Gone are the days where ghostly manifestations will stigmatize the sale of a haunted home.
According to realtor.com's 2013 "Haunted Housing Report," more than half of American home buyers are open to buying a spooky abode.
Sixty-two percent, to be exact, of nearly 1,400 respondents indicated they would consider buying a haunted home in a realtor.com survey that ran on their website from Sept. 25 to Oct. 1. That's up 30 percent from last year's figures!
While the news might prompt some sellers to flaunt their haunt, living in a haunted house is not all it's cracked up to be, according to Carmen Reed (formerly Carmen Snedeker).
"At first I thought it would be a neat Halloween conversation piece, but it didn't turn out that way," Reed said in a telephone interview with HuffPost.
Reed and her family were the basis for the 2009 horror film, "The Haunting In Connecticut."
In 1986, Reed and her family moved from Monticello, N.Y, to Southington, Conn., where they rented an old home. The move was prompted by the need to get their son, who was battling Hodgkin's disease, closer to the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, where he was receiving treatment.
It was not until after the move, Reed said, that her family discovered the home had once been a funeral parlor.
"We found a lot of stuff that had been left behind," she said. "There were coffin pillows, a [coffin trolley], pictures of the deceased, toe tags, a blood tank and a body lift that went up into our bedroom."
According to Reed, her son and other family members were the first to experience strange occurrences. It was not until sometime after the move that she realized there was a supernatural force inside the home.
"I saw a hand go up my niece's shirt," Reed recounted. "There was a perfect imprint of the wrist bone, knuckles, joints and fingernails. It laughed a hideous laugh when it went above her shirt and out the window. I scooped her up and ran into the dining room and called the Catholic Church."
Reed said that while a number of other horrific events occurred -- some of which are detailed in the movie -- it was the subtle hauntings that caused her the most fear.
- "I'd hear popcorn popping and I would smell it, but I'd go into the kitchen and I couldn't find it."
- "I'd be downstairs doing laundry and I'd hear footsteps on the stairs or someone calling 'Mom,' but when I looked, no one was there."
- "A phone would be heard ringing in the basement where the mortuary used to be, but we couldn't find it."
- "I would put the dishes on the table and then they would appear back in the cabinet. I did not see them move or float back to the cabinet but they would be there."
- "I got goose bumps -- I called them the heebie-jeebies -- in the house all the time."
- "I'd see something out [of] the corner of my eye -- something scurrying across the floor -- and there would be nothing there."
"In lots of ways, the subtle reality of spirits in a house [is] much more frightening than the things that slap you in the face," Reed said. "They get your adrenaline going and the fear builds to a crescendo. Those things can also cause you to think you are losing your mind."
Reed said she also suffered a number of nightmares while she was living in the home, but is not certain if they were caused by the haunting or things she was experiencing at the time.
"I was going through a dark time," she said. "My father had just been murdered, my son had cancer and my sister had just found out she was HIV positive. I can't say for sure if my dreams were related to the house. Sometimes I wonder if they happened because of the house, but I hate to give it that kind of power. It's one of those things I don't have the answers to, so for me to say anything is absolute is impossible."
"It took four hours and there were several priests involved, but I am not permitted to discuss it because I signed an agreement that I would never divulge the ritual," she said. "When they were done, the difference in the house was amazing and it was completely clean."
Now it should be noted that in 2009, investigator Joe Nickell reported in the May/June issue of Skeptical Inquirer magazine that the Snedekers' landlady said she found the family's story ridiculous. She also said no one before or since the Reeds had experienced anything unusual in the house.
Nevertheless, Reed stands behind her accounts.
Truth or fiction? That's for you to decide. However, if a haunted house is on your shopping list, you may just want to give it a little more thought. If not for the sake of our words, perhaps because of Carmen Reed's.
"It was a horrible thing to go through," she said before hanging up the phone.
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