Thinking of relocating in 2017? Get ready for the pain. Packing, cleaning, hiring movers, credit checks and deposits can be a total nightmare… but while there are plenty of new user-friendly resources out there to relieve most of those burdens, there’s still very little help available when it comes to finding out of your would-be residence is haunted. After all, you don’t want to end up like the Milliken family, whose harrowing story we documented earlier this week. [Hint hint… read the whole story here.]
Apart from services like DiedInHouse.com, a company which promises (for a fee) to confirm whether someone has died within any residence, there’s not a lot of freely-available data on hand for people who want to know if they’re renting or buying the site of a former murder or suicide.
But that all changed with the introduction of a mobile application called Spacious, which comes with a less-publicized but very unique feature: in addition to revealing vital details about an available property, it also alerts apartment-hunters when they’ve found a location with an allegedly haunted history.
According to The New York Times, the app is extremely popular in Hong Kong, where it was developed. Not only is housing extremely limited in the densely populous metropolis, but per the traditions of Feng Shui, any unnatural death occurring within a house or apartment is often believed to bring bad fortune — or worse — upon anyone who takes up residence there afterward.
Though homicides are quite rare in Hong Kong, the Times noted that the apartment where the notorious “Hello Kitty Murder” took place in 1999 [which we covered in an earlier feature] was considered so tainted by that grisly incident that most people refused to live anywhere near it. (The entire building was finally torn down in 2012.)
The creator of Spacious, Asif Ghafoor, explains how the app incorporates data from local police reports and news headlines, which it uses to indicate whether a death has occurred at any chosen site. The app will then notify the user — with the image of an ironically cute ghost — and provide a brief caption explaining the circumstances surrounding the fatality.
Ghafoor also noted that roughly 1-2% of apartments have had these kinds of “incidents” — which can negatively impact sales to the point where realtors usually offer up to a 20% discount to prospective buyers.