Haunting real-estate deals

Replica of The Haunted Mansion for sale by

I was never one for haunted houses. Real life held enough terror. My first grade teacher wore a frightening black habit with wispy veils that floated behind her like shadowy spirits. Around her waist hung a giant rosary, a brass key ring, and full-size scissors on a long metal chain as though she might, on a whim, snip off a child’s nose. She clanked when she walked like the ghost of Marley.

The old school had wooden floorboards that creaked beneath the weight of our feet. We sat at ornate cast iron desks bolted in place in rigid rows. The place smelled always of dust and wax and Murphy Oil Soap.

In the early days of autumn and late afternoons of spring when the classroom grew unbearably stuffy, the old nun led processions of obedient children two-by-two past the bell tower and through the pioneer graveyard. We were allowed to sit on the green grass beneath elm trees and read. We were not allowed to lean against the headstones of the dead. I tried not to think of the people buried six feet below.

When the bell rang we were transported by orange school bus from 1856 back to the 1960s to blocks of identical ranch style homes with televisions tuned to Gilligan’s Island, Star Trek and The Brady Bunch.

A lot of us love to be scared. Some of us pay for the privilege at movies and fake spooky houses.

But would they dare to buy one of these haunted houses listed by Top Ten Real Estate Deals? It includes the homes of truly scary people such as suspected ax murderer Lizzy Borden, $650,00, and some cutesy scary places like a 10,000 square foot replica of the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. The copy is in Georgia and listed at $873,000 by, I kid you not, There’s also a grand 62,000 square foot home in New Jersey built in 1893 going for almost $5 million even though, local folklore has it, was once the site of a horrific murder spree by a whacked-out Mother Superior. In fairness, history does not support these tales but why let a few facts get in the way of a spooktacular sale?

And for those who want to scared closer to home, there’s Oregon Haunted Houses which lists several pay-per-spook places around the state.

Vivian McInerny is Managing Editor of Oregon Home.