How Much for the Haunted House?
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) Who doesn't love a haunted house? They've got great character, breathtaking architecture often laid down in defiance of both God and man and generally full of good stories. Not to mention, with the right poltergeist around you'll never have to worry about houseguests wearing out their welcome. There's little chance Aunt Agatha will stay on past the holidays once the spooky drapes start screaming.
There's one other issue that the stories rarely deal with, though. Ghosts are great for house hunters. No one ever writes the story about a plucky Century 21 agent trying to save his commission from the restless dead, but a haunting creates the perfect conditions to move a house: a highly motivated seller and no obvious defects. Frankly, it's a little surprising they're not flying off the shelves more often.
Or, at least, so you'd think. It seems that in the long run history, tradition and architecture still tend to win out, keeping the prices on haunted houses relatively high. That doesn't mean they're necessarily out of the reach of the common man, however. Here's what it would cost to move in to a few of these famous haunted houses:
#1. The Legally Haunted House
As far as I'm aware, One Laveta Place in Nyack, New York is America's only house haunted by court order. Legal recognition of an afterlife delighted law firms everywhere, which immediately began drafting their policies for after-death billables.
This home in Nyack was the subject of a famous ruling back in 1991 , when a New York court undid its sale after the buyers claimed the house was haunted. The catch was that the previous owners knew all about the ghosts. In fact, they'd spent years advertising their haunted house to anyone who would listen, right up until it was time to sell. Then they clammed up.
Whatever the truth about ghosts, the court held, a buyer has the right to know about potentially harmful reputations to his new home. "Having reported [the ghosts'] presence in both a national publication (Readers' Digest) and the local press (in 1977 and 1982, respectively)," the ruling said, "defendant is [now not allowed] to deny their existence and, as a matter of law, the house is haunted."
There you have it. Forget the rubber masks, ancient Indian burial grounds and sets of spooky twins. Up in Nyack, they have a legally haunted house.
Price: Beautiful houses by the Hudson river don't come cheap, and this one is no exception. In 1990 One Laveta Place sold for $650,000, the equivalent of $1,163,122 today according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculator.
#2. The LaLaurie House
Quick, what are the first three things every renter should check before they sign for an apartment? If you answered water pressure, windows and neighborhood then congratulations, you're probably leasing a perfectly normal apartment.