Some houses give off a weird vibe. Scott Fladhammer, a real estate agent in Fort Wayne, Ind., was asked by a snowbird to sell her furnished but otherwise empty house. That in itself wasn't odd, but the neighbors' reaction to the home was. Everyone warned him that it was haunted. Seemingly sane people insisted that they had looked through the windows and saw mysterious objects moving throughout the house.
Upon opening the front door, Fladhammer thought that they might have a point as wall-to-wall black mold greeted him. But it wasn't long after that he learned the plumbing had burst, and the basement had flooded. Furniture had indeed been moving; it was floating in the water.
But other times, it's harder to explain away a house's behavior. Jonathan D. Nicholas, the national president for the Council of Real Estate Brokerage Managers and based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, recalls showing a woman a house and coming to a room, where she suddenly said, 'I have to get out of here, I have to walk outside,' and she did. Nicholas followed her and on the front lawn she tried to explain her behavior. "I just kept seeing red," she said, "and all I wanted to do was kill myself."
Nicholas later asked the seller, who said that a murder had taken place in the house.
It may be a problem that one only thinks about during the Halloween season, but if you're trying to sell a haunted house, it's a dilemma every day of the year. Fortunately, if you have a house that the community believes -- or that you believe -- is haunted, there are some steps you can take:
Step 1: Don't get spooked by the law >>
Step 2: Give eerie rumors the ax >>
Step 3: Call in the ghostbusters >>
Step 4: Rest in peace after last-resort tactics >>