Agent Essentials

Shop Talk - The Real Estate Agent Podcast

Real Estate Agent Podcast Episode 77: Haunted Houses, Part III

Episode 77: Haunted Houses, Part III
October 14, 2021

The traditions of haunted houses and elaborate tricks for thrill date back to ancient times of protecting the dead and sharing scary stories for religious conversion, which led to the advent of Halloween as we know it today.

All of a sudden, I saw Maggie’s body jerk forward then backward, and she fell about four steps before hitting the landing.

Rose Gonzalez

About This Episode

Haunted houses and the unexplainable events that accompany them often draw us closer rather than pushing us away. As a society, fear and superstition allure us and enchant us. 

This third installment of haunted house stories includes true stories from real estate agents just like you. If you find yourself selling a petrifying property like the ones described in this episode, we’re here to help. And for more spooky stories, read our blog, if you dare…

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Episode Transcript

BRETT: Autumn has arrived and there’s a chill in the air. Whether it’s a cool fall breeze or a spiritual entity sending a chill up your spine, it’s that time of year where ghosts and goblins flood our imaginations.

After yet another crazy year, we could all use some rest, relaxation, and comedic relief. But before the spooky month of October is behind us, we wanted to kick back and have some frightening fun.

BRETT: We sent out a request to all of our real estate students for their scariest haunted house stories. From the responses, we put together this episode, along with a blog post, which is linked in our show notes. Grab your pumpkin spiced treats and listen to these haunted house stories sent into us by real estate agents just like you.

BRETT: Hello and welcome to Shop Talk: The Real Estate Show. I’m Brett Van Alstine, and in this episode, you’ll hear nefarious narratives of eerie presences and ghostly grabs. These unexplained phenomena sometimes occur during open houses, inspections, or as new homebuyers move in.

BRETT: Our first story comes from Rose in San Antonio, Texas, and is read by Jon Forisha, Content Director here at The CE Shop.

JON: An agent, Maggie Wickwire, and I went to support another agent, Josette Gonzales, at her open house in Monticello Park, an older neighborhood in San Antonio. When I walked into

the house, I immediately felt a presence, and I brought it to the attention of the listing agent, Josette.

JON: She stated it was an older home and it could possibly be a ghost. Maggie stated she didn’t believe in ghosts. Jokingly, I said, “Ok ghost, I know you are here. Give Maggie a sign you are in this house.” We all laughed and continued touring the home. While touring, Maggie started going downstairs, and Josette and I were at the top of the stairs. All of a sudden, I saw Maggie’s body jerk forward then backward, and she fell about four steps before the landing. She turned around like Chucky’s head and said, “You pushed me!” But we couldn’t have pushed her since we were at the top of the stairs. Josette told her it was probably the ghost! Terrified, we left immediately.

BRETT: Did you know that haunted house attractions across the U.S. generate between $300 - $500 million in ticket sales annually? Currently, there are over 1,200 professional haunted houses, 300 theme parks that operate horror-themed events, and over 3,000 charity-run spook shows across the nation.

BRETT: Our next story comes from Grace in New Orleans, Louisiana, and is read by Patrick Furlong, Technical SEO Specialist at The CE Shop.

PATRICK: I was doing a final inspection on a two-family property in New Orleans. The buyer wanted to live in one unit and rent out the other. The second unit already had tenants in it, and the buyer needed to decide whether to let them stay or try to find a new home.

As the inspector and I surveyed the rental unit (which she said was filthy, smelled foul, and was also littered with “satanic decor”), I came upon a door hidden behind a drape, a door I hadn’t noticed during my previous tours of the property. Behind it, there was an out-of-place clean room with strange objects I had never seen before. But to my dismay, the inspector recognized the tools and clued me in to what was going on. It was a room devoted to sacrificing animals… apparently part of some religious seance. Not surprisingly, my buyers lost interest in the property immediately.

I’ve had my fair share of odd encounters working with homes in New Orleans, but that experience takes the cake.

BRETT: While we’re constantly finding new things to be afraid of, we are not the first. The Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans enacted frightening situations for a variety of reasons across the millennia.

BRETT: For example, the Egyptians knew how to protect the deceased well and wanted to keep body snatchers away from the tombs. The best way to do that was to scare them. Mazes, moving walls, self-opening doors, traps, and the use of snakes and insects were common in proactively preserving treasures and dead royalty.

BRETT: The Greeks and Romans focused on the frivolous side of fear and set the scene for haunted attractions as we know them today. Their folklore is rich with mazes and labyrinths, filled with monsters guarding the gates to riches. And as theater became a vital part of the culture, these avid entertainers began devising special effects to represent monsters and beasts. They were also pioneers when it came to theatrical devices that would invoke chills with spooky elements still used in haunted houses today, including fog, trapdoors, ghostly images, and even fake blood.

