Monday, October 25, 2010

Buyer beware – part 3

Following on from the first two parts, our third house that gave the new owners more than they bargained for.  In the 1960s, Helen and George Ackley bought a large Victorian house in Nyack, NY.

The house in Nyack, photo via Atlas Obscura

Over the years, the Ackleys find that the house is haunted, but it doesn’t bother them too greatly.  Around 1990, the Ackleys decide to sell the house, but neglect to advertise any stories of ghosts.  After all, nobody had mentioned it to them.

It turns out that their buyer felt differently.  With their $32,000 deposit in escrow, they hear from a local architect “Oh, you’re buying the haunted house”.  They turn around and remove their offer, and then start legal proceedings to regain their deposit.  In what became known as “the Ghostbusters trial”, the courts agreed with them finding that, in the absence of some reasonable way for it to be found during house inspections, the owners were obligated to divulge the presence of a ghost.

Although, really, how could this home not be haunted?  Reviewing the facts:

  1. It’s a 5,000 square foot rambling Victorian house with three full levels, basement, and attic.
  2. It’s on a dead-end street.
  3. It’s on the banks of the Hudson River, and not far from Sleepy Hollow.

A nice setup for a light-hearted Ghostbusters game: the team are reduced to doing pre-purchase home inspections with Egon’s latest device that both takes PKE readings and detects rising damp, when one house shows up something unexpected.

Alternatively, some one has bought a haunted house and starts legal proceedings against the people that were involved in the sale.  The players take the roles of the real-estate agents, lawyers, architects, engineers and the like who are defending the case and find themselves drawn into a situation far stranger than they expected.

No comments:

Post a Comment