· In the midst of peak house buying season, a new study reveals that haunted houses sell for 17% less than the UK average, knocking a staggering £38,574 off the average UK property price
· Findings could severely affect 23% of the population (6.26 million households) who believe their house is haunted
· Half of Brits (55%) say they’d be put off buying a house if they suspected ‘spooky goings on’
· Public reveal the bizarre techniques they’ve used to ward off evil spirits their homes; from performing banishing spells to burning sage
· The groundbreaking study from leading statistician Dr Geoff Ellis was commissioned to celebrate the new series Help! My House is Haunted, airing weekly on Fridays at 10pm on TV channel Really
With the property market busiest during the summer months, a groundbreaking new study has revealed that haunted houses and properties linked to supernatural phenomena are likely to lose 17% of their value; equal to a staggering £38,574 of the average UK property price when it comes to selling.
The world first paranormal property study was specially commissioned by TV channel Really to celebrate the new series Help! My House is Haunted airing weekly on Fridays at 10pm and available to stream on UKTV Play.
The research team led by acclaimed statistician Dr Geoff Ellis analysed the sale price of 25 British haunted houses that have been sold in the last 50 years and compared the sale prices to those of similar properties (in terms of location and style) without any supernatural history. The findings were then supplemented with further detail from a poll of 2000 British adults to give a compelling overview of the real cost of owning a haunted house in the UK today.
The gloomy findings are set to send a shockwave through the 23% of British adults who believe their houses are haunted, equating to a staggering 6.26 million households witnessing a scary depreciation in price.
The study revealed that well over half of the respondents (55%) say they’d be put off buying a haunted house, whilst 28% of British property buyers have felt a spooky presence when viewing a house, which has put them off buying.
Shockingly nearly half of the country (49%) admit that they have experienced some form of unexplained paranormal activity, with the most commonly reported occurrences being: hearing unexplained noises or whispers (23%), pets acting weirdly (18%), strange shadows (18%), lights turning on and off (14%), or furniture moving unexpectedly (9%).
In the UK, June, July and August are the busiest months for property transactions as buyers flood onto the market, spurred on by the good weather.
Given the results, it was perhaps unsurprising to find that three quarters of Brits (78%) polled would lie to their estate agent to cover up the fact their house was haunted to avoid the financial consequences.
Adam Collings, channel director of UKTV Really, said: “It’s staggering how much money could be wiped-off the value of your property, should you feel your house is haunted; and eye-opening to see just how many of us have experienced spooky goings-on at home.
The research suggests it’s probably a good idea to keep your eyes peeled for paranormal activity when viewing a property, as your new house could become a very bad investment when you come to sell it, should it be found to be haunted.”
Some of the bizarre tactics Brits have used to try and rid their homes of ghosts or spirits include talking to them directly (13%), cleansing the house of bad energy by lighting candles (8%) and having a religious figure bless their house (7%). Five percent of Brits also claim to have performed a banishing spell to encourage unwanted spooky residents to leave a property and the same number have resorted to a technique called ‘smudging’, which involves burning sage to ward off evil spirits.
The study revealed that six in ten (60%) Brits believe in ghosts and a third (39%) have reported seeing a ghost. A staggering 67% also claim to know someone who’s experienced some sort of paranormal activity. In fact, 64% of Brits believe their pets can see ghosts or spirits that humans aren’t able to.
The most likely area in the home to see a ghost is under the stairs, reported by 44% of those who’ve seen a ghost in their property. Other rooms that rank highly for ghost sightings include the hallway (40%), bathroom (33%), cellar and bedroom (19%).
Brits have also experienced feelings in the home that have given them the creeps including: the feeling that someone else is in an empty room with them (24%), the feeling of being watched (22%) and hairs standing up on the back of their neck for no apparent reason (17%).
New series Help! My House is Haunted on TV channel Really, features leading experts in the paranormal Barri Ghai, Sandy Lakdar and Chris Fleming from the UK, US and France respectively, who come to the aid of homeowners across Europe who fear their house is haunted. To celebrate the new series, they’ve provided their top tips for Brits to look out for, if they suspect their house to be haunted.
10 top signs your house might be haunted:
- Feeling of being watched when alone
- Feeling a sudden and inexplicable change in temperature; or a sudden static/electrical charge in the air
- Household objects mysteriously disappearing and then reappearing in different places
- Hearing unexplained whispers, footsteps, thuds or someone calling your name
- Seeing shadows or movements out the corner of your eye
- Frequent electrical problems; such as lights inexplicably turning on or off, or appliances not working or acting up
- Feeling of being touched by unseen hands
- Unusual smells such as unexplained perfume scents, flowers, cigars, cigarettes, food or even the stench of death & decay
- Waking up unexpectedly between 3am and 4am; sensing dread, fear or feeling like you’re being watched
- Feeling of grief or sadness in specific rooms or areas of the house
Barri Ghai, paranormal investigator on Help! My House is Haunted, said: “As an avid ghost-hunter and paranormal enthusiast, I’ve seen the damage having a paranormal inhabitant can do to your house value – it has even been known to make some houses unsellable. After visiting hundreds of haunted houses across the globe, it was great to collaborate with two of the other world’s leading ghost-hunters, Sandy Lakdar and Chris Fleming, and take on the challenge of locating paranormal activity in houses in the UK and further afield for our new TV show, Help! My House is Haunted.”
Britain’s Haunted Homes:
One of the properties included in the study, 30 East Drive, Pontefract is often described as the most haunted house in Britain, despite from the outside appearing to be an unremarkable dwelling. When the house was sold in 2012 it fetched £80,000, comparable to £91,583 at today's prices. This can be compared to £134,995 that another (almost identical) property on the same road sold for.
Another property, The Cage in St Osyth, Essex has been on the market since 2017 with owner Vanessa Mitchell unable to sell it due to its spooky history and ghost sightings. She bought the property in 2004 without knowing details of its haunted past, but was forced to flee in 2008 after strange and frightening things started happening.
Celebrities have also fallen for the charms of a haunted houses. Actor Nicholas Cage paid $3.5m in 2006 to buy what was New Orleans’ most haunted house, LaLaurie Mansion, however claimed that no one ever slept there while he owned it. He lost it to foreclosure in 2009.
Alongside residential homes, the buildings that Brits think are most likely to be haunted are castles (56%), stately homes (49%), churches (45%), hospitals (44%) and prisons (40%).
Help! My House is Haunted is airing weekly on Fridays, 10pm on Really
Catch-up with the first episode, available to stream now on UKTV Play https://uktvplay.uktv.co.uk/
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Notes to anyone interested: The study into haunted house prices was conducted by Dr Geoff Ellis in July 2018. The sale price of 25 haunted houses that have all been sold in the last 50 years were compared with the sale price of similar properties without any super-natural history. The survey of 2,000 Brits was conducted in July 2018, on behalf of UKTV. There are 27.2m households in the UK, according to ONS data (2017). The average house price in the UK is £226,906, according to the Government UK House Price Index (April 2018) June, July and August were found to be the busiest months for residential property transactions in the UK, according to Estate agent Emoov (February 2018)
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