Home > Musings > Haunted houses get a bad rap

Haunted houses get a bad rap

Halloween is coming up and one of the great tropes of the holiday is the haunted house. It is one that is particularly appealing to me right now because I recently bought a house after months of house hunting. As I explored various houses, I turned them down for many reasons, but never because I heard a creepy voice or because dishes flew across the kitchen while I was touring the room. Honestly, I think haunted houses get a bad rap because people focus on the negative.

“You must be a ghost, because I want you to be my boo.”

People just focus on the ugly side of haunted houses: the murders, the terror, the creepy stuff that happens in Paranormal Activity. There can be benefits of a haunted house, though. Consider the TV show American Horror Story. The “evil” haunted house took care of a kid that was bullying the girl, a hot ghost kept the house clean, and all of the murders resulted in the family getting the house way under market value. Granted, in context those things are bad. The bully was terrified and almost killed and the maid kept tempting the husband who is constantly tempted to cheat on his wife. Still, in a different context a ghost that protects you, a hot maid, and below-market pricing can be a good thing, right?

I would like to think that the spirits occupying a haunted house can be reasoned with. As soon as people realize a house is haunted, they freak out and try to get rid of the spirits. Well, wouldn’t that piss you off? After all, the ghosts were there first!

“Can you believe this new family? You flicker a few lights and open a few creaky doors and suddenly they want to evict us?”

“I know! And what’s worse, they have terrible taste! Can you believe the color they painted the kitchen?”

What if instead the family embraces the guests and simply asks them to pay rent? You can even get the supernatural displays to work for you. Does the ghost like moving dishes around? Get it to help you clean the kitchen. Does the ghost like levitating the bed? That can come in handy when you are vacuuming. Does the ghost like to rattle chains, moan and make other scary noises? That can be a good way to get Jehovah’s Witnesses to stop knocking on your door. The key is to learn the interests of your ghost and figure out a way that the spirit can channel those interests in a constructive way.

Just think of the money you’ll save on Halloween decorations!

On Halloween, people love to create fake “haunted houses.” Universal Studios makes tons of money by creating spooky houses. I wonder what the ghosts that really haunt houses think of that. I mean, people dislike them so much that they refuse to live with the real ghosts, yet in October they will pay to go in a fake recreation of a haunted house. That’s probably quite offensive.

I imagine there are some hipster ghosts that ironically haunt on Halloween, though. The family puts in spooky music and jumps out at the kids in bad costumes as a way of scaring them in the “haunted house.” Meanwhile, the real ghosts appear as humans dressed as ghosts and do a terrible job of trying to scare kids, all as an ironic statement on the concept of the haunted house. Then they sit around drinking PBR and laughing about the stereotypes.

“Dude, when have you ever met a ghost who actually rattles chains?”

“I know, man. That’s such a cliché.”

  1. October 22, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    I wish hipster ghosts would haunt me. Instead I have bleeding hearts that want me to tell their family that they are watching….sigh. 😉

    Great post…Yes I will link.


    • October 23, 2012 at 7:18 pm

      Ugh, bleeding heart ghosts are the worst. You’re dead. We got it. Stop whining about it and get over it.

  2. October 23, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Haha, good one. If I ever run into a ghost, I will try my best to get along with it and make it work to my advantage. 😉

    • October 23, 2012 at 7:20 pm

      That’s great. I’m glad my blog is helping to counter all of that anti-ghost propaganda out there.

  3. October 23, 2012 at 9:46 am

    When my parents bought the home I grew up in we had a lot of weird things happen. When they finally called the cops, the sheriff of the area, who was obviously embarrassed to even say it, told us that our house had a “reputation” as being haunted. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, that’s not exactly what you want to hear lol

    • October 23, 2012 at 7:21 pm

      Yeah, that would be freaky. If I had heard that as a kid, I would’ve had nightmares every night for the rest of my life.

  4. October 23, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Fantastic. Love the hipster ghosts 🙂

    • October 23, 2012 at 7:22 pm

      Whatever. I loved hipster ghosts before it was cool.

  5. October 23, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    I Like that…Put your ghost to work FOR you…Great idea Jeremy!!!

  6. October 24, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    I have to say I’m really disappointed no one has commented on the horrible pun in my caption of the “American Horror Story” photo. I laughed out loud for quite some time after I thought of it.

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