Haunted Houses for Sale- The Disclosure Issue

Haunted House

Image by Sean MacEntee via Flickr

Just in time for Halloween, I was watching a show on the DIY Network about home buyers considering purchasing supposedly haunted houses. The show followed potential home buyers as they had the home investigated by experts, and then determined if they could live with the findings.

What I thought was very interesting was that in each case the Realtor discussed the disclosure law in whatever state they were in. For example, one of the homes was in Florida (I think– I’m not particularly familiar with the real estate laws of Florida, so don’t quote me on that), and the Realtor said that because they are a full disclosure state, he had to tell them that the house was haunted. In one case, they were NOT in a full disclosure state, but the agent felt obligated to tell them because he was actually the seller as well.

In Indiana, Realtors are NOT required to disclose a psychologically effected home, unless specifically asked, and then, only if they know.

“psychologically affected property” includes real estate or a dwelling that is for sale, rent, or lease and to which one (1) or more of the following facts or a reasonable suspicion of facts apply:
(1) That an occupant of the property was afflicted with or died from a disease related to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
(2) That an individual died on the property.
(3) That the property was the site of:
(A) a felony under IC 35;
(B) criminal gang (as defined in IC 35-45-9-1) activity;
(C) the discharge of a firearm involving a law enforcement officer while engaged in the officer’s official duties; or
(D) the illegal manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance.

My advice to you? If you are considering purchasing a piece of property, and you are worried about this, do a little bit of research. Check online to see if there are any newspaper articles regarding the house, ask the neighbors, ask your agent.


3 thoughts on “Haunted Houses for Sale- The Disclosure Issue

  1. ericgarrison says:

    Wow! As a longtime paranormal investigations enthusiast, this is fascinating. The group I hang out with will do formal investigations of properties, and we’ll give a written analysis of the results IF the person requesting the investigation is the property owner. Otherwise, we have to do it verbally, so as not to create documentation about a place not owned by an occupant (apartment, rental home, etc). This spells things out much more clearly, thanks, Michelle!


  2. Elia says:

    Nice that they don’t have to disclose the meth labs, huh? “(D) the illegal manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance.”


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