I don’t even know where to start with this one. I have been inside several thousand houses at this point — from beat up drug houses to overgrown estates. As both a real estate investor and agent, I really get to see both sides of this industry, from the sprawling historic mansions on the M Streets here in Dallas to the Fox and Jacobs cookie cutter tract homes, where I have seen the same floor plan around a hundred times.
What I am about to share with you is quite unusual and unlike anything I have ever experienced before. Maybe I am using this blog a little bit to help reason with myself the events that happened. Unfortunately these events just narrowly missed October; they would have better fit the season, as you will soon find out.
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1950s Dallas Victorian-Style House: A Case Study
To set the record straight, I never really believed in anything paranormal. The closest I have been to anything “haunted” in real estate was hearing about the house my in-laws had back in the 1980s with some strange occurrences. In the house they would sometimes notice what seemed like large shadows pass from one room of the house to the other out of the corner of their eyes.
There were no other strange events or sightings until they went to list the house. The real estate agent they hired did his own photography and was taking pictures of the house for his open house flyers. Upon developing the film, to his surprise he realized there was a man’s face in the window. They kept one of the flyers showing this. There was no one else in the house at the time of the photograph other than the agent taking photos for his listing. I thought this was an interesting story but didn’t think anything more of it at the time. Nothing would prepare me for my experience on our latest flip.
Meeting the Sellers
It was a pretty typical lead. It started with a phone call from one of the postcards I send out — this lead took about eight months to convert. We met at the property and performed the typical walkthrough and contract negotiation process. That is, until we got to one of the addendums, the seller’s disclosure notice. I don’t think you were legally required to mention things like “ghosts” on the property — but the seller decided to open up to me about this. And warned me about the visitors that would sometimes make themselves known.
Nothing ominous had happened to the seller’s family while they lived there; just strange occurrences. Perhaps it was previous residents since this property was built in the 1950s. Apparently they had already met with a real estate agent, but she experienced some sort of paranormal event at the house that had spooked her to the point that she decided to leave the property and refuse the listing. The seller didn’t elaborate any further, nor cared to tell me any personal stories but was honest with me that the house may indeed be “haunted.” She started to lower her voice while explaining this to me as if trying to hide what she was about to say to any passersby who might be listening.
The Child’s Wooden Rocking Chair
We had cleared escrow and now had possession of the property. At this point we were getting ready for the rehab, and I was taken my “before” pictures per usual, moving room to room.
I take professional video and photography myself for all of my flips or listings. While I was working on one of the side bedrooms, I noticed something strange while setting up my tripod. In the corner there was a small child’s wooden rocking chair — not only that, but it was rocking gently. I examined for a window that might be open, letting in a breeze. Nothing. I checked for any vents that might be letting in a draft. Nothing. The house was completely still on the inside — almost eerily quiet.
The chair continued to rock back and forth. I even put my hand on it to stop it so it wouldn’t produce motion blur in my picture. And after a few moments of rest, it would pick back up to full momentum. Again, this was a very gentle, but constant rocking motion. Puzzled, I checked to see if the chair may have been weighted or anything that might explain it further, but to no avail.
I was too busy to analyze the situation any further — I was multitasking, talking to one of my clients on the phone while taking the photos. So I shot the room and continued on.
Reviewing the Shots
I was uploading the shots to my computer later that night. Now, you have to understand — I shot the room with a wide angle lens (16mm), and this was a small hall bedroom. The whole room was within the picture frame; nothing was cropped out.
What I am about to tell you is the truth. When reviewing the shoot, I flipped through to the hallway bedroom. There was no rocking chair in the shot. No sign of the one that was rocking earlier with no explanation. The one I put my hand on to briefly stop so there was no motion blur on the camera. It was not there. I literally almost fell out of my chair. I felt extremely anxious at this point and decided to put the SD card back in my camera and review it there. Same thing; the chair was not there. I have no rational explanation for this, and I am still quite shaken up about it.
The Events at the House
We have a crew working on the house right now still finishing up some of the interior spaces. No one other than me (to my knowledge) has had any experience with the house.
In my years in the real estate business, I have never encountered anything like this. Right now, we are finishing out the interior. Wish me luck — I think I may need it.
I have never experienced anything like this before. Does anyone else have any stories or experiences of this nature?
I’d love to hear about it — please leave a comment!