FOR sale: Beautiful turn-of-the-century home, sought-after suburb, four bedrooms, hardwood floors, oh and ghosts.
But only just a few. If nothing else, Gregory Leeson’s listing for his “slightly haunted house” at a not-so-scary price on the real estate website Zillow.com has been a traffic grabber.
Since uploading the listing for the 1901 home in Pennsylvania last week, Mr Leeson has received multiple offers and interest from buyers as well as hundreds of emails from ghost hunters across the United States.
The home has also ignited a growing discussion on Twitter, with many sharing their own haunted home stories.
Mr Leeson’s somewhat tongue-in-cheek description of his home, which is listed for $144,000, begins by pointing out typical features – four bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms – before delving into the property’s more unusual characteristics:
“Slightly haunted. Nothing serious though,” he writes in the listing.
“The sounds of phantom footsteps. A strange knocking sound followed by a very quiet (hardly noticeable, even) scream.”
“And the occasional ghastly visage lurking behind you in the bathroom mirror. Even still, this occurs very rarely and only in the second floor bathroom.”
And it gets creepier. Mr Leeson describes occasionally hearing voices in his daughter’s room when she was an infant.
“It sounded like there was a person in the room with her talking. We’d go in and she was just sitting there. But she normally cried constantly,” he said.
Even though Philadelphia law doesn’t require that Mr Leeson disclose a haunting, he decided it would be fair to be upfront.
According to Forbes
, Mr Leeson, “readily admits that he doesn’t believe in ghosts or hauntings.” He described the house as haunted “to be funny.” Although he says he genuinely has heard “voices, footsteps or doors slamming from time to time.”
“When I was writing it, I had been thinking about it and I went back and forth,” he told Zillow. “The way I worded it, I was trying to keep it light. I have been reading online and people saying you are supposed to disclose it. I don’t know the laws here, but thought better safe than sorry.
“Doors slam shut, but it’s an old house. It’s not that often. I used to have roommates and my wife’s friend swears the house is possessed. I have other friends that come over and say it’s the most calming house they’ve been in,” he said.
Although the spooky property is not for the faint-hearted, lovers of the paranormal may consider the home a steal. According to the listing, the spacious home boasts stain-glass windows, a study/library with a secret door behind a moving bookcase, which leads into a small office, a large crawl space behind a concealed door hidden in a bedroom closet and a basement with a wet bar.
Real estate agent and former lawyer Frank DeFazio told Forbes
that it’s not uncommon to disclose “defects” when selling a home. While some states require disclosing psychological stigmas such as deaths or hauntings, Pennsylvania law only requires disclosing material defects that would have a significant adverse impact on the value of the property or an unreasonable risk to the people living in the home.
But Mr DeFazio says it’s a vague area.
“Even if the court says yes [a haunting] is a material defect, you have to prove it actually exists,” he said.
“And how are you going to prove it? Call Ghostbusters?”