That Time The Supreme Court Believed In Ghosts

The landmark court case of Living v. Dead
That Time The Supreme Court Believed In Ghosts

Prior to the 1990s, all ghosts ever had to worry about was a small band of wisecracking, ghostbusting vigilante scientists. That all changed in 1991, when the New York Supreme Court legally deemed a house to be "haunted" in a peculiar real estate case.

Helen Ackley had moved into a house in Nyack in the '60s, and had told her neighbors that there was something more wrong with it than just the old plumbing. She heard mysterious footsteps and felt the beds shaking, among other typical poltergeist activities. But she also claimed the ghosts left her presents, making them more of the Casper than the 13 Ghosts variety.

That Time The Supreme Court Believed In Ghosts
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No word on whether she ever pulled out the old pottery wheel to attract any of the Swayze variety ...

When Ackley tried to sell the place, the buyer became alarmed after learning that the house was an attraction on a local ghost tour. Buyer Jeffrey Stambovsky took Ackley to court, where it was ruled that Stambovsky could back out of the deal because he had not been told that the house was filled with ghosts before agreeing to buy it.

So if you're ever trying to sell a house, make sure that you tell all of the hopeful couples walking through A) where the fuse box is, and B) where the hellish undead spirits from a life beyond death tend to hang out. (It's usually the couch.)

Kinda makes you wonder what Ruth Bader Ginsburg would have thought of real-life Ghostbusters.

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