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Haunted

Did You Know That Courts Can Rule Homes As Being Legally Haunted?

posted: 11/04/16
by: Kelly McClure

#Repost @destinationamerica with @repostapp ??? You gotta ask! #paranormal #haunted #hauntedhouse #destinationamerica

A photo posted by The Hauntist (@thehauntist) on


In 1990 the case of Stambovsky v. Ackley made its way to the Supreme Court after Jeffrey Stambovsky filed a suit claiming that he had purchased a home with no prior knowledge of it being extremely haunted. The house in question, a circa-1890 Queen Anne Victorian located in Nyack, New York, had been sold to him by a woman named Helen Ackley, who knew full well what she was pawning off on her unsuspecting buyer.

Between 1977 and 1989 Ackley spoke out about her hauntings to Reader's Digest, and various local newspapers, which made them public record. She stated that the home had several ghosts that would frequently torment her family by shaking items in the house, and even leaving strange gifts for her grandchildren that would later vanish.

Having not been clued in on the previous history of the building, Stambovsky made a down payment on the $650,000 house in the amount of $32,500 and then, after learning about the hauntings through word of mouth, attempted to void the contract and get his money back, but the seller initially denied that request. He took the home owner to court and the case was thrown out, but Stambovsky was persistent and was able to get it appealed in 1991, eventually winning a favorable ruling that is now commonly referred to as the "Ghostbusters ruling."

According to a 2015 Huffington Post article on the ruling, Marty Baum, an instructor with the Chandler Real Estate Training Center, said that there are loopholes to that ruling that potential buyers should look out for. Agents and private sellers have to disclose if there has been a haunting in the building, just as they would had there been a murder or a bed bug infestation, but they don't need to disclose a "potential ghost." So the next time you're in the market to buy a new home, make sure you ask in as many different ways as you can if it comes with a ghost.

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[via: Huffington Post]