ONW: Ohio Woman Says Ghosts Preventing Sale Of Childhood Home

Every October, news channels everywhere start bombarding us with special segments on “real” ghost stories in an effort to get us in the mood for Halloween. Ohio is no different. And while some of these segments are very well-done, most never progress past the “who ya gonna call?” opening and the stereotypical ending featuring Vincent Price’s laugh from Thriller. And then there’s this hot mess from NewsChannel 5, where three story ideas were cobbled together to create…something.

The segment opens by introducing us to Brooklyn, Ohio resident Jennifer Albert. Seems that Albert and her family have given up trying to sell her childhood home in Youngstown and have decided to keep it in the family. The reason? Well, according to Albert, “we’re never going to be able to sell it because it’s very, very haunted.” The article that accompanied the online video even states that “prospective buyers would run the other way as soon as they learned of the strange happenings inside the home.” Now this was intriguing to me; a house so haunted that you can’t sell it? Cool! Just what sort of crazy ghost activity was going on inside that house?

Jennifer Albert, talking about her haunted house while sitting in her unhaunted house –via Newsnet5

Well, we never find out. That’s because whoever wrote this segment decided to leave that story trail and venture off down another path: that of whether or not people in Ohio have to disclose that their house is haunted. I wasn’t sure why they chose to go down that path, since 1. Albert never said she withheld that her house might be haunted to prospective buyers, and 2. the fact that Albert is now disclosing her house might be haunted on a news show makes whether or not she should disclose it a moot point. But I digress. Let’s rejoin the segment and see if they can pull it all back together again.

So now we’re talking about whether or not homeowners have an obligation to disclose that their house is haunted. For this part of the segment, the reporting team manages to track down the President of Coldwell Banker Hunter Realty, Edward Dolinsky, who tells us that if something in the home could be considered detrimental, Ohio law says owners must disclose it. As Dolinsky (via voiceover) is giving us examples of what could be considered “detrimental”, such as ghosts or a murder, viewers are treated to shocking images like a hallway light fixture and (gasp!) a dripping faucet!

A “detrimental” dripping faucet –via NewsNet5

Dolinsky’s statements are even better when he’s on camera, due mainly to the fact that the whole time he’s talking, he can’t seem to blink the “did you seriously just ask me that question?” look from his eyes.

–via NewsNet5

Still, I was intrigued with what Dolinsky had to say. It even made me think of some questions of my own. For example, can you legally be bound by something such as a haunting when the very existence of ghosts is still open to debate? Alas, I was left to ponder those questions alone as the segment went rearing off in yet another direction.

You see, despite the fact that Jennifer Albert grew up in (and still owns) a house so haunted no one wants to live there, she still wanted to find more ghosts. So she has joined a local ghost-hunting group and  “she is equipped to look for ghosts in your home.”

Albert, looking for ghosts in her unhaunted home (while her haunted home sits idly by) –via NewsNet5

The segment begins to wrap up with Albert stating that her group is more than happy to help prospective homeowners by checking houses for ghosts: “And if there’s something going on, we’ll tell you. We’ll be like ‘hey, unless you want a haunted house, I wouldn’t live here.'” I started thinking to myself “I wonder if she’s ever used her ghost-hunting equipment in her haunted family home?” But then I reminded myself  of what I was watching and just sat quietly, waiting for the segment to end.

Man, was that a painful segment to sit through. In all the madness, there was one thing that remained constant, though, and not in a good way: the monotone drone of reporter Dave Gapinski. I’m going to give him a pass just in case Gapinski is planning on being Lethargy Man for Halloween and was just trying out his schtick. But the man showed absolutely no emotion, not even when, for no apparent reason, some old stock footage from a haunted house attraction showing a giant onion-headed thing breaking through a door got randomly inserted into the segment:

Photographer: “OK, I need all the bald guys and bald monsters over on this side for a photo, please” –via NewsNet5

All in all, I just couldn’t figure out who to blame for this piece; the producer? Director? Writer? Reporter? The Dripping Faucet?  I was going to flip a coin to decide, but since we’ve got a whole stable full of horses in this race, a 2-sided coin won’t do. So I’ll be back in a bit with my verdict after I dig out some of my old D&D dice.

Read the NewsChannel 5 article and view the video here.

4 Thoughts

  1. “For example, can you legally be bound by something such as a haunting when the very existence of ghosts is still open to debate?”

    You sure can! Though it’s not the haunting that’s the issue, it’s the reputation of the home. If a property has a “tainted” reputation, the seller must disclose that fact. The thinking is that the home’s reputation goes directly to the ability to resell the property.

    The “tainted” category isn’t precisely defined (as far as I know), but generally includes recent murders, suicides, high-profile crimes, and a reputation as being haunted. If any such conditions apply, they go right on the form given to any potential buyer. (Roof leak; one broken window; spirit orbs from Grandma in the guest bath.)

    Any potential litigation wouldn’t require the plaintiff to prove the existence of ghosts, just that the public perception of the property had a quantifiably adverse effect on the home’s value, and that the seller had known and deliberately not revealed or concealed that fact.

    (Wow… just reread that last paragraph and I am shocked to find that I’ve managed to make haunted houses dull.)

    1. Yeah, way to take the spookiness out of things, Dan! Just kidding! Good stuff–just the sort of stuff we should talk about when we schedule a “Trailer Night”, hopefully in the near future!

  2. wow why are you so critical over a little story? It seems done fine to me, what is your problem? do you think every story you like and write is good to others? if you don’t like something just dont watch it geeze.

    1. Rose, while I’m sure you won’t believe this, I really do appreciate that you took the time to write something on my blog. Contrary to your insinuation, I don’t expect everyone to love what I write. All I ask is that people feel something when they read it. Even though you obviously took issue with my post, it moved you to respond. So in that regard, I was successful.

      As for what my “problem” is, years and years of intense psychotherapy have yet to determine that.

      Seriously, though, welcome to my strange and spooky world. I hope you decide to hang around. Just mind where you step; the sarcasm’s pretty slippery in these parts.

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