It depends. Is the HOUSE haunted or is the OCCUPANT haunted?
THREE FIRST-HAND STORIES
Story One: “My ghost has been a peaceful apparition showing herself on several occasions over the past 40+ years. She has followed me from the deep south to the Pacific Northwest to the eastern seaboard to Europe and back to the bay area. She was last seen in approximately the spring of 2001. My former wife and step-daughter also claimed to have seen her, or at least her dress. She wore a white flowing gown. We couldn’t see her face and she’s never been a scary presence to me, just unusual…”
Story Two: “Both Ray* and I felt his presence. He touched Ray on his shoulder one night while I was in bed, next to him, sound asleep. It was on the opposite side of the bed, so it couldn’t have been me! The dogs would run up and down the hallway, barking at nothing at times. One night, Ray sat down with the ghost and told him that this is now our house, and we would take care of it. After that, the dogs would run down the hallway, and not bark, but sit at attention, wag their tails, etc. I didn’t feel his presence much after that.”
STORY THREE: “When we were looking for our first house, we were brought to a little 2 bed/1 bath in San Leandro. It was a couple blocks from the railroad tracks, so I didn’t think it would be good, but the agent insisted that we at least look at the house. It had bars in the front windows, which was something I did NOT want. The agent insisted that they were the “right kind” of bars — the ones you can release from the inside. So we went inside the house. Immediately, upon crossing the threshold, I felt like a little woman was yelling in my face. It wasn’t in English–possibly in Portuguese? I didn’t understand the words, but she DID NOT want us in HER house! She was in my face, no matter which way I turned! I said to my husband, “Do you –” and he said, “I’ve broken out in hives! She doesn’t want us here!” The agent had gone ahead into the house and was calling from the kitchen. But I didn’t want to go any further! She was too angry! The agent walked us through the house, and we dutifully went past each room, then got the H#%# out of there!”
To disclose or not to disclose? Our legal counsel says, “Your question has been the topic of many discussions in our department. Some of our attorneys do not believe in ghosts and do not think disclosure is generally needed. However, even the skeptics agree that if a house is known by people in the neighborhood as the “haunted house”, that stigmatization should be disclosed. I am one of those atorneys who think that ghosts may exist, so I tend to recommend disclosure. Our general advice is, “when in doubt, disclose”. I don’t know of any specific cases on this topic, and I doubt if there’s a definitive way to determine whether a property is haunted.”
*Name has been changed to protect the parties involved.