As an agent, showing a home can have its share of ups and downs, particularly if there are some other-worldy visitors.
If you or your clients are believers in spirits, you aren’t alone.
According to a 2013 Harris Poll of 2,250 adults, 42 percent of Americans believe in ghosts.
A recent Realtor.com® survey found that about 33 percent of people would buy a haunted home. Forty-two percent were staunchly opposed to the idea.
For homeowners or clients who worry about ghosts hiding in closets or under the bed, there is a budding industry of real-life ghostbusters is available to help.
According to Realtor.com® this segment includes volunteer paranormal investigation organizations, which have proliferated across the country in recent years, thanks largely to the popularity of reality TV shows such as Syfy’s “Ghost Hunters” and TLC’s “Paranormal Lockdown.”
Also available are a n number of psychics, mediums, witches, shamans, and spiritual healers—as well as church-sanctioned religious leaders, including Catholic exorcists.
“Every culture in the world has stories about ghosts and spirits,” says Scott Cashman, a cultural anthropology professor who oversees the paranormal studies program at Harper College in Palatine, IL. So “there’s a certain arrogance in saying ghosts and spirits don’t exist.”
Of course, those seemingly strange and unexplained happenings that are ghostly and eerie may just have a earth-bound explanation.
Rattles and noises could be the pipes, wind or normal noises a house makes as it settles. Cold spots are often due to poor insulation or drafty windows.
About “99.9 percent of the time, homeowners who are experiencing paranormal activity are actually experiencing things that could be explained through logical means,” says Brandon Alvis, founder of the American Paranormal Research Association, a Los Angeles–based group.
When all else fails and you or a client remain convinced that spirits are pervasive in a house, call David Franklin Farkas, owner of HouseHealing.com, a real estate consultancy devoted to ridding residential and commercial buildings of the undead.
Yes, he’s a real-life ghostbuster.
Farkas says that he has been able to communicate with ghosts since his 20s, but he recently started to make a full-time living out of it. It isn’t always a matter of getting rid of a specter, but negative energy, for instance, the type emitted in the house due to ongoing bad feelings of a divorce. But he does claim to be able to talk to the beings most of us will only admit to seeing on TV and in the movies.
According to Farkas, ghosts are really just like us, except for the problem about not living. He recalls one of the first ghosts he spoke to, where he asked the poltergeist if he knew he was dead. The answer: “Well, that would explain a lot.”
“Ghosts — they don’t have a clue,” Farkas says. “Many have stayed behind because they believe they have unfinished business. Or sometimes there are unresolved feelings, and they just wind up staying. But most of the ghosts don’t know they’re dead, or once they do know they’re dead, they may not have the energy to try and leave.”
One can laugh, but according to Farkas, the giggling often stops after he has “cleared” a house of the dead. Frequently, after he has come and gone, people have sold their house in a matter of days.