Haunted houses: the next market bubble?

Private Property South Africa
Martin Hatchuel

Looking to occupy a new home? Get to know the provisions of the National Haunting Regulations before you do.

That’s the opinion of SpookedProperty.co.za principal agent, Ivan Terfritenya.

He said that South Africa remains a solid investment destination for international ethereals, but warned that the new Regulations have had an “unexpected effect” on the market, and hinted at a possible shortage of stock – which will most certainly exert upward pressure on prices.


He’s also concerned about increased surveillance – a situation, he said, that will lead to inevitable decay.

“You can’t just move into a place and start moaning anymore,” said Ivan. “Things are very different now.

“Now you have to show that you’ve complied with FAIS – the Frightening and Alarming Intermediaries and Specters Act – and you have to prove that you have a sufficiently good horror story to warrant your claim to any building you plan to occupy.

“And you can only occupy one at a time now, too.

“It wasn’t like this in the past: you used to be able to move in anywhere and just scare people without even thinking about whether you were treading on anyone’s shrouds.

“I mean, take the Castle of Good Hope: even though it’s always been zoned single residential, you’ve got Lady Anne Barnard wandering the halls, prisoners howling in the basements, a bell that rings at random times on account of a solider who hanged himself in the belfry, and even a dog that comes out to greet visitors and then disappears mysteriously.”

He cited also the examples of Rudd House in Kimberly, Erasmus Castle in Pretoria, and The View in Johannesburg – all of which, he said, are good examples of houses that have become home to more than one resident revenant.


Ivan believes that “there was nothing wrong with the situation the way it was,” but said that “following a series of séances with Parliament’s Select Committee On Inter-dimensional Relations, the Minister of Hauntings eventually produced her Ghostly White Paper – which paved the way for the promulgation of the new Regulations.

“It’s a typical example of Government trying to regulate its way past a crime – and that never works.”

Most alarming, he said, is that the Regulations also allow for regular, annual inspections of residential properties.

“And it’s a rag-tag army of witches, ghouls, goblins, faeries, and monsters that they’ve appointed to do the work, too,” he said – although he did add that these inspectors can very easily be bought.

“Look, I know it’s going to cause decay, but desperate times call for desperate measures, and I have to advise every homeowner to be ready to deflect the attention of the inspectors when they knock on your door on inspection day.”

Ivan’s advice comes at a time when observers are reporting heightened paranormal activity in the economy, with sales of broomsticks, wands, wizards’ hats, and goodie bags soaring in shops and malls across the country.

“I know it goes against the grain, but there’s nothing for it: stock up with sweeties, chocolates, cakes, and ice cream, and give them as gifts to any official who comes calling on Friday 31 October,” he said.

“If you don’t, they’ll carry out their dreaded inspections – and that could really be messy!”

(The team at Private Property* wishes you a truly chilling Halloween.)*

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