To the surprise of probably no one, New Yorkers are generally pretty willing to overlook hauntings or other eerie backstories if it means landing a reasonably priced apartment. Still, wouldn't you sleep a little better at night if your broker had officially certified your place to be 100 percent devoid of ghosts, ghouls, or other "entities"?
So goes the thinking behind last summer's "ghost realtor" episode of Comedy Central's Nathan For You, the series in which comedian Nathan Fielder gives struggling small business owners bizarre, "innovative" ideas to generate PR and bring in new business, and they politely go along with whatever insane plan he's concocted. (He's also the guy behind "Dumb Starbucks".)
In this episode (above), Fielder convinces Los Angeles realtor Sue Stanford to re-brand as "the ghost realtor," bringing a psychic to her listings to determine whether or not the property has any "entities" on site. "It surprised me that I've never seen a realtor who can guarantee that all the homes they sell are ghost-free," Fielder says by way of explanation. Suffice it to say Stanford gets very into it, and the whole thing ends in an exorcism. And unlike most Nathan For You participants, Stanford actually kept Fielder's business idea after the show wrapped—her website is ghostfreehome.com, should you ever be in the market for a non-haunted L.A. property. As for us, we're eagerly awaiting the day a ghost brokerage opens up in New York. A malevolent presence probably means a break on the rent, right?
The case for buying a possibly haunted Staten Island mansion
Curious about your townhouse's (maybe sordid) history? Call in a detective
House of horrors: what if your apartment has a terrible past?
Reel Estate: Ghostbusters' "corner penthouse of spook central"