10 Scariest House Features (and How To Avoid Them!)

10 Scariest House Features (and How To Avoid Them!)

10 scariest house features and how to avoid them

10 Scariest House Features (and How To Avoid Them!)

In honor of the spookiest time of year, let’s talk about the “scarier” side of real estate. No home is perfect and every house has its quirks; but some features are just downright eerie and will “scare up” a buyer in all the wrong ways!

  1. DOORWAY TO NOWHERE—Sometimes there are doors that literally go nowhere. A door on the second floor that opens outside to a fictional balcony or just a door that opens to a solid wall, whatever the past use for the door, it’s of no use now and is just kind of strange. Believe it or not, this is much more common that you might think but should be fixed before selling, especially if it’s a potential safety hazard.
  2. RATS—Rodents are pretty much little puppets of the devil. (Sorry, not sorry.) They are creepy, carry diseases and can cause damage to a house. Unless they are pets (agh!), then a rat problem should be taken care of immediately.
  3. BULLET HOLES—Bullet holes are not a good look on ANY window or wall. Simple fix—replace the window or patch the wall. Poof—hole be gone!
  4. BACKYARD CEMETERY—Some people may find that having a cemetery on a property is freaky and others won’t mind it. Most will fall in the freaky category. Hopefully it’s far enough away from the house that its not in daily view. If it is in plain view, consider planting some flowering trees (such crepe myrtles) to give a bit of separation between the house and the graves.
  5. FUZZY SHOWERS—This is likely the most common of all scary home features. Mystery growths and petri dish conditions are not usually received well. The magic two-part fix: bleach and elbow grease.
  6. FORGOTTEN TOKENS—A lonely baby doll, a photo album of a family event or a wedding dress in an otherwise empty closet? Sweet items on their own, but when they are the only items left in a vacant house, it’s unnerving. I was once in a vacant house and opened the closet to find a giant clown. I can only hope I wasn’t on candid camera. Do a sweep once you’ve moved to make sure no items are left behind—especially things that may be considered creepy in the wrong context!
  7. PREVIOUS DEATHS—In a small town with many historic houses, this is a real issue. If the death on the property was from natural causes or suicide, it does not legally have to be disclosed. If the death was a murder or was somehow caused by the house (such as carbon monoxide poisoning), it has to be disclosed. There’s not really a way to “avoid” this, but there is a way to avoid legal ramifications from withholding the information from potential buyers. Luckily, it’s simple: disclose, disclose, disclose.
  8. ROTTING FOOD—Rotting food (or rotting anything) is not a welcome sight or smell. It will also lead to a host of other unwanted sights, smells and creatures. When in doubt, throw it out.
  9. UTOs—Everyone is scared of UTOs (unidentified toilet objects). Luckily, UTOs are entirely treatable with a flush and a good cleaning!
  10. MYSTERY STAINS—What is that red spot on the carpet? Blood? Wine? Candle Wax?—This is not a fun guessing game for anyone.  Shampoo the carpet or replace it. The same goes for these mysteries that appear on walls, ceilings, etc. This mystery game has no winner.


None of these features are a selling point, unless you are purchasing property for a haunted house attraction. In general, anything in a house that begs the question “what is that?” is generally not good for a quick sale. However, there is some grey area during the month of October, the magical season where cobwebs can pass for chic seasonal décor. Take care to make sure your house isn’t sporting these features—you want to “scare up” a buyer, not scare them away.


Lisa E. Priest doesn’t care for clowns in closets and is an East Texas REALTOR® with Picket Fence Realty, Inc. You can reach her via phone or text at 903-948-3343 or read more at BuyPalestine.com.


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