Saturday, February 24, 2018
Human Interest

When 'House Hunters' meets 'Ghost Hunters'

When you're selling a house, there are two kinds of information: the things you want to tell, and the things you have to. The first are features — granite countertops, hardwood floors. The second are disclosures — roof leaks, lead paint. Most folks would place a ghost solidly in the second category.

But not Natalie and Vander Wynn. To them, scary Mary adds value.

The Wynns, who are selling their historic Punta Gorda home, are quite open about their otherworldly resident. In 1909, 14-year-old Mary Leah Sandlin was ironing on the porch with a gasoline-heated iron — a common appliance until World War I. Somehow the gas spilled and her clothes ignited. She died a few hours later. The Wynn family have a handful of stories about their encounters with Mary's ghost. "She's a kid," Natalie Wynn told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. "I have yelled at her like I would any other kid in the house."

A ghost is a bit risky as a selling point, but by no means a deal breaker. According to Realtor.com's 2013 Haunted Housing Report, 62 percent of people surveyed said they would or might consider buying a haunted house. Only 38 percent said a ghost would bust the sale. However, most said they would expect a deal on the property; only 12 percent would pay full price or more for a haunted house.

The Wynn home, built in 1893 and with a modern addition bringing it to 5,600 square feet, is listed at $1.59 million.

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