Meg White is the former managing editor of REALTOR® Magazine.
On Friday, Sept. 13, NAR Director of Social Business Practice Heather Elias asked those following NAR’s Facebook page for “spooky or superstitious real estate stories.” She got more than just a few stories about haunted listings and other strange happenings.
It was a fun thread to follow, but we didn’t want such great stories to disappear like ghosts in the night. So, in preparation for Halloween, we thought you might like to read through some of these narratives. Here are a few that sent tingles down our spines (lightly edited for style, grammar, and length). Read more on the Facebook post itself, and enjoy!
I had a home on the market that was built in the late 1700s. The seller was putting his mom’s former home on the market, and it was vacant. Every Monday morning, I noticed a drip line running from the countertop across the fireplace to a doorway in the kitchen. I cleaned it up about three times. Finally, I called someone in to take a look at it. Turns out the substance was oil from an old oil lamp. But the house didn’t have any such lamps anymore. One Monday, as I was cleaning the drip line once again, I said aloud, “If you want me to find you a nice new family to live here, you’ve got to stop doing this or you will frighten them off.” The oil never appeared again, and the new owner has never seen it either.
—Lisa Lemieux Antanavica
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In the ’80s, I listed an old Victorian home in Palestine, Texas. When I got there to take pictures for the new listing, it was completely empty. There was a beautiful arched doorway leading from the kitchen to the dining room, and I got an especially good shot of it, because I thought it was one of the best features of the home. In those days, we did not have camera phones and had to actually take our film in to have it developed. Two days later, I was looking through the photos and came to one photo that sent chills up and down my spine. Standing in that arched doorway was a young girl that absolutely had not been in that house at the time I was taking the photo. I lingered so long when taking that picture, and it was impossible for me to have missed someone standing there. The little girl in the photo was staring directly at me.
I was previewing a house that was supposed to be vacant, so I took my husband with me. When we got to the house, there seemed to be a very lonely feeling about it. When I opened the door, I swear I heard someone say, “Get out.” I asked my husband if he said anything, and he said no. So, as we walked around this house, the feeling got more intense. We would turn a light on and head to another room, and then realize that the room we just left would be dark. I kept hearing whispers, and I kept trying to get my husband to admit it was him. I kept thinking he had to be messing with me. In the kitchen, I was so ready to just say, “Let’s get out of here.” Suddenly, my husband turned to me and said, “You need to stop saying that; stop messing with me. Let’s just go; something’s wrong with this house.” My husband is a really serious guy, so at this point I was running for the door.
I viewed a broker’s open house where a murder had been committed in the home. As I walked through the home, my knees became very weak as I set foot where the body was discovered, and they almost buckled on me. It was a weird feeling I had never experienced before.
—Cecile Ann Clayton
My client and I were viewing this older house one winter evening. The street light was very dim, and the house had a very segregated layout on the main floor so my client and I were separated most of the time. Lots of the lights in the house didn’t work, and a strange beeping sound came from the security system. All the bedrooms had a ceiling light in a corner, so the rooms were not well lit. Also, there was a full-length mirror on the wall right across from the door in every bedroom, so as soon as you opened the door you would see yourself in the mirror. My client and I became increasingly uneasy, so we decided to leave. I started to turn off the lights. As soon as we headed down to the main floor, the doorbell rang and there was a white face pressing on the main door glass peeking inside. Both my client and I screamed. I opened the door with my shaking hand and there was this young couple standing there yelling at us. It turned out that, since it was so dark on the street, my client had accidentally parked her car blocking part of the neighbor’s driveway. The neighbor had tried to drive in anyways and scratched his truck against the tree. So here we were, scared half to death and being cursed at. I never went back to that neighborhood again.