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Before selling your HAUNTED home……

So, you’re looking to buy this charming old house, and the realtor whispers something to you about murders and spirits and unspeakable tragedy. Next thing you know, blood is running from the walls. It’s a common element in the haunted house story, but what about reality?

How do hauntings and other assorted grimness figure into actual spooky real estate dealings?

If your haunted house is going on the market, or you’re considering purchasing one of those charming but shady mansions down the street, certain information may or may not need to be shared. In fact, depending on what state you’re in, you might be required by law to live out that whole “So you know about the murders … ” scene for yourself.

Blogger Matt Soniak explains how real estate law figures into the strange business of buying and selling homes that come with more than four beds and two baths.

Most U.S. states require sellers to fill out a standard form disclosing what they know about the property’s condition and list any potential physical defects. This is a relatively recent reverse of the older “buyer beware” norm in real estate and lets buyers know ahead of time of any major problems with their dream home.

There are other defects besides faulty wiring and sinking foundations, though. Some states go a step further and require sellers to also disclose “emotional defects” that could impact and stigmatize a property. This includes traumatic events like murders and suicides, reported paranormal activity and even proximity to homeless shelters.

Whether you have to disclose anything and what types of defects you have to disclose all depends on the jurisdiction. If a seller does have to disclose emotional defects, which ones and how much detail they need to go into again varies among locations.

In Massachusetts, for example, the possibility of a property being “psychologically impacted” isn’t considered a “material fact required to be disclosed” to potential buyers. In Virginia, emotional defects like murders and ghost sightings only have to be disclosed if they physically affect the property (Blood running from the walls? Gotta tell the buyer). In California, as American Horror Story demonstrates, sellers do have to disclose emotional defects, but only in a very limited way. The state Civil Code requires that a death on the property only needs to be disclosed if it occurred less than three years prior to the sale and older incidents need to be addressed only if the buyer specifically asks. Some jurisdictions are a little more vague in the way they word things, so smart sellers could potentially disclose what they need to without having to drop words like “haunted,” “poltergeist” or “murder spree.”

If it seems odd that states have had to establish laws like this in the first place, it shouldn’t. We have so many fictional tales of murder and mayhem turning into real estate nightmares that a few real ones were bound to turn up, like the infamous case of Stambovsky v. Ackley.

In this particular case, Helen Ackley was the proud owner a big old Victorian mansion in Nyack, N.Y., and seemed extra proud that the place was filled with ghosts. She was so proud, in fact, that she described her paranormal pals—including some in colonial clothing and another who approved her new paint job—to the local newspaper and Reader’s Digest, and even put the home on a ghost tour.

Then it came time to sell it, and suddenly she wasn’t so happy to bring up the home’s haunted history. The Stambovskys, a couple from out of town, purchased the home for $650,000, doled out a downpayment of $32,500, and then lived that dreaded “You don’t know about the ghosts?” scene with a local. They weren’t happy to hear this, felt they’d been cheated, and took Ms. Ackley to court.

They lost the case, with the court citing their caveat emptor (“let the buyer beware”) responsibility to uncover the property’s defects before committing to a sale. They appealed and the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court ruled in their favor in a 3-2 decision.

Even if you don’t actually believe in ghosts or haunted houses, the presence of such a stigma on a house is enough to affect its value, whether positively or negatively. Since Ms. Ackley had spent all that time fostering the belief that her house was haunted, but then failed to reveal this to the conveniently non-local buyers, she was at fault. One of the judges in the case noted that home buyers can’t be expected to go to every house they look at with a psychic ready to inspect the joint for phenomena, so obviously the seller has some degree of responsibility here.

So, if you’re into haunted real estate, be sure to talk to a lawyer before you make any deals.

(Via Mental Floss)


A helpful link


The Hidden Historical Landmarks

The stories of presidential ghosts in the White House are pretty well known. But plenty of other landmarks have their own ghost stories.
1. The Ghostly Curators of the Smithsonian Institution

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With so many items and artifacts – let alone mummies and skeletons – it should come as no surprise that many consider the Smithsonian Institution to be haunted. Aside from the typical ghostly footsteps and shadowy figures, many night watchmen in the early part of the 20th century claimed to have seen members of the Institute long after their demise. Some of these ghostly curators and researchers include Emil Bessels, an arctic explorer; Fielding Meek, a paleontologist who lived and worked at the Institute; Joseph Henry, the Institute’s first Secretary; Spencer Baird, the first curator; and even founder James Smithson, who died long before the museum was even built.

