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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Haunted house

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.

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,[3] 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. ”
[edit]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.
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. 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.

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"),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:
The Castle of Otranto (1764) by Horace Walpole
The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794) by Ann Radcliffe
"The Fall of the House of Usher" (1845) by Edgar Allan Poe
The Haunted and the Haunters (1857) by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
The Haunted House (1859) by Charles Dickens
The Turn of the Screw (1898) by Henry James
The House That Was (1907) by Jacques Futrelle
The House on the Borderland (1908) by William Hope Hodgson
The Beckoning Fair One (1911) by Oliver Onions
"The Rats in the Walls" (1924) by H. P. Lovecraft
The Haunting of Hill House (1959) by Shirley Jackson
Hell House (1971) by Richard Matheson
The House with a Clock in Its Walls (1973) by John Bellairs
The House where Nobody Lived (2006) by Brad Strickland
The Shining (1977) by Stephen King
House of Leaves (2000) by Mark Z. Danielewski
From the Dust Returned (2001) by Ray Bradbury
The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer: My Life at Rose Red (2001) by Ridley Pearson


The Haunted House (1921)
The Cat and the Canary (1927)
The Cat Creeps (1930)
The Ghost Goes West (1936)
Lonesome Ghosts (1937)
The Cat and the Canary (1939)
The Ghost Breakers (1940)
Hold That Ghost (1941)
The Canterville Ghost (1944)
The Uninvited (1944)
The Time of Their Lives (1946)
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)
Scared Stiff (1953)
House on Haunted Hill (1959)
13 Ghosts (1960)
The Innocents (1961)
The Haunting (1963 & 1999)
The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966)
The House That Dripped Blood (1970)
The Legend of Hell House (1973)
Burnt Offerings (1976)
The Amityville Horror (1979 & 2005)
The Shining (1980)
The Changeling (1980)
Poltergeist (1982)
Ghostbusters (1984)
House (1986)
Beetlejuice (1988)
Night of the Demons (aka Halloween Party) (1988)
Sweet Home (1989)
The People Under the Stairs (1991)
Casper (1995)
Haunted (1995)
Ghosts (1997)
House on Haunted Hill (remake) (1999)
The Haunting (1999)
Thirteen Ghosts (remake) (2001)
The Others (2001)
Rose Red (2002)
Darkness (2002)
The Haunted Mansion (2003)
The Grudge (2004)
The Grudge 2 (2006)
Monster House (2006)
An American Haunting (2006)
In a Dark Place (2006)
Stay Alive (2006)
The Return (2006)
Return to House on Haunted Hill (2006)
The Messengers (2007)
The Orphanage (2007)
1408 (2007)
Paranormal Activity (2007)
The Haunting in Connecticut (2009)

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