Case Dismissed Against Vendor of “Haunted” Building

In a rather strange case, the plaintiff alleged that the defendants sold the plaintiff a commercial property that was haunted. The plaintiff alleged that this constituted a latent defect in the property which the defendants knew about and concealed from the plaintiff.

The plaintiff’s lawsuit was based solely on a newspaper article in which a director of one of the defendants was quoted as saying that the property in question was haunted.

Oddly, the plaintiff’s representative testified that he had never seen a ghost, did not believe there was a ghost and that all conversations about the property being haunted were a joke and were not serious.

The Superior Court dismissed the lawsuit on the defendants’ motion for summary judgment. The court noted that there was no apparent case law that would obligate a vendor of a commercial building to disclose to the purchaser that someone had died in the building. The court also wondered how a party could ever prove that a building was haunted.

Shockingly, the plaintiff appealed the decision. Not so shockingly, the Court of Appeal dismissed the plaintiff’s appeal.



  1. Reminds me of that New York case, where the plaintiff buyer succeeded. The buyer was an out-of-town purchaser who had no idea of the “reputation” of the house, and the seller had for years claimed the house was haunted (and I think there may have been a commercial aspect to those claims?). So the court found that since the vendor had publicly claimed the house was haunted, then as a matter of law it was and they should have disclosed the information to the buyer.

  2. Melanie R. Bueckert

    Sorry, that should be a link to the Wikipedia article on the case.