28 October 2011

Possessed homes repossessed due to haunting rumours


Unusual happenings, such as haunting, can dramatically affect the saleability of a property, according to RICS.

Homes in Northern Ireland and elsewhere in the UK rumoured to be haunted have remained on surveyors’ books for extended periods, while some homes have even been known to be practically un-saleable due to supposed hauntings.

A Victorian detached bungalow made of black brick in Islandmagee, Country Antrim, was repossessed last year after its owners failed to sell due to rumours of it being haunted by ghosts.

A house in Moneymore, County Londonderry, built on the site of an old horses’ graveyard, was thought to be haunted. After it sat derelict and unsold for many years, locals called for the property’s demolition after unexplained events were witnessed there.

A seafront thatched property in West Sussex, was the scene of a murder around 15 years ago when a wife was killed by her husband using a champagne bottle. Despite being an extremely desirable property, the house could not be sold.

One of Newcastle’s oldest buildings, a 14th century timber framed pub, is said to be haunted by the spirit of Henry Hardwick, a ghostly figure seen late at night with only black sockets for eyes. RICS Valuer David Downing examined the property around 18 months ago and while the stories of the historic building’s haunted past did not add value, it had increased to the marketability of the building.

In the West of Scotland, a woman was murdered by a family member in a small village. As word of this spread throughout the community, the property was eventually valued at 20 per cent less than it would have been had the murder not have taken place.

Jeremy Leaf, RICS spokesperson, commented: “While many factors can affect a property’s value, unusual occurrences such as rumoured hauntings, celebrity inhabitants or high profile crimes can have a significant affect on a house’s saleability. There are examples across the UK where houses are said to have been previously occupied by a famous celebrity or even the ghost.”

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