Sunday, November 9, 2008

A little offbeat...

I like to think that I have an open mind. My beliefs in the afterlife, the supernatural and the occult probably confirm that.
A recent article in my second hometown newspaper, The Hamilton County News, does not therefore, strike me as anything unusual. The article reports on a haunted house in Blue Mountain Lake, the next town north in the township of Indian Lake, NY.
The house is apparently so well known, that ghost hunter David Pitkin heard about it and wrote the story in volume one of his "Ghosts of New York State." The story is called "Hanging Around."
There are at least two ghosts reported in the house. The son, William Wheelock, hung himself in an upstairs hallway from a trapdoor to the attic. His mother Louisa discovered his body. She died less than a month later, reportedly of a broken heart.
Family members claim to have seen and heard both ghosts over the years..
Now for the strangest part of the entire story... If the owners ever wish to sell the property, the owners must disclose that they own a haunted dwelling.
Seems to me to be official acknowledgement of the supernatural!

Fortunately, the residents do not wish to sell at this time.

The house was built in the mid 1800s and the family believes that it is an important historical site, since some of the house was the annex of the former Holland Hotel built in 1857.. Henry Wheelock bought the annex and moved it to it's present location around the 1880s.

A haunted location is important in the sale of real property. In New York State, a seller must disclose to a potential buyer if a proposed property has a stigma of being haunted. That includes a murder, suicide or even stubborn ancestors that won't leave their prior home.

The precedent for this is called the Nyack Case of the 1990s. The New York Court of Appeals, 4th District voted 3-2 that a seller must disclose a haunted house.

In this case, the seller had to reimburse the downpayment back to the proposed buyer, who decided not to buy the property after discovering it was haunted.

In these days of tight real estate markets though, some folks are capitalizing on their haunted abodes. There are websites devoted to the buying and selling of haunted properties, such as and Ghosts and Stories. com.

So, those cold spots, slamming doors, and full bodied apparitions could add to a selling price...

Or, maybe not!

Thanks to the Hamilton County News...

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