Comment of the Day: Deal Killers

COMMENT OF THE DAY: DEAL KILLERS “. . . the fact of someone breathing their last at a property holds no ick factor for me. Once, at a Closing, in that long interval where you are waiting for copies, the little old lady Seller told me about her boyfriend dying at the house I had just bought. Didn’t creep me out at all– just a sweet sad tale. But . . . I am really curious as to what house history would be a deal breaker for you all. [Death] by natural causes? By violence? Creepy perpetrators of off-site crimes?” [Harold Mandell, commenting on A Swank Modern Meyerland Home with a Record]

18 Comment

  • Only crimes that might have affected the house physically. (And not by infusing it with bad vibes.) So if someone had a meth lab in the house, I’d be worried about lingering chemicals. But site of a gruesome murder-suicide? No problem, as long as there aren’t still bullet holes in the wall.

  • Ummm…about suicides and murder-suicides. Sometimes they don’t get discovered promptly. And mammalian gastrointestinal systems have a knack for bloating up and exploding. The situation only gets worse if there’s a carnivorous pet in the house.

    Yeah, that could be a deal-breaker for me. I’d definitely want to read through the police reports.

  • @Gus: Thanks for tidying up my typo!

    @RWB: Thanks for sharing– so nothing would creep you out– even Andrea Yates house?

    @Niche: I showed house where guy committed suicide– and discovered that his estate did not deem it necessary to remove a horrifyingly stained sofa.

  • One must of course separate logic from say phobias, but so long as nothing is physically wrong, talk them down on the price and enjoy your new home and maybe even a poltergeist, though a doppleganger might not be a necessarily good thing..

  • I tend to like houses with creepy pasts. My buddy lives in a really cool place in the Heights where the crackhead tenant that lived there before used to lock his crackhead girlfriend up in a chainlink cage in the back yard. I would love to get a place with ghosts if they even exist. I would love to be able to scare the hell out of my kids or house guests with a story of ritualistic murder, canibalism, or torture that is actually true. Plus, the house would be so much cheaper.

  • Dan,

    Maybe that house in Galveston is available. You know, where Morris Black was killed…..

    Talk about creepy…..

  • See, for me, Robert Durst – alive and well – is more creepy than whatever place he committed evil.
    Places are innocent.

  • Truth stranger than fiction: Robert Durst lives at 2520 Robinhood.

  • I lived in an old Baptist Church that was converted to lofts. Some thought the place might need an exorcism. I thought it was a place that held a lifetime (and in some cases, many generations) of special memories. Births (baptisms), marriages, deaths, and all else that is typcially celebrated at a church – some happy, some sad – still, a lifetime of memories. I did, though, enjoy telling my little niece and nephew about 2 old ladies who refused to go to Heaven and that they lived in the wall. There was a hole in the brick and I covered it with art. I would pull the painting down and show there where I plugged the hole and how some nights, I would unplug the hole and the ghosts of the old ladies would come out to visit. This kept the kids with a flashlight handy any time they would spend the night…. pretty funny and now that they are older, they are fun story tellers, themselves.

    What WOULD creep me out is any house that the Candy Man – Dean Corell – lived in an may have tortured some young boy. Very sad. I think these houses have all been torn down.

  • He lived on Wescott and Feagan (formerly Memorial towers), in those squarish white apartments, also in that seedy apartment building on Schuler (where some of the worst crimes were committed). Of course you could buy the old warehouse and do some digging, on 22nd in the heights. That was one creepy (insert expletive), and that really hit too close to home for me, thank god I was born in ’76.

  • If someone died in a potential residence, personally I’d rather the seller keep their mouth shut, if not before, then for sure *after* the sale.

    It’s not so much a super-natural apprehension, but just the idea of someone expiring, that of their whole life their last few moments were in such and such room.

    There was a house on (I believe) Jackwood, not far from where I grew up where a family of four was murdered in the 70’s. It remained vacant for nearly three years. I’m not sure if the buyers were informed of it’s past, but imagine the shock if the new owners were ever so politely informed of the homes ghastly history by a neighbor?

  • To me, the story of the “Candy Man” and the Heights is a good example how any neighborhood can turn around. When these crimes were happening, the Heights was considered a crime-ridden slum. Cops treated crime there so cavalierly that they didn’t even really notice the disappearance of 19 teenage boys from the Heights (out of a total of 27 known victims), despite the fact that many of them had been reported missing by anguished parents.

    Look at the Heights now. It’s an amazing transformation.

  • Things change and things stay the same, people are just as crazy if not more so now.

    The selling of the “murder house” sounds awfully familiar to a favorite Simpson’s episode. Those is real estate sure must be articulate, and able to throw out a red herring from time to time.

  • At one point, Corell lived in Pasadena in the Vince Heights neighborhood. I had a co-worker who lived down the street from him.

    My co-worker was stunned when the news broke because Corell “seemed so normal”.

    They usually do.

  • Never mind houses that have experienced murder-suicide or even natural death. A lot of today’s Houston area buyers seem to be creeped out by the thought of buying a house that someone else has LIVED in.

  • From PYEWACKET2:
    They usually do.


    The sociopaths of life. Yes they usually do “seem so normal.” Especially to each other. Especially the ones who are “chi-chi” and “pillars of the community.”

  • From GoogleMaster:
    Never mind houses that have experienced murder-suicide or even natural death. A lot of today’s Houston area buyers seem to be creeped out by the thought of buying a house that someone else has LIVED in.


    Yes and then they find they can’t live in the ones they bought. And find themselves confronting years of arbitration and mediation. And then end up in court and getting a worthless judgement.

    A ghost you can at least get used to.

  • Well, it used to be that you could get an exorcism if your house was haunted, but thanks to a few deep-pocketed politically-connected spectral types, you’re force to use binding arbitration.