Thursday, May 19, 2016

Haunted Real Estate

According to a recent news story, there's a lovely Victorian home in the Hollywood section of Dunmore for sale.  Built in 1901, the home features 1850 square feet of living space with an additional 1350 square feet of partially finished space.  It has 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths and has been freshly painted.

There's only one thing about the home that may make some prospective buyers nervous:  It's "slightly haunted."

According to the home's listing, the haunting is "nothing serious," but that's probably a matter of one's view of what constitutes a serious haunting.  The listing states:

"Slightly haunted.  Nothing serious though, e.g. The sounds of phantom footsteps.  A strange knocking sound followed by a very quiet (hardly noticeable, even) scream at 3:13 am, maybe once a week.  Twice a week tops.  And the occasional ghastly visage lurking behind you in the bathroom mirror.  Even still, this occurs very rarely and only in the second floor bathroom."

The ad goes on to hype the features of the home, its picture windows, stained glass and secret door behind a moving bookcase.

It's difficult to tell if the realtor is being serious or making an attempt at humor to get attention for the listing.  Perhaps he's trying to make the listing appeal to ghost hunters.  Either way, it's certainly not the first time that haunted houses have gone on the market with paranormal claims pushed as part of the package.

Over the last several years, the infamous Amityville Horror house has gone on the market a number of times. 

In 1974, Ronnie James DeFeo Jr. murdered six family members in the home.  The house became widely known after author Jay Anson penned "The Amityville Horror A True Story" in 1977.  The book chronicled the claims of the Lutz family who lived in the home just after the murders.
A subsequent series of movies further solidified the home's reputation as a place of horrible, paranormal events.

There's been a lot of controversy about the reported paranormal events in the Amityville house with some people claiming the entire story was a hoax while others are adamant that the terror was real.

Over the years, the appearance of the house was altered in an attempt to hide it from both curious visitors who wanted a glimpse of the iconic home and those who wanted to investigate the paranormal claims.  Despite the changes, people still find the house, and when it goes on the market, the media quickly announces the home's listing and its history.

In May 2010, the house went on the market for 1.5 million dollars.  It was sold later that year for 950,000.
The current owner has listed the house for sale on several occasions, most recently for the whopping price of 1.9 million dollars.

While the potential of owning a piece of haunted history will appeal to a small number of people, the price tag, or the location's reputation, seems to keep buyers at bay, at least for now.

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