When I was handling the sale of my mother’s Arizona home after her death, the real estate agent and I were perched on the kitchen counters doing the paperwork, because the furniture had already been moved out.
Working through a long sale-listing questionnaire, I came to a question asking if the property were haunted. “You’re kidding!” I said.
“Oh no,” he said. “That’s Arizona law. You have to disclose if the house might be haunted. It’s based on a court case from some years back.”
I checked “No.”
But what if you are the buyer? You have found, perhaps, your perfect restoration project. “Everything is going smoothly until your electrician meets you at the top of the basement stairs and tells you you’re going to have to find another electrician. He’s not going down in the basement again. Ever.”
So writes M. Elwell Romancito in a recent issue of Enchanted Homes, a slick magazine of Taos, New Mexico-area real estate ads published by the Taos News. Also known as Melody Romancito, she is an artist, muscian, journalist, audio-video editor, ghost hunter and exorcist, which just goes to show that to live the bohemian life in a place like Taos, you need a few arrows in your quiver.
Her suggestions range from tidying tools and clearing remodeling trash (“This goes a long toward appeasing spirits who take to hiding tools.”) to keeping a journal of times, dates, and nature of each paranormal occurrance.
Antique furniture should also be regarded with suspicion: “Inquire about the history of an item before buying it.”
While “several locals have reported that bringing in Tibetan Buddhists for a house clearing . . . has been effective,” if things get tough, contact some other religious leader or “do a Google search for ‘Taos psychic medium.'”
I tried that and got 10,600 hits. Of course, a lot of them were actually in Santa Fe.