Did someone die in your house? Do you own “stigmatized” real estate?

Have you ever wondered?

Maybe it’s because you’ve always gotten a creepy feeling at certain times or in a certain place in your home. Maybe it’s because you’re interested in purchasing a home with age and character. Then again, maybe you don’t want to know… or don’t care.



I heard about DiedInHouse.com through a commercial on my Sirius XM radio in the car on Friday. It caught my attention, and at the next light I made a note in my phone to check it out. I can tell you that the radio spot was much darker and creepier than the bright and cheery video I’ve embedded below. Apparently “you have a right to know” and they can find out for you by doing the research and sending you a report. 


For some of the locations and properties MOSS has investigated, I’ve spent a bit of time researching most of the things that are covered in this report.  It takes some digging, but most of this information you could find yourself for free. At $11.99 per search, you’re paying to sit back and let someone else to do it for you. 


Do you own “Stigmatized” Real Estate?

A few years ago I discovered a fascinating blog (HauntedRealEstateBlog.com) by a real estate agent from Silicon Valley. Mary Pope-Handy, the writer of the blog, says that “A stigma can be caused by a murder or other crime, usually violent – it does not have to result in death for a stigma to be attached to the property. The presence or suspected presence of a ghost would cause a stigma, but so would the a murder, rape, or other highly negative event.”

Different states have different laws about disclosing information about deaths in a home.  I’m not able to find a master list of states that require you to disclose the haunted history of a home, however, Mary Pope-Handy has compiled information about the laws and disclosure for Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington.

According to Susan Funaro in article from legalzoom.com, “Sellers should disclose grisly facts about the house, so they will not be ‘haunted’ later. Even if not required by state law, in order to soothe prospective buyers and avoid lawsuits, sellers should be upfront about their home’s paranormal guests or ghoulish histories.” 

You may also be interested in swinging by Mary’s blog to check out some of the results of the Realtor.com® Haunted House Report from 2013, where 62% of respondents say they’re open to purchasing a haunted home. Is this just another side effect of what I like to call “The Great Paranormal Craze”?



About Patrick Keller

Patrick Keller is an educator, blogger, and the host of the Big Séance Podcast, which is a place for paranerds to have an open discussion on all things paranormal, but specifically topics like ghosts and hauntings, paranormal research, spirit communication, psychics and mediums, and life after death. He’s the founder of the now inactive Missouri Spirit Seekers and has spent a lot of time experimenting with spirit communication tools and techniques, such as EVP. Patrick also has a passion for spending hours at a time in cemeteries and loves cemetery photography. Visit BigSeance.com! View all posts by Patrick Keller

8 responses to “Did someone die in your house? Do you own “stigmatized” real estate?

  • thewritegirlforthejob

    As for NY – they have to tell you if someone has died in the house within I believe (but don’t quote me on that) 2 or 3 years of the purchase.
    When we purchased our home, we asked our lawyer and he said that is one of the things they have to disclose if the death occurred within a few years of purchase. Otherwise, they don’t.
    As for now, there is legislation going on that is working for more open disclosure of things such as previous drug dealers owning the property as well as crimes committed there.
    I had a friend that bought a house unknowingly across the street from a pedophile and she had 2 young sons. She ended up taking a loss after 3 years and selling because it wasn’t worth the stress of knowing every time her sons went to school, played in the yard, and stepped out the door,they were in eye’s view of a rapist.
    As for haunted houses. We knowingly bought a house someone died in. It only makes common sense that the older or historic homes are most likely to have had a death in them at one time or another. If anything quirky happens in our house, we laugh it off as an action of our departed previous owner.
    I’m all about saving money so I suggest for those who aren’t covered by laws for disclosure visit their local library or college (if you’re an alumni) and use their databases to check area newspapers, since many are now asking for subscriptions to search their archives. But libraries/colleges usually have those databases available free of charge. just punch in the list of properties you’re interested in.

    • Patrick Keller

      The business and laws of real estate has always been a little over my head. So complicated. My last two homes have been newer, and the house I lived in for most of my childhood had no record of deaths to my knowledge, either. It just had two different fires and then those were patched up. But I always wondered about the history of the first house of my childhood, which is the home my grandmother lives in now. Soooo old. I don’t think we know anything about it before 1978. It was probably 100 years old or more then. And regarding the pedophile, I don’t have children, so I canNOT imagine running into that situation and adding to the stress of the real estate search!

