With Halloween just around the corner, it won’t be long before the fancy dressers, the trick or treaters and the pumpkin decorators are out in force.
The horror films and scary thrillers will get a reshowing on the TV and there will be many ‘fangtastic’ Halloween puns appearing in newspapers, magazines and social media.
But how does living close to a real-life haunted spot affect house prices in the UK? Well, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, it offers a significant boost.
New research from Hammonds Furniture has revealed that living near a spooky site could add up to £57,432 onto a home seller’s asking price – a premium not to be sniffed at in a market that is starting to show signs of a slowdown.
The study analysed average house prices of postcodes situated near to ghoulish locations such as haunted castles, ghost trails, and areas with reported paranormal activity across the UK. It then compared these findings with regional and national prices to work out if living close to a haunted location could potentially add value to a property.
And, what do you know, sharing a postcode with the paranormal doesn’t halt sales – in fact, according to the research, it boosts the asking price by (on average) 12% in comparison to the average home in the region.
Additionally, the study revealed that the average price of a home located near to ghostly goings-on is currently valued at just over £405,000. This is nearly £120,000 more than the average UK house price (at present £286,397).
A premium on paranormal street
The research also found that living close to some ghoulish locations added more value to homes than others.
Properties located close to the mysterious Hangman’s Hill in Epping Forest, Essex, have house values more than £200,000 higher than the average Essex home. According to legend, drivers who visit Hangman’s Hill can put their car in neutral ‘and experience an anti-gravity phenomenon as their car starts to roll uphill’.
Elsewhere, Farleigh Hungerford Castle in Somerset is another area where house prices comfortably surpass the regional average. Buyers seeking to purchase a home close to the reportedly haunted castle will need to shell out more than £511,000 for the privilege, over £166,000 (48%) more than the average Somerset home.
The castle is apparently haunted by the ghost of ‘the murderous’ Lady Agnes Hungerford, who is said to appear near the castle’s chapel. With a complex history of murder, strife and intrigue, it’s no surprise that the castle is rumoured to be haunted.
Other ghostly premiums appear in homes close to Ham House and the Theatre Royal in London and at Berry Pomeroy Castle in Devon.
Apparitions on the cheap
Hammond’s research found that there are bargains to be had for eager ghost hunters, too, with some locations where it’s cheaper to live close to a spooky site in comparison to the regional average house price.
The study discovered that properties near Aston Hall in Birmingham – which has ghost stories allegedly dating back to the 17th century and its first resident, Sir Thomas Holte – currently sit £93,720 (39%) below the West Midlands average.
Aston Hall has, in fact, been named as one of the most haunted buildings in the UK, with tales of macabre murders, mysterious ladies and tragic events all contributing to this status. However, it seems, like the Ghostbusters, buyers and homeowners here aren’t afraid of no ghost.
There are also affordable homes to be had in abundance in the same postcode as Conisbrough Castle in Doncaster – which has been said to have ‘intense ghostly activity’. Properties here are, at present, £57,498 (30%) below the average for a South Yorkshire.
The castle, built in approximately 1180 by Hamelin Plantagenet – and the inspiration for Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe – is allegedly home to a number of ghostly residents, with a ghostly monk and a White Lady reputedly seen at the keep.
Much like homes close to haunted spots suffering no ill-effects from this association, we explored last year how spooky street names – from Ghost Lane to real-life Elm Streets – don’t deter home buyers as much as you’d think.
Britain is filled with plenty of haunted and supernatural spots, where people continue to live. So, it appears, these days, people view haunted locations as being more intriguing and fun like in the BBC’s popular sitcom Ghosts, rather than the creepiness and unsettling vibe of The Others or the characters of a Henry James novel – which helps to explain why such a spooktacular premium exists for many of them.