Vendors know that buyers are deterred by a property’s proximity to railway lines, a main road or an industrial area, and they should factor the drawbacks into the asking price. But what happens if you think you’re selling a haunted house? Do you make full disclosure and perhaps put off most potential buyers?
Or do you say nothing about the spirit of the place and pray it keeps a low profile during open houses? And if you move into your new home and sense that you’re not alone, what can you do about it?
Psychic Robb Tilley has extensive experience investigating hauntings and poltergeist activity. He’s a member of the Australian Institute of Parapsychological Research (AIPR), a Sydney-based community association that researches psychic phenomena and promotes the scientific study of the paranormal.
“Usually homeowners don’t want people to know their house is haunted because it affects real estate prices,” Robb says, “that’s why you don’t hear about too many haunted homes, although most hauntings are in private homes.
“Often people move into a home and don’t do anything for 2 or 3 years because they tend to dismiss (unexplained events). They try to rationalise it away; but usually, the poltergeist activity intensifies. You get doors opening and shutting, lights flashing on and off, and things thrown around the room.
“It’s often not until something happens to the man of the house that they do something. When all the ceiling fans switch on themselves, and he can hear children running around upstairs but there’s nobody there, he gets worried.” Robb’s advice to anyone who suspects they’ve moved into a haunted home is to contact AIPR.
“I’ll chat to them over the phone to ensure the home is really haunted – and it always is. I go out there when the family is home, and I sense what’s going on. I sense the unwanted presences. The spooks usually know why I’m there, and they try to fight me.”
Robb doesn’t get scared by the unwelcome presences, and he usually comes with backup. “I arrive with a team of good spooks – spirit beings who’ve chosen me. They do the clearing. Sometimes other AIPR members go in to do research with electronic equipment. We usually get rid of them.” A clearing can take anything from 2 hours to 4 days and involves a small charge to cover costs.
Daniel “G’s” family had no reason to fear the ghosts of residents past when they moved into their brand new home in the Melbourne suburb of Endeavour Hills, but after a few years, things began to happen. “It started in 2004. I had a few friends in my room with the door locked from the inside,” Daniel says, “We were all talking when the door suddenly unlocked. I stepped out, thinking one of my brothers had the key, but there was no one there."
"Then I saw that the only key was in my bedroom. We thought maybe the door wasn’t locked properly. But later we heard someone speaking and laughing outside the room. When we went out this time, there was no one there, but we could clearly hear voices from upstairs.” The disturbances continue today.
“My brothers and I usually feel things a couple of times a week. You see things out of the corner of your eye – like a shadow; or you hear footsteps. And I’ve seen blue balls of light, with the inside of the house lit up as if the walls were blue. It used to freak me out, but my parents said, “It’s your imagination.”
Daniel isn’t fazed by his experiences “I don’t feel afraid and I’m now a paranormal investigator. I’ve picked up a couple of EVPs (electronic voice phenomena). I picked up a voice saying “Hello”. I heard a loud crash upstairs. Nothing had fallen, but I saw someone peeking around the corner – like a silhouette or shadow. My brother saw it too."
"I went to my room and it felt like there was another presence and I heard a knock on the widow. Then my brother came running in. He’d heard breathing outside and someone knocked on his window twice.”
There was one particularly unsettling incident in 2009. “I was upstairs and I heard hisses from the bathroom,” Daniel recounts, “I said that I wanted to sleep – pretty forcefully. Then I felt tight pressure around my neck and throat. It was hard to breathe. I got the impression something was strangling me. Then the stereo switched itself on, and it was playing “Take My Breath Away”. Daniel has no idea what triggered the episodes.
“Mum passed away in 2003, but I don’t think it’s her. My belief is that it’s in the ground rather than in the house itself. A psychic friend thinks the house was built where ley lines cross.”
Australia’s Most Haunted
Reg Ryan lives in Australia’s most haunted house. He moved into the Monte Cristo Homestead in June 1963, at a time when the 1870s house had been gutted by vandals. “A was a bit like living with nature,” Reg says, “no doors, no windows, no water, no power – only candles. We tacked canvas over the doors and windows to keep out the breeze. The possums came in and we had bats flying in. We snuggled up to keep warm. We had no idea it was haunted. I wouldn’t have got my wife Olive here if we’d known.” They soon discovered the truth.
“We’d been there 3 days when we went into town late one afternoon to get supplies. We were driving back up to the house and there was light streaming from every window, out onto the fog like a searchlight – although there was no electricity. We didn’t know what to think. When we got up to the house, all the lights disappeared. It was just very strange. Olive wasn’t real happy. Things kept happening. We heard noises as if people were walking around, our two girls would see faces at the windows, Olive felt hands on her shoulders and was shaken vigorously in bed. She felt very apprehensive. We knew nothing of the house at the time, but people started telling us stories.”
Now many years later, Monte Cristo has been fully restored and is open to the public. Reg has never considered leaving. “I love it. The ghosts don’t worry me – I know they’re there,” he says. “We now have lots of parapsychologists coming from overseas. Some visitors step in the front door and get short of breath and can’t stay. Lots of people won’t stay overnight.” Some of the ghosts are less than hospitable.
“Mrs Crawley was the lady of the house. If she doesn’t like people, you can hear her telling them to get out. Ghost Hunters International got her on tape ordering them out. She was part aboriginal, and I don’t think she wants to leave the land.”
Reg had some level-headed advice for anyone who’s moved into a haunted house. “Find out a bit about it,” he says, “And talk to the spirits. Say good morning, or say “Leave me alone for a while”. You’ll learn to live with it.”
Article Sourced from The Age Domain