If phantoms really existed, Smithson would be the most likely candidate. His remains have been kept at the museum since 1904. In fact, his body was disinterred in 1973 because of what James Goode, former curator of Castle Collections, called ghost sightings. Officially, though, the Institute just did a complete study of the contents of Smithson’s casket, including his skeleton, which was still inside, not out wandering the halls scaring people.
2. The Haunted Hollywood Sign

Peg Entwhistle was an up-and-coming actress on Broadway in the mid-1920s. However, when she tried to make the transition to Hollywood in 1932, she found that she was just another pretty face. After a single film role, her prospects dried up and she was out of work.

Around September 16, 1932, Entwhistle told her family she was going for a walk; it would be the last time anyone saw her alive. She traveled to the Hollywood Hills landmark, the Hollywoodland sign, where she took off her purse, coat, and shoes, before climbing a maintenance ladder to the top of the H (other reports say it was the last letter, “D”). There, she plummeted some 50 feet to the ground below. Her body and belongings – including a suicide note – were discovered two days later.

Since then, “LAND” has been removed from the sign, but the spirit of Peg Entwhistle still lingers. Park ranger John Arbogast claimed to have seen her ghost many times, usually in the middle of very foggy nights. He also claimed to smell gardenias in the area, Entwhistle’s favorite scent, even during winter when there are no flowers in bloom.

In 1990, a man and his girlfriend were hiking near the sign when their dog suddenly began whining and backing away from the trail ahead. The couple soon saw a blond woman in a white 1930s-style dress walking towards them. She looked confused and disoriented, so the couple tried to steer clear of her, but then she suddenly vanished before their eyes. They claim to have been unaware of Entwhistle’s suicide at the time of the sighting.
3. The Demon Pirate of Liberty Island

Since 1886, Liberty Island has been the home of the Statue of Liberty. But earlier in its history it was known as Bedloe’s Island, and was reportedly a favorite spot for notorious pirate Captain Kidd to bury his ill-gotten treasure.

As reported by the New York Times in 1892, two soldiers named Gibbs and Carpenter were stationed at Fort Wood, the military installation on Bedloe’s Island that would later form the pedestal for Lady Liberty. Hoping to get rich quick, the duo sneaked out of their bunks to dig for the treasure at a location that had been foretold to them by a psychic. Then, sometime after midnight, the entire fort was woken up by a blood-curdling scream. As guards headed in the direction of the noise, they encountered a hysteric Carpenter, who led them to the dig site, where Gibbs was found unconscious.

The men said they had only dug a few feet down when they found a wooden box. But just as they were about to claim their fortune, an otherworldly creature appeared. Gibbs described it as a typical depiction of a demon – black skin, horns on its head, giant wings, and a barbed tail. Carpenter, though, said it was red, didn’t have wings, and moved about without any visible form of locomotion. Carpenter ran, but Gibbs stood frozen in terror. He claimed that it was the spirit of Captain Kidd, who breathed sulfur in his face before throwing him into the bay. The guards saw no wooden box or demon pirate, so apparently Kidd took his treasure with him when he disappeared into the ether.
4. The Ghosts of the Rock

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Thousands of inmates passed through Alcatraz in its 100-year history, first as a Civil War-era military stockade and later a federal prison that housed some of America’s most dangerous criminals. Thanks to the isolation of the island, as well as the sometimes brutal treatment of prisoners, many men committed suicide, while others were killed by inmates who’d been driven insane. With so much blood staining the Rock, it should come as no surprise that ghosts are said to roam the halls today.

One allegedly haunted area is Cell 14D, one of the solitary confinement cells known as a “hole.” There, prisoners were stripped naked, thrown into a small, dark room, and were kept completely isolated for up to 19 days. By the time they came out, many suffered permanent psychological damage. In the 1940s, an inmate confined to Cell 14D screamed throughout the night that something with glowing red eyes was in there with him. The next morning, the cell was finally quiet, so the guards unlocked 14D to check on the prisoner. Inside, they found his body, strangled to death. An autopsy later revealed that his wounds could not have been self-inflicted.

