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Haunted house

Paranormal property: freaky facts to celebrate Halloween

Halloween property infographicWith Halloween just around the corner, our thoughts have turned to haunted houses, pesky poltergeists and ghostly goings on. Allcott Associates’ chartered surveyors have put their heads together to come up with some freaky property facts (and useful advice) to celebrate one of the spookiest dates on the calendar.


Some people really do see ghosts in their houses…

…but that’s not to say that they are real. Black mould is commonly found in poorly ventilated houses. In addition to being unsightly, it’s well known to affect respiratory health, exacerbating breathing conditions such as asthma. It’s less widely known that certain types of black mould can cause hallucinations if the spores are ingested. Indeed, it’s thought that many sightings of demons, ghosts and ghouls could be explained by the presence of toxic mould.

It’s not all bad news – small areas of mould can be removed using soapy water. Take care not to inhale or ingest any spores while cleaning: the NHS advises that goggles, long rubber gloves and a mask that covers your nose and mouth are worn when removing the fungus. For larger areas of mould, you are advised to seek professional help.

Once removed, follow our tips on preventing damp and keep the area well ventilated and heated to stop the mould coming back.


If you are hoping to complete a house sale on Friday 13th, think again

It seems that house buyers in the UK are susceptible to a little superstition: the number of property sale completions decreases by over one third on Fridays that fall on the 13th, compared with Fridays falling on other dates. However, if you are willing to tempt fate, there might be some benefits: removals services and conveyancers are likely to be have better availability on this date.


Crooked houses may not be creepy, but they should be approached with caution

Rather than reflecting paranormal activity, crooked houses normally result from subsidence: sinking or movement of the ground beneath a house, which can affect its foundations. Subsidence is most often caused by tree roots, the drying and shrinkage of clay soils, mining activity and leaking drains. It typically results in cracking of interior or exterior walls. In most cases, prompt action can prevent further damage and stabilise a house before it becomes crooked. However, particularly in decades gone by, more severe cases have occurred.

Once such example is The Crooked House pub in Dudley, which is famous for having one side of the building 4 feet lower than the other. It was condemned as unsafe in the 1940s, but some serious reinforcement with supporting buttresses and girders has recently rendered the pub structurally secure. Locals and tourists alike can now enjoy a good pint, safe in the knowledge that their pub is not about to collapse.


You’ve just missed out on buying one of the most haunted houses in Britain

Located in St Osyth, Essex, ‘The Cage’ is said to be one of the most haunted houses in the country. It’s a 16th century cottage previously used as a prison for suspected witches. Of the 14 unfortunate women imprisoned there, three were hanged. These three included Ursula Kemp, a local healer whom villagers grew to suspect of causing illness through witchcraft.

For an asking price of £240,000 you’d get three reception rooms, an open plan kitchen/dining room, cloakroom, two double bedrooms and a bathroom. Oh, and regular visits from ghosts and ghouls, not to mention the satanic goat that roams the grounds.