While we were taking photos, I even joked about the supposed ghost, referring to the resident Haint or Haints. My associate, a highly-educated, intelligent woman, cast a scornful look at me, "You summons them when you talk about them!"
"Oh, OKAY!" I said, somewhat sarcastically. "You mean that you believe the stories?"
"It's possible," she said as she walked away, dismissing the subject.
Known as the Sherwood-Minton house, the property dates back to 1846, and it has long been rumored to be haunted. Built as a private residence, it has been used as a school, a dorm, a smallpox hospital, a stop on the underground railroad, and a Civil War soldier hospital. It also has sat vacant for long stretches of time on more than one occasion throughout its history.
Now it is on the market following foreclosure. The tenant opted to move out when I offered her cash for keys, not because she had any fear of the house that she loved, but because she had just graduated from college and would be moving in the fall anyway. During the three times I met her, however, she claimed that she had encountered the spirits that inhabit the old house. The tenant had actually been trying to purchase the house in a short sale, though she had become over-whelmed with the numerous repair issues.
After we finished taking photos on the main level, we proceeded upstairs. Part of my chore that day was to take photos of all repair items in the now vacant house, and that was, indeed, a chore. While we were upstairs, a beeping sound started coming from somewhere below us. We looked out windows on all sides, expecting to see a truck or equipment of some sort backing up. Nothing, so we went back downstairs to see if we could find the source. The noise was coming from the timer on the oven, located just feet from where I had earlier been joking about the supposed ghosts. My associate quickly turned off the timer.
The day the house was listed, another agent called me immediately to say that she had an interested buyer. "It's haunted, you know," she said confidently.
"Yes, I have heard that," I responded, remembering our own experience with the beeper.
We had not yet installed the electronic lockbox, so I dispatched my associate to put one on the house several days after our first outing. The beep-beep of the timer greeted her once again. This time, she went to the basement and loosened the fuse that controls the oven.
I'm thinking that a ghost who can work an oven timer can also screw in a fuse. What do you think? I, for one, am probably going to be a believer at that point!
More about the Sherwood-Minton listing HERE.
UPDATE (HOUSE HAS SOLD): In fact, when the house was listed two years ago, the listing agent used the ghost angle as a marketing tool. It was during that listing that paranormal investigators were brought in to do some testing. Their conclusion, BTW, was that the house does have spirits. The fact that it was October didn't hurt the mystique of such a ruling, and the local newspaper did stories on it. See two of the stories HERE and HERE. One former owner even held what they called a Community Fair last spring to try to raise money for restoration. A Southeast Missourian story from 1972 is HERE, and another one from 1975 is HERE. Ken Steinhoff did a feature on his webpage, Cape Central High School HERE. Katherine Webster presents evidence in her blog that at least one ghost story is untrue HERE