It’s been said that one of The Rock’s most famous guests – Al “Scarface” Capone – never really left. Driven insane by syphilis, Capone feared that other inmates might kill him during the prisoners’ weekly recreation period in the prison yard. So Capone asked for and received special permission to practice playing his banjo in the prison’s shower room instead. Since the island became a national park in 1972, many park rangers have reported hearing the distinct sound of a banjo coming from the room, often near the end of the workday after all the tourists have gone.
5. The Widow at the Empire State Building

As one of the tallest buildings in the world, the Empire State Building has been the scene of over two dozen suicides in its 80-year history. There are many stories of people who have seen ghostly figures recreating their fateful plunge from the skyscraper’s 86th floor observation deck, but one story stands above the rest.

The story was first told in 1985, when a tourist went to the observation deck to get a bird’s-eye view of the Big Apple. While there she met a woman dressed in 1940s-style clothes, crying into her handkerchief. When asked what was wrong, the woman said that her husband died in the war in Germany. Obviously distraught, she said she couldn’t live without her beau, so she walked through the suicide prevention fence that surrounds the deck, and disappeared over the edge.

Shaken by what she’d seen, the tourist went into the bathroom to splash water on her face. Suddenly, the same woman appeared next to her at the sink, touching up her makeup in the mirror, before heading to the observation deck to replay her final moments again…and again…and again.
6. The Haunted Confines of Wrigley Field

According to Mickey Bradley and Dan Gordon, authors of Haunted Baseball and Field of Screams, the most haunted ballpark in the country is Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs.

One of the most well-known ghost stories is retold by security guards who have heard the telephone in the bullpen ring in the middle of the night. But it’s not a wrong number, because the phone is a direct line to the dugout, which they say is haunted by the spirit of Charlie Grimm, a Cubs manager in the 1930s and 40s. Some guards have even claimed they’ve seen Grimm in the hallways, but as soon as they speak to him he disappears. But why would Grimm still be haunting Wrigley after all these years? Perhaps it’s because his ashes are said to be buried in left field. Or because Grimm was the last manager to take the team to the World Series in 1945. We can only assume he won’t rest until the Cubs are in the Series again.

Fans say they’ve spotted famed WGN broadcaster Harry Caray in the press box and in the outfield bleachers ever since his death in 1998. Others have even seen Steve Goodman, writer of the Cubs’ anthem, “Go, Cubs, Go!,” sitting behind the batter’s box, despite his death in 1984. Goodman’s ghostly box seat would be appropriate since its rumored his ashes are buried under home plate.
7. The Phantom Ship of the Golden Gate

Although over 1,000 people have committed suicide by jumping from San Francisco’s most famous landmark, the Bay’s ghostly past goes back well before the bridge was constructed in 1937. In 1853, the steamer ship, S.S. Tennessee, ran aground at a spot that has since been named Tennessee Cove in its honor. Thankfully, 550 passengers and 14 chests of gold all made it safely ashore before the waters of the Pacific tore the ship apart.

Since then, there have been many reports of a ghostly, antique ship passing under the Golden Gate Bridge before disappearing into the fog. Perhaps the most famous sighting occurred in November 1942, when the crew of the USS Kennison claimed to have floated right past the phantom Tennessee; so close the Kennison crew could tell that the steamer ship’s decks were unmanned. The Tennessee was said to leave no wake as it passed, nor did it show up on the Kennison’s radar.
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Night time investigation of the entire Fort Phantom


We started our night investigation just as dusk was settling in until a little after midnight. We figured maybe we might get more activity with the super moon. Almost immediately after entering the grounds there was a heaviness in the air. Joseph had a hard time breathing like there was something or someone pressing against his chest, making it feel tight. As we continued though the weathered fort a feeling of being followed was creeping over me, a feeling of being watched. We took over two hundred photos and did two evp sessions. I have gone over the photos and Here are some of them. A lot of orbs can be seen along with many bugs. ( got to love summer outside investigations ) I myself still haven’t learned how to use my Audacity program very well, so the evps will probably take a while to go through. We hope you enjoy our post and look forward to any feed back you may have. Thanks again for reading and hope you enjoy!


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The photos you see here of the Fort were taken with a Fuji FinePixS700 most with flash.

Please check out the official historical site




Adelphi Hotel not a haunting, but a old beauty

The Adelphi Hotel, A Saratoga Grande Dame, Gets A Little Work Done
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Step into the lobby of the Adelphi Hotel on Broadway in Saratoga Springs, New York, and step back into history.

Built in1877, the Adelphi is the last of the grand hotels that graced the main thoroughfare of this small city nestled among the Catskill, Adirondack, and Berkshire Mountains. Known for the mineral water that courses beneath it, feeding the bathhouses and giving the town its name, Saratoga in the 19th century was the summer destination of the rich, the social, the ambitious, the corrupt, the adventurous.

