Have you ever wondered if your house was haunted?
There’s a website for that. DiedInHouse.com uses a variety of sources to tell users whether anyone has died in their house, and it’s been inundated with thousands of requests since it launched in June.
CEO Roy Condrey created the site after a tenant renting his property in Columbia, South Carolina, informed him the place was inhabited by ghosts.
“It occurred to me that a service which told people who died in their homes before they moved in would be popular,” Condrey told the Houston Chronicle. “It’s harder to find things like this out than you think.”
It seems a little extreme, but with the price tag of $US11.99 to register and search your address on the site, it seems like Condrey has found a lucrative way to feed the superstitions of many.
He says most of the requests on the site come from Texas and California.
Some realtors shun what Condrey does, he says, mainly because he costs them money on what they call “stigmatised properties,” but he says he’s just providing a needed, legitimate service to the public. He’s begun to notice some realtors coming around to the site and even running searches on their own, which means tides are turning.
There was the story of Janet Milliken who moved from California to Pennsylvania in 2007 with her two children, after her husband had died. She bought a house for $US610,000, which she later found out had been the site of a murder-suicide a year and a half earlier.
Milliken sued for fraud and misrepresentation, claiming the owners and real estate agents duped her. The judge ruled against her, saying Pennsylvania state law does not require agents to disclose such events to buyers. She’s since appealed to the state Supreme Court.
“Some people don’t have a problem with knowing someone died in their home,” says Condrey. “But when you remind them that this knowledge could affect their home values, they change their tune.”
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