Should Colorado Adopt New York’s Crazy Haunted House Law?

A Colorado couple says their contract should be void because they’re living in the former home of a serial killer and they didn’t know it.

Anthony and Rita Bucklew bought the home where Scott Lee Kimball allegedly killed four women, a male relative and tried to kill his own 10-year-old son, according to Housing Watch. Gruesome stuff, indeed.

“We don’t want the stigma with it,” said Mr. Buckley. “People are driving by the house staring, taking pictures, calling us psychos,” which all seems like rather unneighborly behavior. “It has gotten out of hand,” he added.

The broker reportedly says he can get them almost 50 percent off the purchase price of $525,000, and pay for a “cleansing service.” Yuck.

While many states have laws requiring brokers to disclose if murder, sex scandals, suicide or certain other types of mayhem have occured in their new abode, there’s not a lot of precedent. New York is one of only a couple where the contract can be retroactively voided.

Research shows that, indeed, having some horrible event occur on a property can mean it takes 50 percent longer to sell, and go for well under the market rate.

There are, of course, exceptions. After Gianni Versace was gunned down outside his mansion in 1997, the home apparently sold for $19 million, at the time the highest price ever paid for a house in Miami-Dade County.

New York, along with California, is one of the few states that will grant a recision. The New York Supreme Court has been soundly mocked for a case in 1991 in which it considered the case of New York bond trader Jeffrey Stambovsky’s sprawling 18-room Victorian home overlooking the Hudson River. Mr. Stambovsky said he should be able to void the contract because the house was supposedly inhabited by a cheerful “little person” in Revolutionary garb with “a round, apple-cheeked face,” who pranced around and once even ate a ham sandwich.

And he won. Should Colorado Adopt New York’s Crazy Haunted House Law?