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21 April 2010, JellyBean @ 6:09 am

” ‘He’ sat there in midair, smiling at me from in front of the cold fireplace. Hands clasped around his crossed knees, he was nodding and rocking. He faded slowly, still smiling and was gone. . . . He was the most cheerful and solid-looking little person I’d ever seen.”

“He” was one of five friendly ghosts that inhabited Helen Ackley’s 18-room Victorian home in the New York suburb of Nyack, or so she claimed in an article she wrote for Reader’s Digest in May 1977.

Sadly for Ackley, the tale came back to haunt her.

When Jeffrey M. Stambovsky contracted to purchase the house in the early 1990s, he and his wife soon began hearing tales of things going bump in the night. They wanted no part of them — even if the resident spooks did, as Ackley boasted, occasionally leave gifts such as “tiny silver tongs” to toast a daughter’s wedding and a “golden baby ring” to rattle in the birth of her first grandchild.

Stambovsky made his case to the Appellate Division of New York state Supreme Court and got his deposit back. Because Ackley had publicized that her house had ghosts, the court ruled, “as a matter of law, the house is haunted.”

Read more:

Washington Post

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