There’s no shortage of Halloween films out there, with super horror stories, enough to give any estate agent the creeps.
Following our annual re-watch of Ghostbusters, our editorial team thought we’d share some real life spooky stories from UK properties:
McKee v Hackney – a High Court Judge believes in Ghosts….
If you don’t think ghosts exist, there is a precedent in law that disagrees.
In 1969, Mr. McKee petitioned Hackney Council, for a rent reduction because he believed his rented home was haunted.
McKee claimed to have witnessed poltergeist phenomena and appearances by phantoms on numerous occasions. Raps and taps were heard at all times of day or night, along with countless strange noises.
McKee also alleged that a ghostly woman wearing white emerged from a wardrobe when the house was full. Everyone at the time was certain that they’d seen the apparition and all attested to the same disquieting, hollow, socket-like eyes. He also claimed that the apparition damaged furnishings and even set fires inside.
This was backed up by members of the Ghost Club, who went along to witness the phenomena first-hand.
McKee lobbied the council for a rent reduction. They obliged and his fee dropped from £6 a week to just five shillings. The landlord, unsurprisingly, took issue with the reduction and took the issue to court, eventually winning the case and getting his £6 figure restored, but when McKee appealed to the High Court, Lord Chief Justice Lord Parker reinstated the reduction, saying:
“There is no doubt that the tenant and his family – and indeed a number of interested people who went to observe the phenomena – were fully convinced that this was a haunted house and there were ghosts that manifested themselves from time to time.”
The house, 69 Spencer Grove has since been demolished – but it’s official. Judges believe in Ghosts.
Bought by the Council – and the hauntings now make it a tourist attraction.
Seller Ed Williams had no problems selling his home, which was bought by the then Rhymney Valley District Council who converted the imposing mid-16th century house into the Living History Museum which remains today.
Ed lived in his childhood home at Llancaiach Fawr Manor House, Caerphilly, from 1950-1985, and the house has featured on TV’s Most Haunted.
Ed claims to have experienced footsteps above his head while watching television, a tall man rushing past him at speed and the chilling results of using a ouija board, but he is quite nonchalant about the experience:
“I never went to look for them – as far as I was concerned as long as they didn’t bother me, I didn’t bother them.”
The ‘hauntings’ have continued. General manager Diane Walker told Wales Online:
“Once we had this lady who came to the house and did a tour. After it, she was pretty speechless. She had a new coat on, had never worn it before, and when she came back to the visitor centre, all the buttons from the coat were gone.”
Ed says now:
“It was a wonderful home,” says Ed. “I never felt threatened or at risk, and I often stayed there on my own. That said, the amount of unexplained activity that has occurred then and since means there is no way I would spend the night here on my own ever again!”
Currently for sale – the Haunted former prison that caused it’s owner to flee
Far less benign, and currently for sale with Tepilo online estate agents, Clacton-on-Sea home, The Cage, is reportedly the most haunted house in Britain, with the current occupant having fled for her safety in 2008. The property, a former medieval witches’ prison has been on the market since. Owner Vanessa, who claims to have been physically assaulted and pushed over whilst pregnant by the unwelcome ‘ghostly tenants’ told the Sun:
“The house is so haunted I haven’t been able to live there since 2008. I was there for about three years but I had to leave with my young son for our own safety. Blood would appear on the walls and ground, things would shoot across the room, doors randomly slammed and I saw three ghosts while I was there. We had no choice but to leave because it got so bad.”
Price on application…
There is plenty of horrible history and many legends to be found throughout the UK, so it’s hardly surprising that property haunting rumours persist.
Modern horrors, such as the murder scene of little April Jones, Mark Bridger’s house, will often see the home in question being demolished. Estate agents know that selling a modern property with a suspect history will at the very least reduce the asking price, because nobody wants to live there.
However, for older history, hauntings can be an added attraction for the right buyer. However, Managing Director of Choice Finance, Matthew Pennell, thinks even then, buyers should exercise caution.
“Before deciding to buy a haunted house, buyers should think about what their long-term plan is. If they intend to stay for the foreseeable future, a spooky reputation shouldn’t be too much of a problem. For those who want to sell though, potential buyers can be put off by rumours of hauntings, and this can mean the price of the house may have to be reduced.
“I’ve never heard of a mortgage application being refused based on a reported haunting, but lenders will always want to know about any potential details that could negatively impact the property’s value. If the property in question had a particularly infamous and well-known reputation, buyers might want to have a discussion with an experienced broker beforehand, who will be able to give advice and ensure buyers are getting the best possible deal.”