2022 Study: More Than Half of Buyers Would Purchase a Haunted Home in a Competitive Market October 10, 2022 by Jaime Dunaway-Seale
As Americans spend less time at home in 2022, fewer people believe they’ve lived in a haunted house. Among those who have not shared a house with ghosts, however, two-thirds (67%) believe it’s possible for a home to be haunted.
Read on to discover how Americans’ beliefs in the supernatural have changed and how that affects their home-buying preferences in a still-competitive market.
REAL HAUNTED HOUSE STATISTICS
- About one-fourth of Americans (24%) believe they’ve lived in a real haunted house, down from the 44% who said the same in 2021, when they spent more time at home during the pandemic.
- Nearly 1 in 3 people (31%) knew the home was haunted before they moved in and still chose to live there.
- Cat owners are a superstitious bunch, with three-fourths (76%) saying they believe in the supernatural.
- They are 53% more likely than non-cat owners to say they’ve lived in a haunted house.
- Nearly two-thirds of sellers (65%) would only disclose a haunting under certain circumstances, while 8% would refuse to disclose a haunted home, even if it was required by law.
- About 58% of Americans would consider buying a haunted house.
- Of those, more than 2 in 3 buyers (69%) would only consider purchasing a haunted house for a lower price in this scary market — a 10% increase from buyers who said the same in 2021.
- If a haunted home matched all their criteria, 59% of buyers would still offer less than market value, while 1 in 6 buyers (17%) would actually pay above market value.
- Nearly half of Americans (47%) would rather purchase a haunted house than live in a former meth lab.
- Ghosts are frightening, but 94% of homeowners are more afraid of home repair issues, such as mold (63%), termites (63%), and foundation problems (60%).
- Purchasing a haunted home is the least of buyers’ worries. The scariest aspects of homeownership are unexpected costs (54%), nightmarish neighbors (44%), and an inability to pay their mortgage (39%).
- Despite widespread fears, few Americans take steps to ensure their safety. One-third of Americans (31%) fear house fires, but 40% don’t have a fire extinguisher.
- Yet 1 in 10 Americans have equipment to detect a supernatural presence.
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Signs of a Haunted House, According to Paranormal Experts
- Mysterious Sights and Sounds
Fact: Ectoplasm is a substance that still mystifies even the most seasoned paranormal experts. Historically, it has been reported to show up during seances through a spiritual medium. Newkirk himself has experienced the phenomenon in real haunted houses.
- Feeling Watched
- Inexplicable Movement
- Personality Change
- Previous Homeowners
If you suspect you might have a haunted house on your hands, you should probably dig into the history of your property.
- Physical and Emotional Disorientation
What To Do If Your House Is Haunted
Clearly, we have a fascination with haunted houses in this country, but professional ghost hunter Greg Newkirk doesn't think most of them are so scary. Instead, he says, "I think they're trying to send us a message."
Newkirk, who has appeared as an expert on TV shows such as TLC's Kindred Spirits, Travel Channel's Mysteries at the Museum and Destination America's Paranormal Lockdown, has practically seen it all. Only rarely does he find himself truly spooked. He says most hauntings aren't evil, only misunderstood.
Newkirk and Negri agree that the best way to deal with a haunting is to make a firm statement. Talk to the presence in your home and let it know what your intentions are.
To back up your statement, Negri says, make it in the name of whatever it is you believe in most strongly. For some people, it's Christianity. For others, it's their power inside themselves. Putting that extra energy into your statement makes it more effective. Finally, if you try to use sage, just be cautious and use it the right way.
"Sage is great but in my opinion, it's a little overrated because it's harsh," she says. "It's so cleansing it almost creates a vacuum. It's like dusting your whole house and then leaving your doors and windows open in a sandstorm. If you're going to do sage and clear your house, then come in with something holy or something magical so you fill it back up with [your] intent."
The Three Types of Hauntings
Newkirk sorts hauntings into three categories: intelligent, residual, and intentional.
"There's the classic haunting which is an intelligent haunting," he says. "The spirit seems to interact very intelligently with people. And then the other common one people run into a lot is a residual haunting."
Negri experienced residual haunting at the condo that burned down and still felt like it was filled with smoke. "With that, it just kind of plays over and over and over," she says. "It doesn't ever really acknowledge that people live in the house. It just is. It just happens. Sometimes it's because a traumatizing event happened on a particular date. There's no intelligence there, so there's really nothing you can do about it."
An intentional haunting is actually more about living, breathing humans than ghosts, Negri says. Think of kids who follow urban legends and routinely go visit the place of the supposed haunting. They feed the story so much that they actually open the place up to paranormal activity.