This article is from 2021 and may be outdated. We're working on restoring a newer version.
Do you want to buy a haunted house? You might be able to, if you’re sure that’s what you want.
Weirdly, early in 2013, a haunted house in France was listed at eBay and – apparently – sold for one Euro.
By late 2018, some of the most-publicized haunted houses required deep pockets… but those were the widely publicized ones.
I’d expect plenty of haunted houses to sell for ridiculously low prices, even today.
Either way, you may want to set up a Google Alert for “haunted house for sale” or something like that.
In many states in America, anyone selling a haunted house must report that the site has a ghost.
(Here’s an article written for people selling haunted houses: How to Sell a Haunted House. It may help you decode the sales talk, to identify your dream home.)
In general, start by checking the laws of the state where you’d like to live. In many states, a ghost (or reputation for being haunted) is a “material fact” or “material defect” that must – by law – be disclosed to the buyer.
One Option: Be Direct
If it’s among the states requiring disclosure, visit a few realtors and explain your interests to them. Explain very clearly that you’d like to buy a haunted house. Don’t hint. Tell them directly, and be prepared to explain why.
(Also, be prepared for mixed reactions. So few people want to buy a haunted house, they may think you’re joking. Or that you’re mad. Or that you’re planning Satanic rituals or something.)
Or, Go Subtle
However, remember the practical side of this. Most people don’t want to live in a haunted house. So, some sellers conceal paranormal activity if they can.
If that’s likely, phrase your questions carefully.
– Act as if you don’t believe in ghosts. Make a big deal over the great location, the swimming pool, or the quality of local schools.
– Casually ask if the house has any “charming legends” or “colorful tales” connected with it.
– Use the word “ghost” carefully. No homeowner wants to be forced to admit his house has the “defect” of a ghost.
Do Your Homework, First
You may need to conduct your own research to find likely haunted houses. Then, see which of them display a For Sale sign.
In Austin, Texas, I’d look for any brick home built by Abner Cook. Almost every public building he built – and several private homes – have ghost stories. However, they’re just his homes built with clay bricks from nearby Shoal Creek. His all-wooden structures don’t have the same reliable ghosts.
My ley lines maps that (literally) connect the dots between haunted houses. If a house is on one of those lines, it may be haunted. Start with a good ley lines map. Then drive around, looking for realtors’ signs and abandoned houses.
Warning: Some haunted houses are impossible to live in comfortably. They’re rare, and should be avoided.
Local ghost hunting teams might be another resource in your search. Often, they’ve been called in to investigate a house that the owners don’t want to sell, but the site has activity they can’t live with.
If the team couldn’t resolve the ghostly problems, you may be in luck.
Even if the house hasn’t been listed yet, you might be the answer the homeowners need. Generally, they don’t want to deal with the challenges of trying to sell a haunted house.
At the other end of the spectrum, a homeowner might try to use the house’s ghostly history as a selling point. When that happens, the sellers ask an unusually high price. That tactic usually backfires. They won’t sell the house, but they’ll have plenty of visitors. For them, it’s a free ghost tour.
After a while, the homeowner usually reduces the price just to get rid of the house. That’s the time to place a realistic bid you’re comfortable with.