Ridiculous Claim: Ghost-Free Certification
Tis the season! It is October, and Halloween is right around the corner. Time for ghosts, goblins, and devils to make their annual appearances … and I wish I was referring to just trick-or-treating. No, unfortunately, there are still too many adults who cling to beliefs in such creatures even though there has never been, nor is there ever likely to be, any evidence of any legitimate paranormal activity.
In the United Kingdom, there is an online realtor, House Network, offering a “Ghost-Free Certification service” for homeowners to prove that their houses aren’t haunted. From the article by CNET:
“Research has shown that properties which are suspected to be haunted can retail for as much as 20 percent lower than the market value … The process of getting your house checked out involves answering a questionnaire about whether objects turn on by themselves or if there are unexplained whispers. Cameras and “readings” also come into play, and creepy dolls and old photographs get extra scrutiny.”
What we have here is an outright scam with three components: paranormal “researchers”, a compliant realty company, and a gullible public willing to pay. This is a dangerous combination for potential homebuyers because the paranormalists are using this as an opportunity to score legitimacy points to their entirely illegitimate practices, and the realty company, like any other business, is trying to sell as much merchandise as possible and will, apparently, stop at nothing to make a few extra home sales based on the irrational fears of their potential customers.
Are there any laws forbidding this kind of sales approach? Perhaps, but the lawyers for House Network seem satisfied enough with a disclaimer that comes along with this special “service”:
“House Network cannot be held responsible for the results of the investigations, effect to the property’s price or failure to sell.”
So you get no guarantees of anything, except the privilege of paying anywhere from $150US to $765US for the “service”. This is a case where belief in the paranormal can have a real impact on your wallet.