Is it fair for the home seller to keep from the buyer something bad that happened? A bloody massacre might be one thing, but what about an elderly person dying in his or her sleep, or someone killed in a car accident in the street?
Old and/or spooky homes are often claimed to have resident spirits - ghosts of those who lived and died there over the years. However simple math suggests that unless you are the first or second owner of a home, it's likely that someone probably died either in your home or nearby at some point.
If someone believes houses are haunted by violent or untimely deaths, or people dying with "unfinished business" (whatever that means), then there should be literally billions of ghosts all around us. In fact recent research demonstrates that the dead outnumber the living; according to Carl Haub, a demographer with the Population Reference Bureau, only about 6.5 percent of the number of people who have ever lived are alive today.
Beliefs about ghosts and the dead have been influenced by pop culture, such as the 1982 horror film Poltergeist, in which a family is haunted and attacked by spirits of the dead buried under their new home. Perhaps the most famous haunted house was at 112 Ocean Ave., in Amityville, N.Y., where soon after moving into a new home a family claimed they encountered supernatural evil. The homeowners said doors were ripped from hinges and cabinets slammed closed, and they reported slime oozing from the ceilings, and demonic faces threatening the family.