The sign for a house in Fall River, a small Massachusetts city an hour outside of Boston, had all the usual characteristics — the words “for sale,” the name of the Realtor and the real estate company as well as all the necessary contact information. But on top of all that was a smaller sign specifying that the house was, indeed, “not haunted.”
“This just went up around the corner and I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS,” content strategy writer Margot Bloomstein wrote alongside a photo of the sign she posted on Twitter. Within a few hours of her sharing it online, the post had gathered nearly 25,000 likes and 3,000 retweets. The real estate agency representing the property, Keller Williams Realty South Watuppa, was not immediately available for comment on the viral post.
This just went up around the corner and I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS. pic.twitter.com/6iQigFQco5
— Margot Bloomstein (@mbloomstein) March 24, 2021
While the unusual sign was a surprise for Bloomstein and the people who made it go viral online, these types of “haunted” and “not haunted” signs have been periodically springing up all over the country for at least seven years. Originating in New Orleans, the idea for the signs is most often attributed to local real estate agent Finis Shelnutt, who decided to play up his city’s obsession with all things having to do with ghosts and spirits. He put up a sign reading “haunted” on one side and “not haunted” on another on a house he was selling in 2014.
I saw this walking around New Orleans a few years ago 😅 pic.twitter.com/eLySVi26Yq
— Erin C. (@erinswitzerland) March 24, 2021
Properties with such signs quickly attracted the attention of locals and tended to go viral on sites like Reddit and Twitter. A photo of one posted on Facebook by actor George Takei gathered over 120,000 likes. As a result, agents from states as far away from Louisiana as Maryland, Oregon and, now, Massachusetts have joined in on the fun and started doing the same — some in jest and others out of a genuine desire to inform buyers of information communicated to them by the seller.
“Yeah, people know if they’re living in a haunted house,” Baltimore-based real estate agent Joy Sushinsky told a local paper in December about her own “not haunted” sign. “And they’ll tell you.”
Well, some places are “Haunted” and some are not. When buying property it’s always important to ask. Posting it on the sign saves some time later. pic.twitter.com/aRtStOBLFt
— Michael Belcher (@michaelbelcher) March 24, 2021
In response to Bloomstein’s post,Twitter users also posted photos of similar signs they saw in their own hometowns.
“Well, some places are ‘Haunted’ and some are not,” wrote Twitter user Michael Belcher. “When buying property it’s always important to ask. Posting it on the sign saves some time later.”