Causes of Action – For a Haunted House

Say you (or your client) buy a lovely Victorian house, only to find out that it’s haunted. The seller never bothered to inform you that the house’s original owner was murdered on the premises and now her ghost wanders the hallways, sometimes humming eerily and bumping into things. It’s a pretty creepy house.

You’re thinking you’d like to sue the seller for failure to disclose to you that the house is haunted – after all, you might have thought twice about the purchase had you known about the ghost. You might think you’d be out of luck, but luckily there’s the perfect legal resource to help you establish your case.

Causes of Action 2d, which is available on Westlaw and in print, is a phenomenal research tool to help attorneys establish the required elements of a cause of action and its defenses. Causes of Action also gives you practice checklists, sample litigation forms, detailed tables of cases, action guides, damage awards summaries, and more.

It turns out there’s a Causes of Action article right on point to your haunted house troubles – Cause of Action for Failure of Seller of Real Estate and Its Agent to Disclose to Buyer Facts of Past Violent Crimes or Hauntings Within Property Subject to Sale (76 COA2d 555).

The article walks you through establishing a prima facie case and covers defenses to an action and potential remedies and recovery. There are practice checklists, including ones on discovery and matters alleged in a complaint. Finally, you’ll find a sample case, a sample complaint, and a verdict form.

About the haunting specifically, the Causes of Action article discusses how to prove the haunting. In one of the discovery checklists, you’ll find sample questions on asserting the effects of the haunting. These are the best – they ask about things like whether there are unusual sounds in the house like rapping or moaning, whether the electricity flickers in any part of the house, whether any doors or windows don’t close normally, or whether there is evidence of blood in the walls.

Happy haunted research!