House buyer refuses to complete sale due to ghosts

Refuses to pay for haunted house*

The house owner accepted the buyer’s bid and considered the house sold when the date for the takeover were set to happen last year.

But in the meantime the buyer heard stories about unexplained phenomena and has since refused to go through with the transaction.

Now the controversy around the house purchase in a village in Gudbrandsdalen has been going on for so long, that the house owner has decided to sue to buyer.

Credit: JREF Forum

This is the first time the lawyers involved in the case have ever heard of ghosts being a dealbreaker in regards to completing a housesale.

How can they settle this? Should the buyer get someone to investigate the place for ghosts? Whatever anomalies they find will be pretty useless as evidence in court. Looks to me like the buyer has painted himself into a corner here.

But wait, there’s more! The newspaper who reported this story, Gudbrandsdølen Dagningen, decided to interview a medium/healer Andrè Kirsebom, president of the Norwegian Spiritualist Association and Norwegian Spirritualistic Religious Community, to get some answers about haunted houses*:

“Of all the cases I known of in terms of house takeovers, it’s either been the buyers who decide to get it cleansed first before they start moving in or they get it cleansed after the initial move when they notice strange things in the house.”

“Spirits have never done any damage to humans, but it can be uncomfortable to live in such houses when one feel someone is watching you. To put it like this, these are real energies that no one wants in their house.”

Just what kind of “energies” are these? It’s not uncommon for houses to have noises in and around them, all of which have perfectly reasonable explainations.

The guy buying the house in question never even said he heard or felt anything strange. He just heard stories by other people around the village.

Did someone make a financial oops and is trying to get out of the sale?

*Linked articles are in Norwegian.

UPDATE: Here is a link to a similar case from New York. (Tip @Krelnik on Twitter)

Neither Ackley nor her realtor, Ellis Realty, revealed the haunting to Jeffrey Stambovsky before he entered a contract to purchase the house in 1989 or 1990. Stambovsky made a $32,500 downpayment on the agreed price of $650,000 for the house. Stambovsky was from New York City and was not aware of the folklore of Nyack, including the widely known haunting story.

When Stambovsky learned of the haunting story, he filed an action requesting rescission of the contract of sale and for damages for fraudulent misrepresentation by Ackley and Ellis Realty. Stambovsky did not attend the closing which caused him to forfeit the downpayment (although he was then not obligated to buy the house). A New York Supreme Court (trial court) dismissed the action, and Stambovsky appealed.

  3 comments for “House buyer refuses to complete sale due to ghosts

  1. idoubtit
    January 28, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Wondering… why don’t they just go through with the damn sale and resell now that it’s “famous”.

    Good marketing move.

    Also, many ghost hunting type groups would come in and “certify” a place is haunted. It’s quite a gimmick. Works great for businesses looking to attract those kinds of customers who want to scare themselves over every anomaly.

  2. January 28, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    As noted in the update, there is in fact a fair amount of paranormal-addressing law (see link at bottom of this reply), ranging from government policies on UFOs, to licensing of psychics, to protection for cryptids, to yes, even disclosure requirements for haunted houses.

    But that last one really makes the point. It isn’t whether the house is haunted. But whether the house has a reputation for being haunted. Just as with an infamous event such as a murder, it becomes a question of whether the house has a social stigma attached to it.

    In this principle, we shades of the revelation last year that the U.S. State Department issued diplomatic directives regarding Yeti-hunting expeditions in Nepal. This has nothing to do with whether the State Department has ever thought about the Yeti, and has everything to do with a bunch of Americans carrying equipment, including potential surveillance and intelligence gathering gear and perhaps weapons, and acting in a very public manner, in a foreign country. It would be foolish not to make it clear that such groups should be careful, should be respectful of the local government, and try as well to minimize the chance for fatal incident that could have diplomatic repercussions, by suggesting the beast be captured or photographed, and not shot.

    And not part of the global coverup of remnant hominids or Gigantopithecus that will expose the alien manipulation of human ancestry, a conspiracy theory I am not making up, sadly.

  3. Massachusetts
    January 28, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    I was at a weekly networking meeting in Massachusetts a few months ago and a lawyer got up to speak. She mentioned that in Massachusetts you are not legally required to reveal an alleged haunting to a buyer, so here at least, there would be no legal way for the buyer to back out after the legal documents are signed.

    Regarding noises, I assume that an old European house would have a lot of settling sounds, plus possible infestations of vermin that would make noises that some might find strange or disturbing.

    I’ve also heard that some gases, like carbon monoxide, if present at non-lethal levels, may trigger hallucinations that might contribute to ghost story lore for a particular home. Perhaps before calling a ghost buster team a home owner should call exterminators and environmental health experts instead?

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