It seems that every Halloween, someone asks me about selling haunted houses. In Minnesota, there is no need to disclose if your house is haunted. I have sold hundreds of homes in the metro area some of them date back to the 1880’s, where there were many deaths in the homes over the years, but I have only encountered two haunting situations.
I was at a listing appointment, and the widow told me that her husband died of a heart attack in the chair I was sitting in, and that his spirit was still in the house. She said at night; she could smell his cigar smoke and she could hear him walking down the hall, as he had a wooden leg. She said that she could transfer his spirit into her cat and she hadn’t decided if she was going to leave him in the house when she moved or take him with her. We sold the house to a real estate agent and he was aware of the seller’s story. I never heard if he experienced any paranormal activity.
The other house was a historic mansion owned by a psychic, and it was filled with crystals and photos of ghosts. It had a séance room, 2 black cats, and a casket in the basement. I was spooked in this house, and sat out on the porch during my open house. The house sold quickly for full price as the buyers loved the mystique and the parlor room.
A tour guide at the Alexander Ramsey House in St Paul, told me that the original use for the parlor rooms, in the historic homes, was for laying out deceased family members. There weren’t funeral homes, so many family members were kept in the house for up to 3 days to make sure they were deceased before they were buried.
The Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement explains the following Minnesota Statute: There is no duty to disclose the fact that the property was the site of a suicide, accidental death, natural death, or perceived paranormal activity. It doesn’t mention murder on the form, but a seller is required to disclose if they are aware of a murder taking place in the home.
An experienced agent can explain the required disclosures to you before selling your home.
Ask the Real Estate Agent is a weekly column by Cheryl Kempenich of Coldwell Banker Burnet, who lives and offices in the Chisago Lakes Area. Submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. For legal assistance consult an attorney.