Not able to swing a $1.5 million Dutch Colonial on Long Island with a history of brutal homicides, malodorous crucifixes, and slime-oozing walls? Can’t talk the realtor down on the asking price of a home plagued by evil spirits? Well then, consider moving to Hong Kong where there's no shortage of bargain-basement haunted houses up for grabs.
As reported by The Telegraph, expats living in Hong Kong, home to some of the most prohibitive real estate prices in the world, are living it up in desirable properties with prices that have been seriously slashed (we’re talking up to 40 percent). The only thing is, the previous owners of these homes also may have been slashed.
As it turns out, Hong Kong has an overabundance of hongza, homes that have been legally declared haunted because their former owners perished from unnatural causes such as homicide, suicide or grisly accidents a la “Final Destination.” And while superstitious locals tend to stay far away from hongza, these deeply discounted digs are being snatched up by bargain-hunting Westerners who couldn’t care less if the home has three-bedrooms, ample storage space, top-shelf appliances, and a “Grudge”-esque backstory. Evil spirits be damned, what a steal!
Eric Wong of hongza-listing real estate website squarefootage.com.hk tells The Telegraph:
Hong Kong people are sensitive to ghosts and bad luck. They believe in feng shui. If something bad happened in a home, people won’t take it. But Hong Kong is small and very expensive so if a good discount comes, there are others ready to make the investment.
In addition to realtors selling price-chopped homes with unsavory histories to eager expats, some shrewd investors are buying hongza, never setting foot in them, and then renting them out to foreigners for reasonable prices.
And as pointed out in an earlier AOL article on this trend, Hong Kong real estate agents have even created a four-tier system to help classify hongza properties (which, by the way, literally translates to "murder house"): a one "death's head" property means that the previous owner perished as the result of an unfortunate accident while a four "death's head" rating means something really, really nasty went down. I simply adore the natural light in this apartment but the fact that the previous tenant brutally murdered his entire family with an electric saw is giving me pause. Still, it's a great deal. Let me sleep on it. Hey, at least they're being transparent.
Let's see what's currently on the market over at squarefootrage.com.hk, shall we? How about a "classic mansion" in the Ho Man Tin district where a 43-year-old male, struggling with financial issues, poisoned himself with the fumes of burning charcoal? Or an apartment in the Chuck Yuen Estate where "a 67 year old female blindfolded herself and jumped off the building due to her suffering of insomnia." Sadly, from looking through these listings it seems that a majority of available hongza aren't tied in horror movie-style murder and mayham or anything supernatural but with suicides (jumping off of buildings, in particular) prompted by debt and illness.
Have you purchased or would you purchase a seriously discounted home knowing that something "bad" happened to the previous owner? Hongza sweet hongza, anyone?
Related haunted real estate stories on MNN:
Via [The Telegraph]