Back when I was a wee tyke, I used to watch a lot of Unsolved Mysteries. Robert Stack was creepy. Just look at the guy:
Okay, maybe not that creepy. Still, that show gave 8 year old Nelson nightmares. According to Unsolved Mysteries, murderers were lurking around every corner, UFOs were terrorizing our skies, and ghosts were up to all sorts of hijinks in our old houses.
Speaking of ghosts, this Twitter exchange actually happened, and it is hilarious.
al gore was a head of his time .i miss him rest in peace buddy hug for u
— Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco) March 28, 2012
— Al Gore (@GhostOfAlGore) March 29, 2012
Oh Jose Canseco, never change.
Anyway, recently I heard about a couple who bought a house outside of Toronto, and found out two people got violently murdered inside. Some guy stabbed his mother 34 times and his stepdaughter 89 times, which, you have to admit, at least makes him through. This happened all the way back in 1996.
So last year, some couple decides to buy the place. Nobody bothers to tell them that, you know, someone died in it back in the day, and I guess we can safely assume somebody aired the place out to get rid of the stab smell. The couple found out about this before the sale actually closed, (but after they had removed all their conditions of sale) so were therefore hooped.
According to the couple’s lawyers, at least one member of the couple is not enjoying their stay in the death house:
The claim said Sade-Lea Tekoniemi had suffered severe depression, and sleep and mood disorders because of the murder revelation and living in the house.
She has experienced heart palpitations, shortness of breath, faintness, nervousness when sharp knives are not out of sight when not in use, and visualizing “extremely graphic and horrifying images during unguarded moments” related to the murders, the claim added.
Yikes. I haven’t heard of anyone this flustered since I was caught in the girl’s change room in grade 9. What? I thought it was the boy’s change room. You don’t believe that, do you?
Skeptics would be quick to argue that these changes in Mrs. Homeowner’s health have nothing to do with the death house, since such a thing is silly. Ghosts don’t exist, nobody can prove they exist, and people who think they exist are stupid. And probably ugly. Her health problems are either caused by an undiagnosed ailment, or some sort of psychological ailment that’s clearly affecting her physically.
Geez, you skeptics are kinda mean. Remind me not to invite any of you to my next party.
Meanwhile, we have those people who really believe in ghosts and spirits and negative energy and stuff. There are all sorts of shows on TV about that stuff, mostly because people believe. You’d be surprised at the amount of people who believe they’ve had some sort of experience with a ghost or a negative energy, or some other such thing. Much like the existence of God, nobody can actually disprove the existence of these types of phenomenon. So if you’re a believer, you’d obviously have a problem with something like this happening in a house.
There’s an easy way to solve this problem, right? Just make it mandatory for the owners to disclose it to any potential new buyers. Too bad they don’t have to, at least in Ontario. Alberta has similar rules.
As a seller of a house, you must disclose any material latent defects. Basically, those are major things that are wrong with the house that a potential buyer can’t see. In my neck of the woods, basement damage is common, thanks to a combination of poor soil conditions and a few major home builders who decided to do some shoddy work. People have been known to cover up major basement problems, knowing that these defects will decrease the value of their house.
So, is somebody dying in a house a material latent defect? I guess that depends on your perspective.
I remember being around 10 years old, and playing in the yard of a house my Dad just bought as a rental property. Some random guy was walking down the street, saw me, and came over.
“Did your Dad buy this property?”
“Somebody died in there. Make sure he knows that.”
Two things about that conversation:
1. Notice how he assumed my Dad bought it and not my Mom? THAT’S SEXISS.
2. I half expected him to drive away in a van that had “free candy” spray painted on the side.
Anyway, I immediately ran to tell my Dad, probably because I wanted to get the hell away from this guy who decides it’s a good idea to talk to unsupervised children. He told me not to worry, he already knew about it. Being a 10 year old with an overactive imagination, I promptly decided the place was haunted. There was no way in hell I was going near the place after dark.
Anyway, I’m curious. Would you guys care if you bought a house and found out someone died in it? How about if it was a violent crime? Would that make things different?