In Washington’s real-estate market, buyers do all kinds of seemingly crazy things to beat the competition. They waive home inspections, and bid five- and six-figures over list price. But would they move in with a ghost?
A national survey conducted by Realtor.com found that 33 percent of buyers are open to living in a haunted house. In Washington, there is no legal requirement that sellers alert potential buyers to ghosts. And even if there were, it appears plenty of local house-hunters wouldn’t care.
Here are creepy tales from DC agents whose clients weren’t deterred by other-worldly roommates.
J. D’Ann Faught, City Chic Real Estate
“The unit that I sold was in the Chastleton. It was a few years ago. Before I sold the unit, I wasn’t aware of the building’s history in terms of its haunted-ness. But my client heard about it from friends. She mentioned she was looking at the building and they were like ‘Oh do you know it’s haunted?’ She still went ahead with the sale. She bought a studio. A few months after she moved in, she came home one day—her unit was on the 6th or 7th floor—she came home, and her windows were open and all of her cabinet doors and drawers were open.
It was originally built as a hotel and some famous people had stayed there. General MacArthur stayed there, and some people say he haunts it. My client said she never saw a ghost, but on more than one occasion, she came home and her cabinets were all open.”
Prabhjit Singh, NAAAM Real Estate
“Me and my client went to see a listing in Gaithersburg. The house was right next door to a small cemetery. We only figured out it was next to a cemetery when we drove up. There weren’t photos of it. This was 16 years ago. My client was like, ‘quiet neighbors.’ Fifteen minutes later, we started hearing noises from upstairs. You know those creaking noises under old floors? Like that, but the weird thing was they were extremely loud. It was almost like someone was jumping. That’s probably more accurate than walking. We were downstairs, and we could hear it all the way upstairs. So we went upstairs and then we started hearing the same noises downstairs. It was very, very weird.
The history of that home—because I of course called the seller’s agent after I got out of there—was a woman lived there. She was elderly. She had gone to hospice and then passed away. So her heirs were selling the home. My client wasn’t fazed by it at all. She said it reminded her of her childhood home, and that she really liked the house and how it was designed. She brought her husband back to look at it—I stayed down by the front door—and they bought it.”
Anonymous Washington Real-estate Agent
This agent spoke on condition of anonymity about her own house in Northwest DC. The home has sold to new owners—who don’t know about its former haunting—and she says she didn’t want to “freak them out.”
“The first time my husband and I saw the house was at 10 or 10:30 at night, and a voice said ‘get out of the house.’ I kid you not. I got instant chills. There were like two lights in the entire house that worked. It was kind of a fixer-upper. So we left. But for some reason, I couldn’t shake this house. We decided to go back during the day. There were no voices that time. We moved in a month before my daughter was born.
I would wake up in the middle of the night, and I would feel this little girl next to me. A couple times, I was able to see her. She looked really sad and lost. I think she understood I was gonna be a mom. I just got this feeling she needed help. There was also this moaning that would go through the new air conditioning that we put throughout the house. It would wake me up in the middle of the night.
So, we got a shaman. Her name was Lonely Coyote. I didn’t tell her anything about what I’d experienced. She goes, ‘Have you been visited by a little girl? She’s lost, she can’t find her mom. She apparently lived here when it was farmland and she’s lost and she can’t escape the earth.’
So the shaman does this releasing of the spirit, and I never saw the girl again. The shaman was also like, ‘I’m picking up a dark energy, a poltergeist.’ And she worked to clear him out. We never heard the moaning in the AC again.
The other cool thing, which was kind of cute, was she went into the room that was going to be the nursery— she’s like, ‘This used to be the dressing room for the ladies of the house and they’re all atwitter about a new baby coming.’ After she came and did the cleansing, the house had no issues. Best money I ever spent.”