How to Find Out If Any Deaths Occurred in My House

Old news reports could reveal your home's secrets.

Old news reports could reveal your home's secrets.

If you're of a superstitious bent, have suspicions your house may be haunted or just have a ghoulish interest in how people meet their end, you could do worse things with your spare time than looking into if anybody has ever died on your property. As well as gaining a good dinner party story, you may discover something that could have an impact on the value of your home.

Contact the real estate agent or seller you bought your house from. The best time to make these inquiries is before you buy a property, but you may find your vendor will divulge any details of deaths after you've moved in. Vendors are legally bound to disclose the details of deaths that could have an effect on the reputation of a property in some states.

Talk to your neighbors. There's a good chance they'll have some idea of what's occurred in your property over the years, especially if they've lived in their houses for some time. If your house used to be a crack cocaine den or meth lab or has previously had its yard dug up by the police in a search for bodies, it's likely your neighbors will know about it.

Check out back issues of your local newspaper. If these aren't available online, you should be able to access past editions at your local library. If there's been a murder at your property, local journalists will have covered it.

Contact your city or county authorities such as the county clerk or property assessor to see if they can provide information about your home. You may find your house was built on a cemetery. Alternatively, an old building could have been pulled down for safety reasons after a death on the plot where your home stands. You can also pull records at your local police station about deaths in your neighborhood. You may have to pay a fee for these services.

About the Author

Michael Roennevig has been a journalist since 2003. He has written on politics, the arts, travel and society for publications such as "The Big Issue" and "Which?" Roennevig holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the Surrey Institute and a postgraduate diploma from the National Council for the Training of Journalists at City College, Brighton.

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