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Homes with ghost claims draw the curious, scare off others

priests exorcist

OCTOBER 25, 2015    LAST UPDATED: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2015, 1:20 AM

A busy open house can be a real estate agent’s dream. But for some people who turned out for two open houses at a majestic Victorian home in Midland Park, it wasn’t the prospect of buying the home that piqued their curiosity.

Instead, they were there as ghost hunters.

As Halloween approaches, real estate agents say rumors of ghosts can attract the curious but also scare off prospective buyers and silence owners, who are trying to sell their home or tamp down rumors about their house. But in other cases, an opportunity to rub elbows with a ghost can be a draw (think “The Amityville Horror”).

Over the years, Internet lore had grown about the Midland Park home, with rumors of apparitions, including those of a former owner and a cat. Stories about the home, known as the Crayhay Mansion, abound with tales of the uninvited. It’s unclear how or when the accounts began. What is clear is that neither previous nor current owners want to talk about them, as was the case for several of North Jersey’s alleged “haunted” properties.

The Crayhay Mansion, which sold in August, had been on the market since April 2014. The home, built in 1864, had an urban myth, which the sellers knew about when they moved in, said Patti Crawford of Keller Williams Village Square Realty in Ridgewood, a co-listing agent on the house. Curiosity seekers drawn to the open houses would head for the third floor of the house, where the cat is rumored to appear, but would leave “a little disappointed,” Crawford said.

The sellers had bought the home in 2006 for $955,000 and said they never experienced anything unusual in the house, said Nena Colligan, the home’s other co-listing agent. The house’s price was reduced several times before it was sold in August at $710,000.

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