      • thewritegirlforthejob

        Wow. Some interesting stories. As far as you grandma’s old house – at least 100 years old – the probability of death occurring sometime during that period is probably higher. They also used to have the showings of people within the house instead of the funeral home, so that could be a possible occurrence too with an old house. I actually lived in a beach house for several years that was haunted. I kept it quiet about the things I saw(didn’t want people to think I was crazy) until one day my daughter came running in my room insisting she saw someone in the laundry room. I jumped up quickly – there was no way someone had time to get to the door to leave if they were human and she described the dark shadow that I saw a few times – that she never knew I had seen previously. Things would happen like I could watch a light switch get flipped by itself on/off during the day time. I’d tell the presence “very funny” and go on my day. A few months later, I walked into the laundry room to find heavy bead board ceiling piece moved and teetering like it were to fall down. We couldn’t figure out how something so heavy would move on its own and climbed up to put it back in place and I took the flashlight to look up into the attic I had never seen. There was a small room with walls covered with drawings up there and it appeared that it was a place that someone had spent quite a bit of time there – but the access to the attic had long been inaccessibly because of remodeling. I had one of our teen friends climb up and give us an idea if someone looked like they had been up there recently or was it from long ago.(I was a bit afraid someone could have been living in the house without our knowledge. He said everything looked old and yellowed and it didn’t look like anyone had been there for many years. To this day I think this presence was trying to tell us something – we never found out what that was because I moved out a few years later. Since I am friends with the owner, she has said no one has ever reported anything unusual occurring in that house afterwards and they never went up to the attic room above the laundry to check it out – because they would rather not know.

    • Patrick Keller

      Whoa! That room in the attic? Hello Hollywood Script! 🙂 And good point about the funerals in the home… the “parlor”, right?

  • NetherRealm

    I don’t own, but rent, a townhouse where someone died. I picked up on someone during the initial walk-through, but thought nothing of it. Wasn’t until the next door neighbor told me the unit was vacant for about a year that I put on my psychic hat. Sure enough, I walked through the kitchen, and immediately got images of an elderly man falling, bleeding from delicate skin breaking, then dying because he couldn’t get help. By the time we had all the furniture moved in, he was ready to move on. The unit has had a high turnover of tenants as well. I can see it by all the misdelivered mail, and the myriad of names.
    I haven’t asked formally, but it was really apparent before the end of day 3 someone had died in this unit.
    It was a positive experience, so it didn’t bother me. Actually, we’re quite cozy here.

    • Patrick Keller

      I would guess that most people, whether they realize they’re living in a home with a death record or not (and they probably don’t), manage to live comfortably in their home.

  • Mrs. Horror Boom (HorrorBoom.com)

    The old rental house we lived in before my mom passed and we were able to purchase our own home… something was going on there. It was the first place my then-boyfriend, now-husband and I moved in together, so that sort of superceeded everything.
    I honestly don’t know if someone died in there, but there was something going on. Items of my clothing would go missing from upstairs–always the same color of pink; a dress, gloves, a couple tops–and eventually it would show up near the gas furnace in the basement, which used to be a coal burned (and no, my husband did not have an Ed Wood Jr. thing going on.)

    When we were looking at homes, though, I asked out real estate agent if there had been a homicide here, just good to know. There wasn’t, but we bought it from the original owner after she passed. Not sure if she passed at home, but there are really good vibes here.

    In 1990 my friend had one of the most horrific personal tragedies happen (and I know some people who have had pretty horrible things happen) I’ve ever known about. Her mother was murdered in her home in a very nice neighborhood (people didn’t bother to lock their doors, and hers was the first home he found) by a psychopath. It was very, very brutal. He used an axe. My friend knew the police detective and told me a little more about the crime scene than I wanted to know-I won’t describe it out of respect in a public forum like this, but pieces of her were in two different rooms. Because of the mandatory law in WA state that homicides must be disclosed, it took years to sell one of the most desirable homes in one of the most beautiful neighborhoods. BTW, they did catch the guy a few months later. He’d been released from a state institution even though he had begged the place to let him stay because he told them he wasn’t ready, then begged a security guard at a downtown mall to arrest him, nothing. He was found guilty but insane and got his wish to be in an institution for life, maximum this time. She was found mostly in the bedroom–where she was because she had called in sick to work that day with the flu (like she wasn’t already having a crappy day).

    A mutual friend told me that someone had been putting a mannequin in the upstairs bedroom window to freak people out when they drove by. To this day that’s unexplained, even though her boyfriend looked into it because it was upsetting my friend so much.

    The house sold for way, way less than market value, and I’m not sure if it’s been sold since then. We had to live in the rental house within walking distance) way, way after we’d outgrown it but if someone had told me we could have the house for free, I would still have had to do some serious thinking, and I would have brought someone in to cleanse the house before we moved in, regardless. My husband thought I was nuts when I told him that (not like it was going to happen, just hypothetical), but would YOU want to live there?

    • Patrick Keller

      That is insane. I really really really don’t think I’d ever be able to live in a home where that kind of violent crime or murder took place. Even if nothing was going on inside the home, I know my mind would take me there. Did you see the most recent episode of Ghost Adventures? It was the “Fox Hollow Farm” episode. Creeped me out. Noooo way. I have no experience with living in a haunted home, but I’m pretty confident I’d be just fine living in a home where someone died naturally. In fact, I’d probably think it was cool… even if it were haunted. Thanks for the story and the re-blog, Mrs. Horror Boom!

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