It can be difficult to sell a property in Asia after it has been the site of an ‘unnatural death,’ but happily, a group of brave freelancers in China, as reported by South China Morning Post, can ensure the place is not haunted – for a fee.
The property where “unnatural deaths” have happened is extremely difficult to sell, especially in markets where superstition and belief in supernatural events are prevalent. Because such stigmatized properties do not appeal to the mainstream market, Japan, for example, has a marketing and sales agency that specializes in marketing and selling them. China does things a little differently from the rest of the world. Real-estate organizations, it appears, pay haunted house testers to spend at least one night in problematic homes in order to verify that they are not haunted.
Property agents, owners, and potential buyers in China hire a small industry of “haunted house testers.” According to Dahe Daily, a news website based in the central province of Henan, they are normally paid one yuan per minute and can earn up to 1,440 yuan (US$220) for a 24-hour stay. According to the story, one haunted house tester, a retired soldier called Zhang, said he knew of more than a dozen others who were interested in the work. “This is a specialized field. It is not ideal for full-time employment, although it can be done part-time. Workers are required to fly across the country and are unsure of their next destination, he said. Zhang also stated that demand is not high, claiming that he has only gotten one order per year for the past few years. His clients are usually real estate brokers attempting to market haunted properties or those who have recently purchased a home that they believe is haunted.
In Asia, it is typical for people to purposefully avoid dwellings where an “unnatural death” occurred, out of fear that the tragedy will bring bad luck to the next residents. Flats that have been “haunted” sell for substantially less than comparable properties in the vicinity. As a result, real estate brokers in Hong Kong are obligated by law to notify an “unnatural death” at a property. While the task of demonstrating a location isn’t haunted has existed for some time, a 24-hour live stream from a haunted home tester in Suzhou, eastern China, brought the position to the public’s notice.
The stream was an attempt to auction off a home that had previously belonged to a guy who had committed suicide there. While the live stream received 56,000 views, no one showed up for the sale of a flat that, if not for the gloomy circumstances surrounding it, would have been worth roughly 2.2 million yuan (US$345,000) according to local market estimates. The opening bid of 1.2 million yuan (US$188,150) was not successful.