Some US states may require that sellers disclose the fact that their house has a haunted reputation.
One of the things that must be taken in to account when buying or selling a property is whether or not it holds a “psychologically impacted” status – something that tends to apply if the house was the scene of a murder, a suicide or some other event that might dissuade someone from buying it.
What isn’t as well-known however is the fact that a haunting can also fall under this same category and that the alleged presence of a ghost can have a negative impact on a property’s value.
Despite the fact that many people do not believe in ghosts and that there is no realistic way to definitively prove whether a house is haunted or not, lawyers in some US states have taken the matter seriously enough to have pursued legal cases against sellers purely on this basis.
One infamous example of this occurred in a town north of New York City in 1991 when a woman who sold her house to a couple for $650,000 ended up in court when they later learned of its allegedly haunted status and demanded to be allowed to back out of the sale.
The seller ultimately lost the case on the basis that the houses haunted reputation, regardless of whether it actually was haunted or not, was enough of a factor to negatively affect its value.
So while the whole matter of declaring a haunting is generally seen as a bit of a legal grey area, there have been enough stories of such cases to warrant at least some degree of caution.