You hear footsteps, but you're alone in the house. Doors close by themselves at night. A cat hisses in the next room, but you don't have a cat. You're about to put your place on the market, but you're worried potential buyers may subconsciously clue into some paranormal activity around your abode.
Don't worry. You can have your place certified as ghost-free, which will help you and the home's next owner sleep better at night. UK online realtor House Network is offering a Ghost-Free Certification service for homeowners to prove that their houses aren't haunted by poltergeists, evil undead, phantoms or other spirits.
House Network paired up with UK ghost-investigation group The Ghostfinder Paranormal Society to offer the service until October 31 (better known as Halloween and clearly a good time for a marketing push like this).
"Research has shown that properties which are suspected to be haunted can retail for as much as 20 percent lower than the market value," House Network says. The service isn't free, but a House Network representative tells CNET's Crave blog it can cost between £100 ($153, AU$212) and £500 ($765, AU$1,062). So far, it's only available in the UK.
One of the disclaimers should get particular scrutiny: "House Network cannot be held responsible for the results of the investigations, effect to the property's price or failure to sell." If the paranormal investigators find your home is haunted, then you'll have to deal with the consequences. If you believe in such things.
The process of getting your house checked out involves answering a questionnaire about whether objects turn on by themselves or if there are unexplained whispers. Cameras and "readings" also come into play, and creepy dolls and old photographs get extra scrutiny.
"Reports of hauntings and cases of paranormal activity in homes is on the increase," says Barri Ghai, lead investigator with the Ghostfinder Paranormal Society. "We receive on average two or more reports a week from the public claiming that they may be sharing their home with a ghost."
The certification service went for a test run at a semi-detached house for sale in Harrow, a borough of London. Owner and House Network client Sheila Kingsley says, "It is a nice feeling knowing for certain that your house isn't haunted. It's very reassuring." Anybody want to buy a non-haunted home in Harrow?