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The Winchester Mystery House is reported to be haunted.

A haunted house is defined as a house that is believed to be a center for supernatural occurrences or paranormal phenomena.[1] A haunted house may allegedly contain ghosts, poltergeists, or even malevolent entities such as demons.

Haunted houses are often perceived as being inhabited by disembodied spirits of the deceased who may have been former residents or were familiar with the property. Supernatural activity inside homes is said to be mainly associated with violent or tragic events in the building's past such as murder, accidental death, or suicide.

In 2005, Gallup polls conducted in three countries—the United States, Canada, and Great Britain—showed that more people believe in haunted houses than any of the other paranormal items tested, with 37% of Americans, 28% of Canadians, and 40% of Britons believing.[2][3]

As expressed by the National Science Foundation, the scientific consensus has identified ten subjects, including haunted houses, and considers that belief in those subjects is pseudoscientific.[4]

Contents

Reportedly haunted houses

Legal aspects

In the case Stambovsky v. Ackley, the Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division ruled in 1991 that a seller must disclose that a house has a reputation for being haunted when there is a fiduciary relationship or in cases of fraud or misrepresentation,[5] because such a reputation impairs the value of the house:

In the case at bar, defendant seller deliberately fostered the public belief that her home was possessed. Having undertaken to inform the public at large, to whom she has no legal relationship, about the supernatural occurrences on her property, she may be said to owe no less a duty to her contract vendee.[6]

Carbon monoxide as an explanation for perceived hauntings

Some of the phenomena generally associated with haunted houses, including strange visions and sounds, feelings of dread, illness, and the sudden, apparently inexplicable death of all the occupants, may be attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning.[7]

In one famous case, carbon monoxide poisoning was clearly identified as the cause of an alleged haunting. Dr. William Wilmer, an ophthalmologist, described the experiences of one of his patients in a 1921 article published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology. "Mr. and Mrs. H." moved into a new home, but soon began to complain of headaches and listlessness. They began to hear bells and footsteps during the night, soon accompanied by strange physical sensations and mysterious figures. When they began to investigate, they found the previous residents had experienced similar symptoms. Upon examination, their furnace was found to be severely damaged, resulting in incomplete combustion that produces carbon monoxide and forcing most of the fumes into the house rather than up the chimney.[7] After the stove was fixed, the family fully recovered and did not experience any further unusual events.

A report published in 2005 described a 23-year-old female victim of carbon monoxide poisoning, found delirious and hyperventilating, who claimed to have seen a ghost while in the shower. A new gas water heater had just been installed in her home, apparently improperly, which flooded the house with carbon monoxide when the victim closed all the exterior windows and doors and took a shower.[8]

Short stories and novels

Legends about haunted houses have long appeared in literature. Haunting is used as a plot device in gothic or horror fiction or, more lately, paranormal-based fiction. Roman-era authors Plautus, Pliny the Younger and Lucian wrote stories about haunted houses, as did the Arabian Nights (such as the tale of "Ali the Cairene and the Haunted House in Baghdad"),[9] and more modern authors from Henry James to Stephen King have featured them in their writings. Haunted castles and mansions are common in gothic literature such as Dracula. Significant works of fiction featuring haunted houses include:

Films

See also

References

  1. ^ http://parapsych.org/glossary_e_k.html#h Parapsychological Association website, Glossary of Key Words Frequently Used in Parapsychology, Retrieved February 10, 2007
  2. ^ Lyons, Linda (November 1, 2005). "Paranormal Beliefs Come (Super)Naturally to Some". Gallup Poll. Gallup. http://www.gallup.com/poll/19558/Paranormal-Beliefs-Come-SuperNaturally-Some.aspx. Retrieved 14 February 2010. 
  3. ^ Moore, David W. (June 16, 2005). "Three in Four Americans Believe in Paranormal". Gallup Poll. Princeton, NJ: Gallup. http://www.gallup.com/poll/16915/Three-Four-Americans-Believe-Paranormal.aspx. Retrieved 14 February 2010. 
  4. ^ National Science Board (2006). "Chapter 7: Science and Technology: Public Attitudes and Understanding". Science and Engineering Indicators 2006. National Science Foundation. Belief in Pseudoscience (see Footnote 29). http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind06/c7/c7s2.htm#c7s2l3. Retrieved 3 March 2010. The 10 items are extrasensory perception (ESP), that houses can be haunted, ghosts, telepathy, clairvoyance, astrology, that people can communicate mentally with someone who has died, witches, reincarnation, and channelling. 
  5. ^ Knauf, Allan. "After New York's Property Condition Disclosure Act". http://www.nyenvlaw.com/Caveat_Emptor.htm. Retrieved 2007-02-15. 
  6. ^ Stambovsky v. Ackley, 169 A.D.2d 254, 260, 572 N.Y.S.2d 672, N.Y.A.D. 1 Dept., 1991.
  7. ^ a b A True Tale Of A Truly Haunted House by Albert Donnay by Albert Denay. www.ghostvillage.com. Includes text of 1921 Journal of Ophthalmology article.
  8. ^ Jiann-Ruey Ong, Sheng-Wen Hou, Hsien-Tsung Shu, Huei-Tsair Chen, and Chee-Fah Chong. Diagnostic pitfall: carbon monoxide poisoning mimicking hyperventilation syndrome. The American Journal of Emergency Medicine Volume 23, Issue 7, November 2005, Pages 903-904
  9. ^ Yuriko Yamanaka, Tetsuo Nishio (2006), The Arabian Nights and Orientalism: Perspectives from East & West, I.B. Tauris, p. 83, ISBN 1850437688 

External links


Simple English

A haunted house is a house where supernatural events are believed to take place. Many haunted houses are believed to contain ghosts. They can also contain the spirits of dead people. The rumour that a house is haunted often starts after something violent or tragic happens in the house, such as a murder or suicide. Haunted houses are common in gothic fiction, and are generally seen as old castles or creaky, old, abandoned houses. A haunted house can be a type of attraction in amusements parks too.









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