Already a resort town by 1863, when the first Thoroughbred racing meeting was held, Saratoga Springs has seen its fortunes rise and fall over the last century and a half. A small city of nearly 30,000, it’s currently experiencing something of a construction boom, with modern buildings and condominiums springing up all over town, at times dwarfing the 19th century architecture that is one of Saratoga’s hallmarks.

By this time next year, the Adelphi will, according to one of its new owners, combine the best of the old and the new in Saratoga.

The Adelphi was purchased this spring by Simon Mildé, his son Toby, and Larry Roth. Simon is the chairman and CEO of Richbell Capital (RBC); Toby is its president. RBC has been involved in real estate in the area for the last decade, including building a multi-family development called The Paddocks on the outskirts of town, and owns the Greenwich Group International and Terra Capital Partners.

“My father and I had our eye on the Adelphi for a while,” said Toby recently. “It was originally on the market for about $10 million, but that was at the height of the recession, so it wasn’t the right price or time for us to invest in it.”

They watched the price move down, and when the hotel became available this year for $4.5 million, both the time and the price were right.

“We pounced on it,” said Mildé.

While balking at calling the hotel a steal at that price, he allowed, “It was an opportunity. We can invest back into the hotel, putting $6 or $7 million into renovating it, and end up with a first class hotel at the original asking price.”

The four-story building is located on a prime block in downtown Saratoga. Though locally owned businesses have in recent years given way to some chains, Broadway still has the feel of a Main Street, lined with restaurants, cafés, bars, and shops; wide sidewalks invite visitors and locals to stroll leisurely, as their 19th century predecessors did.

Mildé’s plan for the hotel is to continue to evoke its Victorian past while updating its amenities to appeal to a contemporary customer.

“It’s a very old building and there are certain things that people put up with to stay in a historic property,” he explained. “What is most important is obviously the façade, the hallways, the 11” foot ceilings and the grand staircase. That is what really makes this the grande dame of Saratoga.”

As Mildé described the planned improvements, he stopped himself each time he started to use the word “modern.” A resident of the area for a decade, he’s well aware of Saratogians’ fiercely protective approach to their town’s history and architecture.

“The community definitely gets concerned when a property like this changes hands, but I can tell you one thing: we are not trying to change it. We are trying to turn it into an asset for Saratoga–not just for high-end travelers, but for the community. We want this to be a place that you can go and eat and drink and be entertained, and we’re also preserving an amazing asset that deserves to be preserved and that has been by each owner, going back in time.”

In recent years, the Adelphi has been a seasonal hotel, opening in May and closing in October. It will close this fall as usual, but when it opens next spring, it will be, Mildé says, open for good. Over the winter, the hotel will be emptied and a major renovation will begin.

“Basically,” said Mildé, “our plan is to take out everything in the hotel, put in modern amenities, and shore up the building so that it can last for another 150 years.” He stressed that the current furnishings will be put back after the renovation; each item in the hotel is being catalogued and photographed.

Joining Mildé and his father as they create the next era in the Adelphi’s life will be Glenn Coben, who has designed upscale restaurants Del Posto and Esca in New York, and Small Luxury Hotels of the World, whose portfolio includes the Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid and the Cranwell in nearby Lenox, Massachusetts.

Among the innovations guests can expect to find will be an iPad in each room, from which they can make restaurant reservations, order room service, and communicate with the hotel’s concierge.

Traditionalists may begin to tremble as the details of the plans emerge, but Mildé is mindful of what has attracted guests to the Adelphi for more than a century. “The hotel’s gems,” he said, “are the second floor piazza, ground floor lobby and bar, courtyard garden, and pool.”

The piazza recalls the grand hotels that used to line Broadway, all of which, except for the Adelphi, were gone by the middle of the 20th century. Though use of the pool and piazza is restricted to guests of the hotel, the public is invited to take advantage of the lobby, bar, and courtyard.

Guests who stay at the hotel can do more than observe its history; they can also participate in it. One of the Adelphi’s 40 guest rooms belonged, at one time, to John Morrissey, the man who brought Thoroughbred racing to Saratoga in 1863 and who died in the hotel in 1878. An Adelphi habitué, he and Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt would reportedly spend hours talking—scheming?—on the piazza.

As Mildé talked about the future of his and his father’s latest acquisition, he also invoked its past, suggesting that the two are intertwined and will continue to be, even as the Adelphi moves firmly into the 21st century.

