How I would sell these haunted houses
With Halloween just a day away, America’s fascination with spooky and haunted houses is in peak season.
Film has certainly played a role in that enchantment, where homes are often characters, and even antagonists.
And despite high interest rates, it’s still a seller’s market with a major inventory shortage, so even someone who isn’t a horror cinefile may consider such terrifying abodes.
“The Amityville Horror” (112 [formerly 108] Ocean Avenue, Amityville, New York)
The mother of all haunted houses, this 1927 Dutch Colonial is infamous for Ronald DeFeo Jr. killing six family members in it in real life. That and subsequent events spawned nine books and nearly 50 films, some more well-known than others.
What it would go for without controversy $1 million to $1.3 million
This home would easily fetch that price given the square footage, the boathouse (which typically can’t be built any more in that area of Long Island due to the environmental regulations), the two car garage, finished basement and location in Amityville.
Amityville is a tight-knit community, it dates back to summer cottages, and dignitaries would come and summer there. That’s how it got started. If you’re not from there, you know it right away. They know who their neighbors are. It’s a beautiful community, really.
What it would go for if it were haunted: 5% to 30% off
How to market it
How would I sell a haunted Amityville Horror home would call for unconventional methods.
You’d have to go through different buyers, make sure you have it at trade shows and forums and paranormal enthusiasts. You make sure the property is in front of those eyes, because that’s who it’s going to be most appealing to. Anyone else might think that’s a bad thing. They may find it amazing.
You should definitely lean into it. Host an open house at night, so buyers come in and see nothing is creaking and squeaking. It’s a good way to get buyers to get comfortable. Maybe put up a sign, We already spoke to the ghosts. We’re doing our best to work with ghosts. They want owners to haunt, too. Ghosts get bored, too.
“Poltergeist” (4267 Roxbury Street, Simi Valley, California)
The 2,400-square-foot house, which sits on a 0.37-acre lot, featured in one of the scariest and most iconic movies from the 1980s. The film, which centered on a little girl being kidnapped through a television by malevolent spirits, was set in a fictional development in Southern California. But the home is in Simi Valley.
The four-bedroom, three-bathroom home is typical for the area. …. … Or is it?
What would it go for if haunted $950,000
Taking the road less traveled, I think I could fetch top dollar for a home that has nightmarish toy clowns and is built on an old Native American burial ground.
How would I market it
“Ghostbusters” (55 Central Park West, NYC)
OK, OK, you could argue it’s not a horror flick, but it’s also not entirely a comedy, either, what with Ray Parker Jr. trying to convince himself he “ain’t afraid of no ghost” in the theme song. It’s also one of several films that combines the paranormal and a New York high-rise.
What would it go for if haunted Unclear. Maybe more, maybe less. That’s New York City, baby.
How I would market it
“Rosemary’s Baby” (The Bramford, a fictional building modeled after The Dakota, 1 West 72nd Street, New York City)
A real estate agent showing a classic Upper West Side apartment to a young married couple sets the scene of this 1967 horror show. It’s not haunted, but it turns out their building is chock full of malevolent (is there any other kind?) Satan worshipers, but it has a laundry room. How cheap does the rent have to be to tolerate giving birth to the antichrist?
What a unit would sell for without controversy About $2 million for a one-bedroom, $4 million for a two-bedroom.
If your neighbors are devil worshippers, it’s time to party.
I think if we had crazy devil worshippers next door, again, I would lean into it with the marketing. But it could lead to bidding wars because it is New York City and it is eccentric.