Haunted Houses…in the Law.

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September 14, 2021
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As threatened promised, our Halloween blog post.

As you may well imagine, each state in this Union has a number of silly laws.  What may be even more amusing is reading silly laws written with serious intent.  For instance:

Nothing is more annoying than finding out that your house is haunted.  (“Redrum” and 306-degree head spins are best left to the movies, don’t you think?)   Thankfully, our legislators in their wisdom generally ensured that deaths and paranormal activity are subject to mandatory disclosure laws.  However, the devil is in the details.  Under Florida Statute 689.25, for instance, death (including homicide and suicide) is not considered to be a material fact that must be disclosed in a real estate transaction.  In other words, if you’re a ghost, you should move to Florida to ensure your rights are respected.

Such a bone-chilling revelation might unsettle the nerves in Florida…but not in New Jersey!  In the Garden State, all haunting must be fully disclosed.  In other words, when buying a home, be sure to inquire about the complimentary specter included with your purchase.  This is because, under the regulations for the New Jersey real estate commission, if a person asks if a property in question is indeed occupied by ethereal visitors, it is the realtor’s duty to come clean with information relating to the house’s infamous reputation or ethereally-infested status.

While there is a small chance that you might get hustled into buying the next Amityville mansion, you can at least gain comfort knowing that you won’t get enchanted by a New Orleans fortuneteller. In accordance with the New Orleans Criminal Code of Ordinances, Section 54-312, it is illegal for a fortuneteller to use supernatural powers.  (It is also illegal to engage a fortuneteller to cast spells on your behalf.)  Prohibited activity includes using chronology, phrenology, astrology, or palmistry to settle a lover’s quarrel, locate buried treasure, remove evil influences, foretell the outcome of all lawsuits, or turn your enemy into your best friend.  This also means that you can’t conjure up “world peace”…unless you do so in Mississippi.

There are dozens of laws relating to the paranormal that we haven’t even touched upon…such as becoming a licensed necromancer in the state of California.  (Seriously, you’re surprised?  This is California, people!)  And while The Wallenstein Law Group does not currently have an exorcist on staff, we are here to help.  Contact us today!

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