“We’re just the next generation,” he said, “to love this asset and take care of it.”


Haunted places in Tennessee

6 Most Haunted Places in Tennessee
patriotgetaways October 28, 2010
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Tennessee can be filled with so much charm that apparently its inhabitants never want to leave, even after death. *Cue spooky music*

There are lots of ghost tales and rumored hauntings to fill anyone with a bit of ghoulish fear this Halloween season. Why not cozy on up with a jug of apple cider (or moonshine, we aren’t judging folks over here) and read up on some of the most haunted areas of Tennessee, either to know where to keep away from or where to explore for the time of your life (or death). Muahahaha!!!
Angry Neighbor

The most famous haunting in America actually took place in Tennessee and is known as the Bell Witch. This phenom struck the unfortunate Bell Family in 1817-1821 and ended with the death of farmer Bell. The spirit was supposedly the neighbor of Farmer John Bell and she’d had bad dealings with him over the purchase of slaves, so apparently decided to torment him and his family, friends, guests from the afterlife. The violent ghost would scratch, poke, kick, slap, and pull the family from their beds, tormenting the adults and children. The haunting was so well-known that even President Andrew Jackson stopped by to see what was going on and she (the ghost was Katie) stalled his wagon wheels. Eventually she tormented Farmer Bell enough that when he was sick he never recovered and was found with a bottle of poison nearby. She was said to have laughed and screamed at his funeral and remained to torment his family for a while longer before finally disappearing and reappearing sporadically. There is now a cave on the property where the haunting took place that is said to still have paranormal happenings. Approach if you dare!

War Rages On

The Civil War left many dead within the Tennessee borders and not all of them went on to rest in peace. Chickamauga Battlefield along with Stones River Battlefield were the sites of many deaths and have a bloody past and haunted happenings. Many dead were haphazardly buried at Chickamauga field after battles and the Native Americans had a bloody history on the land even before the Civil War, so it has always been a rather macabre place to visit. The Civil War also made many homes become the commandeered posts for troops and the Carter House was one such home. Many soldiers died during a battle fought around and in the home, including one of the Carter boys, Tod. Now guided tours throughout the house have visitors speaking of seeing apparitions of Tod near his bedside where he died from wounds, the playful tugging of sleeves by the young sisters of the family, and objects moving in a way that they shouldn’t be when no one has touched them! The Carnton Mansion is a place that is often mentioned if haunted locations are desired and was another house used during the Civil War to tend wounded/dying soldiers. The battle in Franklin, Tennessee literally took place right outside of their backyard and ended up with many soldiers being buried on their property and dying in their home. Now there are reports of ghostly soldiers in uniform walking about the property and even a woman in a long gown who will appear in photos and mirrors.

Ghosts Like Music Too

Ryman Auditorium in Nashville has three ghosts who like to come and take in the shows! Apparently the need for entertainment doesn’t die when we do! Captain Ryman is one such ghost who will walk the property and watch from the balcony as shows are performed; country music star Hank Williams also is said to haunt the auditorium so that he can listen to the music he so loved; a confederate soldier sits in the gallery often, taking in a show whenever he pleases.

Uncle Sid of East Tennessee State University

Surprisingly, East Tennessee State University made our list, so who knows if your college study buddy will even be of this world! The daughter of a former professor committed suicide on campus and is said to sadly roam her last place on Earth. Friendly Sidney Gilbreath, or Uncle Sid, wanders Gilbreath Hall and will be helpful shutting any open doors or windows when a storm is approaching. A librarian dedicated to her job still haunts her beloved library after having a heart attack there and dying. She will watch over the room and put away books into their proper places when left out.

Argument Continues in Death

The Capitol Building in Nashville is said to be haunted by the very men who created it, architect William Strickland and financier Samuel Morgan who would have arguments daily about the project. When they died, they were both interred there and still fight to this day, loudly arguing and disturbing the peace.

Love-Sick Ghost

The sad ghost of Rotherwood Mansion led a very depressing life that led to her ultimate suicide and subsequent haunting. She was a beautiful young woman who tragically lost her young love before they could wed. Rowena then went on to marry someone else, only to have him pass away shortly afterwards too. Upon marrying again, she and her husband welcomed a beautiful daughter into their lives only to have her die. This was all too much for Rowena to take and she committed suicide. A grieving lady in white can now be seen floating miserably around the property.