Do you believe that houses can be haunted? Do you believe you should know of the real or rumored past of your new home in the District?
This may seem just plain crazy, but what you aren’t told is an all-too-real aspect of buying a new home - unless it happens to you. Because many jurisdictions, including the District, have in place what are known as “stigmatized property laws,” Realtors® aren't allowed to disclose whether or not a house is haunted. It's treated the same as discussing anything that may negatively impact a prospective buyer's view of a given neighborhood or property.
Some Realtors® are rigid adherents to the law; others believe that, with the permission of the seller, it's advisable to disclose everything about a property. As Washington real estate lawyer notes, “It goes with termites and leaky roofs...the more you disclose, the better. In fact, a ghost might turn out to be a good selling point.”
Regardless of your agent's opinion on the matter, the looming question remains: Are ghosts a serious issue in the Washington area? According to Bobbie Lescar, founder and director of the Virginia Ghosts and Hauntings Research Society, “Hauntings have picked up” recently. The organization receives 70-80 calls and emails each day. Her group will investigate and document empirical evidence, but they do not intervene; her volunteer staff usually conducts one full-scale investigation each month.
Lawana Holland, owner of the Washington, DC Ghost Hunting Page, notes that individuals should first look for natural causes, such as “an electrical problem or power lines,” at the root of what they believe is a haunting. She admits that sometimes, events do appear to be truly unnatural.
The founder of the Maryland Ghost and Spirit Association, Beverly Litsinger, says that “There are a lot of people who believe.” She also notes that, “People often make peace with ghosts...and just like you, they don't like to be ignored.”
What do you think about this? Do you believe that houses can be haunted? Would you move into a home with that reputation? Would you mind having a ghost as a roommate? Should you be warned?
Owning a home that's haunted – or even possibly haunted – can be an exciting undertaking. Are you planning to buy or sell a home in the DC area? The Menkiti Group is provides exemplary service, based on our core values of knowledge, team, community, and excellence. Contact the Menkiti Group today to discuss your real estate needs; based in Brookland, we are the premier real estate service company in the DC area.