take this as inspiration and hunker down with a cool drink and enjoy a good film with a haunted home.
Films with haunted homes:
Please note that many of these are childrens films – ghosts don’t appear to be popular subjects for dramas or mysteries, and horror films (and the comedies that make fun of them) often tell the stories of poltergeists and demons, not ghosts. I have tried to make that distinction in the movies listed here.
Young married couple die in an accident and are required to haunt their home for the next umpteen years – but the new resident’s aren’t ideal. Bonus – there’s plenty of real estate with a home sale and renovation (a great film for a young couple buying their first home)!
Stop-motion film based on the Neil Gaiman novel by the same name. The wicked spirit “other mother” entices children of the house to stay with her forever – and lose their lives in the process. Coraline, the newest would-be victim of the is aided by the ghosts of her predecessors who still haunt the home. The same studio created ParaNorman, featuring a boy with the gift to see, and befriend, ghosts.
The Canterville Ghost (1944, 1996)
Two adaptations of the Oscar Wilde novel about the tragic story of a ghost awaiting his salvation for centuries, trapped in the family home.
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)
When a widow moves into a cottage haunted by a deceased sea captain an odd romance begins to form.
The Uninvited (1944)
Why’s the home so cheap? Ghosts, of course! And not the happy kind.
The Harry Potter Series
The castle is both school and home to the students and teachers of Hogwarts, and Moaning Myrtle and Nearly Headless Nick may be some of the most famous fictional hauntings of contemporary storytelling.
The Haunted Mansion (2003)
This flop of a comedy was based on the Disneyland ride of the same name. We preferred the ride.
13 Ghosts (1960)
Dr Zorba collected ghosts, now that he’s dead, his relatives inherit the house – it comes with the ghosts.
The Changeling (1980)
A tormented ghost tries desperately to communicate with the new resident.
Casper the Friendly Ghost
See him in comic books, tv, and the big screen – the friendliest ghost of them all! He lives in a haunted home occupied, of course, by his ghost uncles and Casper.
Blackbeard’s Ghost (1968)
A man begins to believe in ghosts after he accidentally summons the ghost of pirate Blackbeard, who is cursed to roam the Earth until he performs one good deed.
Field of Dreams (1989)
Not a haunted home, but a haunted cornfield.
The Ghost Busters
All of the films and television series may have to deal with more threatening supernatural powers, but they have their own addressing haunts in the apartments, subways, and streets of New York.
Goofy film about a couple of reckless ghosts who choose to mess with their friends. And guess what? It sparked spinoffs like Topper Takes a Trip (1938) Topper Returns (1941) and the TV series Topper (1953-1955).
The Addams Family
The Addams Family haunted house is famous and iconic, however, though we know it is haunted, we never get to meet these residents or see much proof that they are there (though you may question how alive a disembodied hand might be).
The Sixth Sense (1999)
I don’t think this one needs an explanation, but if you don’t recognize the name: “I see dead people,” should spark some memories.
Truly Madly Deeply (1990), Heart and Souls (1993), Ghost (1990)
These each feature ghosts attached to an individual, not a property
The Haunting (1963) & The Shining (1980)
It’s hard to tell how to label this – a psychological thriller, a haunted house horror, or a poltergeist film, so I’ll leave it in the “not quite” section.
Hamlet, Macbeth, Christmas Carol, & more
Can’t go wrong with a classic. Supernatural presences like ghosts were popularly used in plenty of older stories we don’t always remember to think of. The ones in the examples here don’t haunt a home or a person, they just appear to torment / encourage change in an individual.
The Conjuring (2013), The Innocents (1961)
I’m not sure what kind of presence is haunting the houses in these films, so I didn’t want to put them in the list above, but if you’re looking for a well made haunted horror film, these are supposed to be great choices.
Extra Special Mention:
Winchester (2018) had filming on-set at the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose in May 2017 and is currently (July 2017) undergoing post-production.
I’m always delighted to see local stories being told, and let me tell you that Silicon Valley has a lot more to its history than Steve Jobs. There have been films about the Winchester home before, but I’m looking forward to this one!
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!
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.
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!
My 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.
Forgive the rumor-mongering, but emails about a ghost in the prime Golden Triangle neighborhood of Saratoga, California, are finding their way to my inbox.
The word is that an owner passed away many months ago and the home is being fixed up (or remodeled) for sale. (When done it will be worth somewhere between 1.4 and 2 million dollars is my best guess.)
According to a neighbor:
“Contractors have been in there and report unanimously that a ghost lives upstairs. It looks exactly like the elderly person who lived and died there.”
No, I won’t give you the address. And no, the house is not yet on the market. But buyers beware, the owner of this home died quite awhile ago, and if it goes past 3 years, the sellers will not have to volunteer that a death occured on the property. But if you ask, they’ll have to answer truthfully.
It wouldn’t hurt to knock on the neighbors’ doors and ask about the home before deciding to purchase it. A lot of buyers do that for any home.