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What should I do (and can I sell) if my house is haunted?

What to do if house is haunted

Key takeaways:

  • Minnesota disclosure laws do not require sellers to disclose “perceived paranormal activity” to buyers
  • Carbon monoxide leaks and electricity shorts can cause spooky occurrences in your home
  • It can help to look into your home’s history to determine what is behind the slamming doors or drafty areas

Have you ever felt a draft that can’t be explained, or watched a door in your house slam shut when nobody was nearby? We sometimes hear about homeowners who believe their home is haunted and wanted to explore whether this “perceived paranormal activity” can affect the ability to sell a home.

Plus, we looked into the science of why homes can seem haunted and what to do when logic just doesn’t debunk the spooky goings on in your home.

Do I have to tell a buyer if my house is haunted?

Per Minnesota’s disclosure laws, sellers must state if there are any “material facts” that could affect the buyers’ use or enjoyment of the property. One exception to this law is that home sellers do not have to disclose “perceived paranormal activity” to any homebuyers. This law was put into effect after a homeowner in New York sued when they found out they were about to buy a “haunted” house.

The short answer, then, is that you do not have to disclose to buyers that you believe your house is haunted.

Boom! Crash! What’s really causing that noise?

There’s a longstanding feud between scientists who believe they can explain away most paranormal activities, and the so-called “ghost hunters” who spend their time communicating with the other side. While we’re a no judgment zone, we do know that some drafts, sounds and light flashes can be explained logically. Here are a few common causes for haunted house happenings:

Drafts: If your home has unexplained cold areas or the doors keep slamming shut, don’t immediately assume the ghost of Ella Hawkins is upset you replaced her vintage doorknocker. Check windows, doors and your chimney to ensure they are all properly sealed and see if Ella mysteriously disappears once the gaps are filled in.

Noises in the walls: Before you explain noises in your walls or attic away to paranormal activity, put out traps or hire a professional to check for rodents, bats and squirrels.

Flickering lights: Whether your lights flicker on and off or the bulbs burn out quickly without explanation, consider hiring an electrician to check for electricity shorts in your home.

Orbs of light in photos: If your photos tend to include orbs or flashes of light that don’t come from your interior lighting, make sure that your camera lens is clean of dust, debris and hair particles.

Visions: If you suddenly start to have persistent visions of paranormal figures or scenes inside your house, be sure to check carbon monoxide levels immediately. After prolonged exposure, the toxic gas can lead to hallucinations that are even more dangerous than they appear.

What else can I do?

If logical explanations fail, consider doing some research on your home’s history. The property’s location and past owners may be able to help clarify what you are seeing and hearing. If it would give you peace of mind, you can also hire a paranormal team to assess the home.

If you think it’s time to meet with a professional REALTOR about selling your home, call, email or chat with us today. We have experts in every neighborhood across Minnesota and western Wisconsin who can help whether your home is haunted by ghosts, too many belongings or you just want a fresh start.

Love all things spooky? Check out Minnesota’s most haunted houses.


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