The Best Ways To Avoid Buying A Potentially Haunted House

Scaring yourself during Halloween is one thing, but constantly feeling on edge or nervous in your home is the opposite of holiday fun. Buying a house that might be haunted is the worst and could leave you fearful of everything from flickering lights to phantom footsteps. Whether or not you believe in the supernatural, there are thousands of stories and documented accounts of homeowners who purchased a dwelling only to find out they weren't the only tenants. Spooky specters, poltergeists, lost spirits, whatever you call them, having a ghost in the house, especially one that doesn't pay rent, can be a nightmare. According to Cision PR Newswire, in a survey of 2,583 homeowners, 30% disclosed they have called a haunted house home. So how do you avoid becoming the breadwinner for an undead addition?

Whenever you buy a new house, there are several measures you can take to make sure it is fright free. It might feel strange to ask specific questions or take our suggested steps, but they will ensure you can sleep through the night without being awoken by messages from the other side. Take a few extra precautions to understand what you're purchasing, the history, and even the present. Scary movies and documentaries can add an exhilarating atmosphere to any night in, but you don't want to reenact the plot for real.

Do your research

Online research is one of the most straightforward ways to understand a potential home and its past. Doing your research is not only beneficial but imperative in some cases. The internet makes it easy to investigate a residence and usually turns up vital information regarding previous ownership, as well as any deaths that may have occurred at the property. While checking on the actual house is the first step, you also want to learn more about the land it is built on. Some areas might have once been a burial ground or a long-ago battlefield where many souls were lost.

These areas tend to be a hotspot for supernatural energy, and lost or angry spirits hang around them. Google is an invaluable tool to get all the information you could ever want about your potential home, and it means you will go into the sale with knowledge under your belt. According to Rocket Homes, your real estate agent might also be able to shed some light on the dwelling, and city and county public records are available for you, too.

Meet your neighbors

Meeting and talking to your new or potential neighbors is a great way to learn more about your home. If you've yet to sign paperwork or become the new owner, take the time between placing an offer and signing anything to introduce yourself to the people living next door. Ask them about the previous (or current) owners and if they've ever heard or witnessed anything strange at the house. You would be surprised how much attention some people can take to their surroundings, and neighbors always seem to have the scoop on nearby abodes.

If the stories lean toward spooky occurrences, it might indicate that this isn't the house for you. Unless you're willing to share with a ghost (or multiple ghosts), don't ignore people who interact with the property from time to time. RentPrep notes that their experiences are relatable and valid and might save you from making a purchase that could become more trouble than it is worth. Selling a home can be long and arduous, so ask around to ensure the house is phantom-free.

Check out the home's history

If you're looking at purchasing a historic home, it might be harder to speak to previous owners or track down people familiar with the building's past. Seeking out existing censuses to learn more can be an excellent start. Newspaper archives and clippings can come in handy, mainly if incidents occurred decades or centuries earlier. Censuses document information about the area and families who have lived in the home, so you can find upfront information from years prior without speaking to owners.

While they might seem annoying or time-consuming, these polls and surveys can save you from entering into a contract for a house that might contain spirits. According to PRB, they are vital to understanding the demographics of a town, city, and state and relay tips for anyone who needs to delve deeper into a property's past. Even if spirit-related information does not turn up, this is a clever step to take in your research journey.

Always request a disclosure

Many states require a disclosure form by the seller, which should cover everything from repairs and HOA to ghosts. If someone has passed away from unnatural causes, this disclosure includes that information. The documents are in place to ensure any hazards are noted, but they can be useful for potential buyers who worry about more than just mold.

The sellers should be honest and open with you, too, so asking them about incidents in the house is an option. If they don't come out and tell you about any hauntings, check the disclosure for the term "stigmatized home." RentPrep explains that this means the dwelling might be haunted or has experienced strange happenings that could be supernatural. While the terminology might not allude to ghosts, it could hint there is something off about the property and push you to look into it further.

Tune into your senses while touring the house

While viewing a potential home, it is helpful to trust your senses and gut about certain elements. Though this is usually helpful when inspecting corners, garages, crawl spaces, and other "problem" areas that can be fixed or repaired, you should also tune into your intuition regarding spirits. Many people can sense when something is off in a building, house, or other location. Your mind might pick up on strange frequencies, or your body might react negatively to cold spots, eerie feelings, and scary energies.

If you can, you might want to revisit the property a few times before buying. According to NBCNews, the human body can be easily subjected to environmental factors, like mold, carbon monoxide, or other elements which cause hallucinations. If a house feels off, check that there are no leaks, mold outbreaks, or other components playing tricks on the mind, then see if your intuition and senses are still picking up on something. If so, then maybe you want to do more digging to see if anything unnatural has taken place in the past. It might not be the right listing to purchase if it can't be explained.