BRETT: Perhaps you won’t be surprised to learn that many of the traditions we practice today were born in the Dark Ages. What is surprising is that Christians helped progress the evolution of the haunted house. Between the 1300s and 1500s, Europe was beginning a massive conversion to the practice of Christianity. Pageant wagons toured the land performing plays and spreading the word of the Bible through acted out stories. They discovered that the grizzlier parts of their tales stuck with audience members more than anything else. Though these ghostly acts were intended to frighten folks into following the Good Word, the attendees enjoyed the scares and gore more than the morals.

BRETT: During this era of religious transition, Halloween continued to evolve. The holiday was born out of Celtic and pagan religions, and the European masses carried these practices with them as they converted to Christianity. Carving pumpkins, bobbing for apples, dressing up in costumes, and even trick -or-treating were all pagan practices that continued on. Here’s a fun fact: Originally, people carved turnips to represent spirits and demons on Halloween. It was believed that hanging these carvings outside would protect your home for the night. When the European settlers came to the New World, they found very few turnips but discovered that pumpkins grew everywhere and were much easier to carve. Thus, the jack o’ lantern was born.

BRETT: Fast forward to 19th-century London, when haunted houses began taking shape as we enjoy them today. In 1802, Marie Tussaud scared British audiences with exhibitions of wax sculptures featuring decapitated famous figures such as King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. When Tussaud set up a permanent London exhibition, she named her creepy collection the "Chamber of Horrors", a name that has stuck to this day.

BRETT: After the break, we’ll hear our last haunted house story and the REALTOR that had an unforgettable experience when inspecting a home.

BRETT: Don’t let these haunted stories scare you away from a career in real estate. After all, the opportunities and earning potential offered in this career are too sweet to pass up. This isn’t a trick, treat yourself to online courses from the comfort of your home. The CE Shop has online Pre-Licensing courses that are mobile friendly and available to you whenever you want to learn. Use promo code SHOPTALK for 25% off your real estate courses.

BRETT: This next story is from Diane in Floral Park, New York, and is read by Krista Reuther, Content Editor at The CE Shop.

KRISTA: I was inspecting a new listing with some of my Sales agents and knew the house was vacant. It was lovely, upscale, and well kept. As soon as I entered the house, I stopped to look around and this strange feeling came over me. I began to hyperventilate, and my head began to spin. I walked into the dining room for a moment but had to leave the house to get some air.

KRISTA: I went outside and sat in my car until I felt better, but did not reenter the house. I later learned that the previous owner’s husband had returned from a business trip and when he entered, he heard his wife on the phone with someone with whom she was having an intimate conversation. He went upstairs with a knife in his hand, and they argued. After the argument escalated, he stabbed her several times as she was running down the steps. She died at the entrance to the house in the spot where I felt ill when I first came in.

KRISTA: Several years later, I was invited to a dinner party at the home of a relative and as we entered the dining room, I began to hyperventilate and the room felt like it was spinning. I noticed the color of the dining room set before my cousin led me into another room to sit down for a moment. At that time, I asked if she had bought the dining room furniture through a tag sale. She said yes, and I asked if it was held at the house I had the strange reaction to. She was shocked and said yes. So, somehow I felt something eerie, strange, and very disconcerting when I encountered both the house and the furniture, despite years having passed. It was a very strange sensation and quite interesting the “presence” had stayed with the furniture and not just inside the home.

BRETT: Following such a harrowing tale, you might be asking yourself, how do I remove spirits from a home? The recommended methods might surprise you:

Ask nicely for the spirit to leave. After this, do your best to ignore the ghost. Much like a school bully, they want you to react.

Perform a smudge with sage or palo santo. The smoke has purifying qualities that can help clear a home of spirits.

Sprinkle salt at the entrance of the home.

Place white roses in the home. When the petals dry up, throw them out immediately.

Research the spirit. Try to learn who they are and what they might want.

Call a professional. Consider hiring a psychic, medium, or priest to inspect the property and work their magic.

BRETT: If you’re selling a paranormal property or a decrepit home fit for hauntings, the unexplained and often unimaginable is bound to happen. After all, in real estate, anything goes, and veteran agen have surely seen their fair share of creaky floors, odd oozings, and perhaps uninvited guests during open houses. Always remember, there’s a buyer for every home, even if it’s in need of some sage smudging and TLC.

Brett: That’s it for this episode, thanks for listening! If you enjoyed the podcast, you can subscribe to us and leave a review on your podcast player of choice. Shop Talk is a production of The CE Shop.