Culture Scan

At the intersection of real estate, media, and pop culture.

True Tales of Terror in Real Estate Part 2: The House Cleansed Itself of Its Evil Mojo

We asked our readers for their scariest experiences in real estate, and the horrifying stories poured in. We shared a few of the most frightening, but we can’t get enough. Halloween is one of our favorite holidays, and to stay in the “spirit” as long as we can, we’ve decided to bring you more of your fellow practitioners’ freakiest moments on the job.

This batch of tales are more the eerie kind. They’re not so much about actual paranormal activity in homes — but they’re the kind of situations you’ll be happier to read about than experience yourself. Here’s part two of our favorite scary stories from real estate professionals.

  • I was working on-site sales a few years back and had an agent check out a unit for one of her clients. She called to tell me the door was wide open when she arrived. Obviously, I was confused because we never left anything unsecured. So I went to check it out and after looking everywhere in the condo, I opened a closet and a man rushed out past me and out the door. Apparently, he broke in and had friends over the night before. It was actually funny after the fact but could have turned out pretty bad — especially for the agent that went in before me. —Kevin Gallagher, Keller Williams Realty, Charleston, S.C.
  • I listed a home in which a well-publicized murder had recently taken place. Everyone knew about this stigmatized property, and other agents were asking me, “Did you know this was the house where that guy was killed?” The house was on the market for a couple of weeks with little activity when one day, a neighbor called me to tell me there was sewage running down the driveway. Come to find out, the city was doing work on the old sewer lines on that street, and it backed up into my listing. No other home in the area was affected. The city hired a restoration company to pretty much gut the place, removing the hardwood flooring, cabinets, appliances and 18 inches of the bottom of the drywall throughout the entire house. The company did a great job, and weeks later, the place looked completely remodeled. It sold within a week! I truly believe the house “cleansed itself” — with sewage — of the evil mojo that was lurking there. —Lauren Sato, CRS, GRI, Revelation Real Estate, Chandler, Ariz.
  • When I started selling real estate, I was showing a property in winter, and it was getting dark pretty early. The home was vacant and did not have utilities connected. My buyer was looking in a room and ran out screaming, “I saw a floating head!” We went back the next day to see the home in daylight — and there were three men in the house passed out. We also saw needles on the floor! I have not walked in a dark house since that day. —Myra Dennis, GRI, SRS, Terrain Realty, McAllen, Texas
  • I toured a bank-owned property with my clients that had numerous rooms with blackened walls, a few jars with unrecognizable items on the kitchen window ledge, a tightly wrapped bag hanging from the door between the house and garage, a serrated knife in a room made under the stairs in the basement. Very confused, one of my buyers decided to wait in the car while the other completed the tour. All the strange items made more sense when we looked in the shed, where a voodoo-looking shrine was still intact. As we turned to leave, we saw a sacrificed chicken in a bucket. After the showing, I advised the to send someone out to clear the property. Definitely one of the strangest showings ever. —Jennifer Hafer, SRS, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, Bethlehem, Pa.
  • I was taking my buyers through a “teardown” property, and there was an outside staircase that went to the “office.” We got up there and looked around, and when we went into the bathroom and pulled back the shower curtain, there was a jean jacket hanging up with red splatters all over it. I seriously freaked out, thinking it was blood, and my buyer took a closer look and said it was red paint. But I still have my doubts! —Danielle LaCrosse, d’aprile properies, Hinsdale, Ill.
  • I showed a brand-new home and found a pair of black and red panties wadded up on the master bathroom floor. Not creepy in the scary sense, but creepy in the “who was in here?” sense. I took a picture of them and sent it to the listing agent and teased her for a solid week. —Paula Brahan, ABR, CRS, Realty Executives, Hattiesburg, Miss.
  • I had a seller proudly show me his collection of children’s coffins he kept in his dirty, moldy basement. I was so creeped out by the guy that I didn’t take the listing. —John Ravenscraft, Ravenscraft Realty, Hannibal, Mo.
  • One evening, I was reviewing photos I had taken of a creepy foreclosed home earlier in the day. There was a snake I hadn’t noticed on the floor in the photo of the master bedroom. I was so surprised; I zoomed in and sure enough, there it was! I was glad it was the last photo I took before leaving because I know if I had noticed it, I would have run out of there never to return. —Christine Clausen, SFR, Century 21 Lee Real Estate, Ingleside, Texas


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