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Question #90827 posted on 01/23/2018 11:02 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

When I was in New Orleans a couple of years ago I saw home for sale signs with wordings on them such as Haunted or Not Haunted. Last week I saw a comment on Facebook saying that in New Orleans it's the law to disclose whether a home on the market is haunted or not. Is this true? How did the most haunted city in America come to this legal issue?

-Gentrification Thing


Dear Gentrification,

From what I was able to find, putting Haunted and Not Haunted on signs seems like it mostly started as a joke by the realtor Finish Shelnutt (even though he apparently does believe there's a grain of truth to the Haunted houses). He seems to have a pretty big real estate company, though, so his signs have probably made a pretty big splash, and I wouldn't be surprised if other people started copying him, just for the attention that it draws. New Orleans has a huge ghost tour business, so I would imagine it might actually be a draw to buy a "haunted house."

And according to some lady (who's not a lawyer), it doesn't appear to be a legal requirement to disclose whether a house is haunted or not, at least in Louisiana. Psychologically Impacted Property is the term for houses that have been the site of a homicide, a felony, or a suicide, and each state has different laws about whether or not that history has to be revealed when the house goes on the market. In Louisiana, it's up to the goodness of the person selling the house to tell any potential buyers whether or not something like a murder or suicide happened in the house that may affect its haunted status.