15:28 PM, 28th October 2011, About 10 years ago
Hauntings, murders and eerie goings sound a death knell of interest from serious homebuyers.
Homes with a spooky or notorious past may pick up visits from the curious, but few feel comfortable living with the unknown.
In many cases, local councils or owners decide to pull down the offending buildings as a break with the past and to discourage a constant flow of onlookers.
Time has erased the memories of many foul deeds committed in the once cobbled Georgian and Victorian streets at the hearts of many of our towns and cities, but in some places the fear of violent death still lingers.
One of the notorious was the home of mass killers Fred and Rosemary West at 25 Cromwell Street in Gloucester.
So many murder fans beat a path of pilgrimage to their front door that the council demolished the home and ground each brick to dust. Now the site is a community garden.
10 Rillington Place, Notting Hill, London was where the acid bath murderer John Christie killed his victims in the 1940s. The road was renamed and erased from maps, demolished and rebuilt in an effort to make the house and surrounding area anonymous. Memories are long, and ‘Remember Christie’ sometimes daubed in blood red letters nearby by someone who obviously has not forgotten the horror.
The house at 23 Cranley Gardens, Muswell Hill, London, one of the homes where Dennis Nilsen lived and killed was developed in to flats, but the estate agent selling them in the 1980s claimed they were difficult to shift because “people seemed to think that something was still there, lurking under the floorboards”.
Another infamous murder scene was a house in Dalton Square, Lancaster, where Dr Buck Ruxton strangled his wife and suffocated a maid before dismembering them in the bath. The house sat empty for 40 years until city planners moved in.
No-one has documented all the haunted homes in the UK – but judging by TV series Most Haunted, not many have much to be scared about as the long-running series never found a shred of evidence to prove any building was shared by ghost or ghouls, even though some things went bang in the night.
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