Ghost tours are popular. People looking for a thrill or a chance to make contact with spirits are quick to sign up for local walking tours and paranormal investigations.
It’s one thing to visit a place where ghosts are said to hang out. But would you want to live with them, full-time? If you heard a house you wanted to buy was haunted, would that sour the deal or sweeten it?
According to a poll of 1,000 people by Realtor.com last year, 42 percent said they would not buy a haunted house, no matter what. But 40 percent said they would go for it if there was a price reduction. Others said they would buy a haunted house if it had more bedrooms than a ghost-free option, if it was bigger, or if it was in a better neighborhood. Only 8 percent said they require no additional perks to purchase a haunted home.
For Mindy Connors, it was less of a choice than something she’d experienced her whole life.
Connors grew up in the house in Watervliet where she still lives. Built in 1850, it has been home to many people. When her mother was a child, she would talk to Connors’ dead uncle and cousin. They would tug on her apron while she stood at the sink washing dishes, but it was never scary. Connors married and started her own family. She was comfortable living alongside spirits until her son was born in 2000. The sound of a baby crying often came from his room, but it wasn’t Connors’ son.
“Everyone heard it. It got so babysitters wouldn’t come anymore,” Connors said.
She hired a psychic medium, who communicated with the spirit and said a woman died giving birth in the bedroom that belonged to Connors’ son. The woman’s spirit was drawn to the house by the presence of a new baby in the house, the psychic said. Connors hosted a séance, and various people who heard the crying baby sat in circle, holding hands. They sang songs and asked the ghost to move on. The motherless child born all those years ago lived to be an old man, they said.
The crying stopped, never to be heard again. But ghosts were not done with the house. When Connors’ son started talking, he told his parents about another little boy in the house who liked to play with marbles. Connors brought in paranormal investigators the Shadow Seekers and medium Tracy Fluty, who identified a child who died in the house, and his grandmother, who looked after him in life and the afterlife.
Connors isn’t interested in selling her house, but if she did put it on the market, she wouldn’t need to tell perspective buyers about the ghosts.
“It’s important to divulge what you know about a home if it has a material defect relevant to the buyer,” said real estate agent Brian Sinkoff of CM Fox Real Estate. “If the roof leaks, the foundation is collapsing, something like that. But if the seller says, ‘We hear noises in the middle of the night and we think it’s a ghost,’ it’s not a fundamental defect.”
Another agent, Leah Slocum of Peak Partners at Keller Williams Capital District, said she was showing a house in Troy once when she and the buyers had an eerie feeling. While they were upstairs, every door in the house blew shut. The potential buyers ran out and refused to go back in. Slocum was left to go through the house by herself to make sure all the lights were off. Another client hired a medium to check out a house.
Marilyn O’Brien, a member of the Shadow Seekers, advises home shoppers to find out everything they can about the history of a house and the land it’s on before buying it.
“Some people don’t want to know,” she said.
But don’t let the Halloween season scare you. Psychic medium Vanessa Gee said most spirits don’t mean any harm. They just want to connect and let the living know they’re still here, she said.
Maeve McEneny-Johnson agreed. She’s the education and heritage coordinator for Discover Albany and creator of the original Albany Ghost Tour. She grew up hearing ghost stories from her father, Jack McEneny, a historian and former assemblyman.
McEneny-Johnson said she’s met many people who claim to have had interactions with a ghost, particularly in the Ten Broeck Mansion where ghost hunters have picked up electronic voice phenomena.
“A woman pulled me aside once and said she heard her name called,” McEneny-Johnson said. “I asked her if it scared her and she said it didn’t.”
Still, McEneny-Johnson said she would not go out of her way to live in a haunted house.
Original Article Here
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Richard Klement is a writer for Ghost Hunters Fans.com and other Paranormal Publications, writing about his passions of the paranormal.
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