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Study: House Appraisals 40% Lower When Haunted By Black Ghosts

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CAMBRIDGE, MA—In a comprehensive analysis that confirms the stubborn persistence of racial bias within the U.S. housing market, a Harvard University study published Tuesday found that homes are appraised 40% lower on average when haunted by Black ghosts. “Realtors across the country confirm that property values in a neighborhood decline when a dead Black family moves in,” said Heidi Rausenbaum, a professor of urban planning and parapsychology who helped conduct the research, explaining that even when they do their best to accommodate white residents, potential buyers routinely report feeling “too creeped out” to purchase a home inhabited by African American poltergeists. “If there’s a dead Victorian-era white girl wandering the halls and making the walls bleed, a house will almost always have a higher valuation than it will if—when a home appraiser goes to the bathroom to splash water on their face—they look up to see the specter of a Black man with blood pouring out of his mouth.” Rausenbaum added that future studies would examine the phenomenon of white ghosts move into historically Black communities and pricing ghosts of color out of their homes and into purgatory.