Haunted (Open) Houses: Real-Life Ghost Stories From Real Estate Pros
For anyone who’s ever experienced the hair-raising presence of the paranormal, you’ll know that spooky things can happen any time of year—and not just on Halloween. Just check out the recent ghost stories related to the “Watcher House” (which is exactly as creepy as it sounds), or this summer’s sale of “The Conjuring” house—there’s never a shortage of insanely scary stories if you know where to find them.
And fortunately for you, we do! In celebration of everyone’s favorite haunted holiday, we’re bringing you three crazy (and true) spooky stories from real estate agents across the country. Read at your own peril—preferably with the lights on.
The blue room with a tragic history
Have you ever walked into a room and just felt that something wasn’t right? That’s what happened to broker Brad Pauly when touring a house with his client in Austin, TX, several years back.
“As I entered a back bedroom with all navy walls, I got a chill and goosebumps,” he said. “I didn’t know why, but I had to get out of the house and catch my breath.”
After running outside to recover, Pauly did a little digging to find out what was going on in the house.
“When I asked the agent why the seller was selling, she told me that someone had committed suicide in the navy blue bedroom two weeks prior to our showing,” Pauly recalls.
A curse on the house
It’s one thing to have a ghost lurking around the house, but what do you do when a living person is casting curses? That’s exactly what Yawar Charlie, director of estates at the Aaron Kirman Group in Los Angeles, was forced to figure out.
“A couple of years ago I was given the opportunity to list a major house in Beverly Hills in a gated community,” he recalls. “It was a gigantic house, well over 15,000 [square] feet, and we were brought in to sell it because the couple who owned it were going through a bitter divorce.”
Although the husband was keen on selling, the wife, who was a practicing Wiccan, didn’t want to—a fact that quickly became apparent.
“She had put up roadblocks at almost every turn on our way up to the property, and one of them was a curse on the house,” Charlie explains.
After days of spooky happenings in the home—including unexplained and sudden power outages—Charlie decided to take matters into his own hands.
“I paid $5,000 to bring in one of my spiritual advisers to cleanse the home,” he recalls. “Once they were in the house, not knowing anything about the owners except that the wife was a practicing Wiccan, they told me they could feel the fights that the couple had had in various rooms of the house.”
The ‘restless bride’
While touring a potential fixer-upper in a trendy neighborhood in Knoxville, TN, Cassidy Melhorn and his agent ran into an unwelcome and creepy surprise.
“I met my Realtor® at a property that was built in the late 1940s and appeared to have great bones, only needing some updating,” explains Melhorn, who’s also the founder of Volhomes.
After doing a walk-through of the home together, Melhorn noticed something weird about one wall of the hallway. Being an experienced engineer, he decided to take a closer look.
“I told my agent, ‘There’s a large dead space here,’” he recalls.
Melhorn assumed it was an old fireplace that could be restored, so he got to work carefully prying off the loose paneling that covered the hidden space.
“Behind the panel was a staircase to a second floor of the house that had been boarded completely shut,” he says. “I had so many questions. First of all, why would someone board up a second level and then cover the staircase completely? Secondly, how did I not realize the house had a second level?”
Melhorn ran outside to have a better look at the house. He asked his agent if she’d known the house had two floors. She hadn’t.
Once back inside, things started to get even creepier.
“As we rounded the corner through the kitchen on our way to the dining room, I noticed it,” he says. “Hanging in the middle of the large opening between the dining room and living room was a large silk wedding dress complete with veil, and slightly yellowed from years of aging. The hair on my neck stood straight up as I asked my agent, ‘Was that there when we came through?’”
Neither Melhorn nor his agent had seen the dress on their first walk-through.
“We immediately left,” he explains. Since the discovery of the enclosed second floor and the mysteriously appearing dress, Melhorn has kept tabs on the property.
“The house has been listed for rent many, many times,” he explains. “It’s currently vacant.”
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