According to recent surveys about 18% of Americans do. Of course, another survey says that nearly 30% of Americans believe in haunted houses. Clearly, the numbers don’t quite add up.
What to say about that ghost in your house
The questionable nature of hauntings means that it’s not an official check mark on papers when you sell your house. Although if the buyer asks if the house is haunted, the seller must confess. In some places, including Bath, England, any knowledge of a ghost or ghostly activity must be detailed on the seller’s forms. This means that once a house is sold with a ghost, it’s there forever, so fess up now or be in trouble later.
Ready to admit your ghost story?
I have a theory that most people don’t want to say that they believe in ghosts, at least when asked out of the blue. However, when confronted with another person’s ghostly experience they are more willing to contribute their own stories. I’m an example of this. Years ago, in the down time between interviews for morning show TV spots around Halloween, the interviewer asked if I believed in ghosts. He was a youngish, tough guy kind of guy and I fumbled around for an answer, saying something like, well, I don’t not believe. Lame, but it was 5:15 am and I’m not a morning person.
That was enough. He launched straight into a detailed explanation of his own experience with a ghost in the early morning hours at a small TV station in rural Kentucky. I’d misjudged his believer status entirely.
I grew up in a house built around 1820. Houses from that era have witnessed births and deaths and a whole lot of living in between. Add to this, this house was used as a hospital for a short while during the Civil War (although I’d say a more accurate description than hospital would be a place for the wounded to die). Did we have ghosts? If you ask, I’d say no.
On the other hand, one night when I was home visiting from college, I woke in the middle of the night and saw a dark figure in the corner of my bedroom. I was literally paralyzed with fear, but could see time advance on the digital clock. I lay like that for hours. Did I really see a specter? Who knows. All I do know for certain, is that the image has remained with me.
Have you had a ghostly encounter?