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Survey: 13% of Owners Think Their House Is Haunted

While 1 in 3 Americans say they don’t want to live in a haunted house, over 10% say they have shadows, hot-cold spots, odd pet behavior and a “feel” in certain rooms.

SANTA CLARA, Calif.  – Haunted houses are popular attractions this time of year, but most Americans say they wouldn’t consider living in one. However, a majority of those who believe they currently live in a home that is haunted say the spooky happenings they’ve experienced are not reason enough to move, according to realtor.com’s annual Halloween survey released today.

A realtor.com annual Halloween survey of more than 2,000 Americans found that 13% believe they live in a home that is haunted, and a majority of them – 54% – knew or suspected the house was haunted before moving in. However, most (62%) said they’re not likely to consider buying a home rumored to be haunted. Still, of that 13% who believe they share space with spectral residents, 56% have not considered moving.

“Haunted houses typically draw big crowds this time of year, but we wanted to see how many people actually believe they live in one,” says Lexie Holbert, realtor.com housing and lifestyle expert. “Although only a small percentage of respondents indicated they believe their home is haunted, it was surprising to see how many are perfectly comfortable sharing their space with spirits from the world beyond.”

The West led the nation with the most respondents who believe they live in a haunted home at 18%, followed by 13% in the Northeast, 11% in the Midwest and 10% in the South.

Of those who suspected their house was haunted prior to moving in, Northeasterners were most comfortable living with spirits at 76%, followed by those in the West at (57%), the South (51%) and the Midwest (35%).

When the 13% who believe their homes is haunted were asked to describe the spooky things that occur, strange noises topped the list at 44%, followed by:

  • Shadows – 38%
  • Hot and cold spots – 37%
  • The feel of certain rooms – 34%
  • Odd pet behavior – 30%
  • Items moving – 29% (tie)
  • The feel of being touched – 29% (tie)
  • Levitating objects – 17%

According to survey results, the spirits make their presence known in different ways depending on geography. Regionally, here’s what topped the list of ghoulish sensory exploits:

  • Northeast – Feel of the room (41%), shadows (34%), strange noises (33%)
  • Midwest – Strange noises (57%), shadows (37%), items moving and hot and cold spots (36%) (tie)
  • South – Strange noises (58%), shadows (48%), the feel of a certain room (44%)
  • West – Hot and cold spots (38%), strange noises and shadows (33%) (tie), the feeling of being touched (28%)

About half of the men surveyed (54%) said they’re unlikely to consider living in a house rumored to be haunted compared to 70% of women. People aged 55 and over were most unlikely to consider living in a haunted house (64%), followed closely by those aged 18-34 (62%) and 35-54-year-olds (59%).

When asked about a discounted home price for the haunting, a number of people suggested that something in the 10% range would make them consider a haunted house – but one in four respondents (23%) ages 18 to 24 said no discount would be enough.

© 2020 Florida Realtors®