A couple weeks ago in the Indianapolis Star, there was an article about a house in northern Indiana that was possessed by evil spirits. They tortured, tormented and haunted the people who lived there. Needless to say, I tossed and turned for several nights. That kind of stuff creeps me out.
Does this really happen? I believe it does. My mom has all kinds of spooky stories about the house where she grew up in Illinois. It was a very old house, and long ago before funeral homes existed, people had viewings of the dead in their living room before burial. They dressed the dead in "dead people attire" which included long black dresses and veils for women. Long story short, it seemed as though one of the stars of that show didn't know she was dead and was still hanging out in my mom's home. There were several other things that went on there, but I'm sure my mom doesn't want me to share them in fear you might think she's a nut.
I have been in several houses over the years, and there are some that give me a yucky feeling when I walk in. I can't explain it - it's not a matter of condition or decor - it's just a feeling. I've never listed a "haunted" house (that had been disclosed to me) or shown a house that was full of ghosts (also, that had been disclosed to me), but I've certainly been in houses that make me feel like I need to take a shower when I get home.
What is it? Unhappiness? Loneliness? Violence? Is there some kind of vibe or personality that attaches itself to a house? Does it ever leave? Can you get rid of it?
The real question is: How do you find out if a death or violent crime occurred in a house before you purchase it? This is referred to as a "stigmatized property." It is defined as property in which buyers or tenants may shun for reasons that are unrelated to its physical condition or features. This can include murder, suicide, or a belief that a house is haunted.
In the state of Indiana, the seller only has to disclose this if asked. That's right. There can be all kinds of crazy psychological phenomena and a dozen murders that have taken place in a home, and nobody would be the wiser unless they asked. I have to admit, I have never represented anyone who has asked this question of a house they were seriously considering. Usually, the funky feeling that I feel upon entering a home is also felt by my clients.
So your lesson for today is:
1. Buy a newly constructed home and hope that it's not built on an Indian burial ground, or
2. Have your home blessed/cleansed/de-demonized before you move in, or
3. Follow your intuition and don't buy a home that makes you feel uneasy.
Trick or Treat,