Things that go Bump in the Night

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A few months ago, Arthur and I started talking about buying a house.  After we spent our original down payment on IVF, it’s taken us awhile and a few breaks that went our way, but we’re starting to look a bit with the hope of finding something in the fall or early next spring.  As we were brainstorming questions to ask a potential seller, I looked at Arthur somewhat sheepishly.

“Do you think it would be completely weird if I asked if they had ever seen or heard…anything strange over the years they lived there?”

Arthur gave me a quizzical look.  “Like ghosts,” I clarified, slightly embarrassed.

Arthur considered for a moment.  “No…” he finally said.

“Well,” I hedged, “I don’t like being startled.  And I do think there are phenomena we don’t understand or can’t explain sometimes.  I don’t know that it’s anything that won’t eventually be explained, but I just want to cover all my bases.”

I have a sort of love/hate relationship with scary.  As a tween, one of my favorite books was Horror at the Haunted House by Peg Kehret (spoiler/content note: it has an infant loss plot point).  I also had – and still have – a highly overactive imagination and frequent nightmares.  I read several books by Betty Ren Wright that scared the heck out of me, read a couple of “real life” ghost books that did the same, reached Steven King in high school and after reading one or two of those, promptly quit dabbling at all in horror.  Eighteen years after reading the King books, I still have nightmares specific to those novels.  That being said, I’m a total sucker for a good creepy story.  Even when I know it’s bad for me, I can’t help reading them occasionally.

I don’t really believe in ghosts, or at least, I don’t believe in ghosts during the day when the sun is shining.  However, if we are purchasing a house to live in for a long time, I have zero desire to discover any sort of…quirkiness once the purchase is final.

So, even though I suspect I’m going to get a few odd looks, I think I’m going to ask.

If you want to read more Microblog Monday entries, head over to Stirrup Queens to check them out.  Thanks to Mel for originating and hosting.

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10 thoughts on “Things that go Bump in the Night

  1. TOTALLY ask! Just know that people sometimes don’t disclose that sort of thing, not to create anxiety or anything. I am a big believer that people are haunted far more often than places, which is sort of odd but makes a funny kind of sense. My house growing up had interesting phenomena, but mostly stuff that wasn’t scary at all, like period music that would come on like a radio on a different floor than you were on, or feeling like someone was lightly touching your back as you went up the stairs, or as a child apparently seeing someone standing behind my mom who wasn’t really there. Also, just know that 4-year-olds are super creepy developmentally and tend to say things that are just plain messed up — all my friends with 4-year olds said that their kids scared the crap out of them saying things like “who’s that man behind you” and “a man without a face comes to my room” and stuff like that, and then they totally forget about it. Which is weird, but I 100% believe it’s a developmental phase. I hope you find a beautiful house that is free of any weird phenomena! I share your love of scary books but then fears and nightmares later. I love a scary book far more than a scary movie. I guess you could also ask if anything ever happened in the house, if there was a crime committed there or something like that I’m pretty sure they have to disclose it. Weird phenomena I don’t think is covered under that though… 🙂 Good luck with the house hunt, and trust your spidey sense. If you walk in and feel freaked out, it’s probably not for you. How exciting, house hunting can be so fun!

    • Thanks, hopefully things will go well. What you describe with your childhood home actually sounds okay as far as that sort of thing goes – as long as it’s not a scary thing, that’s what counts :). I’ve heard from a few people about weird things their small ones have told them – I’m sure, like you say, it’s a developmental phase, but eeek!

  2. Oh my gosh this made me laugh. I am EXACTLY the same. I used to overdose on paranormal thrillers, and still do sometimes, at great cost because then I can’t be alone, or sleep, for weeks. Yet I love the thrill. We rent our house, and we love our house, and keep hoping if we remain long enough the owner will sell to us (it is entirely calm, which is a huge win in my books). Eventually, I’m going to be fed up and we’ll buy something but honestly, one of my biggest concerns with buying a house we haven’t lived in is “what if it’s haunted?”. Mr. Big thinks I’m losing it, but for real…I’ve seen Ghost Hunters, The Exorcist and Amityville Horror. I don’t want any of that.

  3. Also, definitely ask but don’t be surprised if they don’t tell you. Who would tell someone that if they thought it would impede the sale of their home? Just pay close attention while in the house (spidey senses, as noted above)…and definitely google the address to make sure nothing wonky happened there!

    • I think that’s the plan. I don’t really expect people to tell me for real, I just figure I might get a quick, unguarded reaction if I ask before they put on their “game face” so to speak! We’ll see…

  4. I’m looking at houses at the moment with a view to moving, and I’ve been to about four where the agent has said ‘The owner died at home recently’. It doesn’t really bother me but what does bother me is when I get a definite weird vibe from a house – it’s usually a question of the layout, or the decor, or the light/darkness: it just feels as if I’d be uncomfortable on my own there. I’m very sceptical but I have lived in houses that felt haunted. Would the owners admit to anything though? Here the usual practice is just to lie pathologically when it comes to selling houses!

    • I hear you about that – it really is the vibe more than anything. I suspect you’re right that owners probably wouldn’t tell the truth about it, but I hope if I ask the question, maybe they’ll react for just a moment with an expression or exchange a glance or something that might let me know something’s up 🙂

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