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What Would it Take for Americans to Stay in a Haunted House?

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Break out your cozy sweaters and dust off your pumpkin-themed decor, because fall is officially among us. If you ask us, watching scary movies and visiting haunted houses are year-round activities. But there’s nothing quite like the uneasy feeling of a fright sending shivers down your spine with a crisp chill in the air.

Of course, the brave souls who love a good startling can rest easy knowing that soon they’ll reach the exit of a haunted house and return back to reality. But what if the escape wasn’t guaranteed? Would Americans willingly stay in a real haunted house overnight (or even longer)?


To uncover how brave Americans are when it comes to spooky sites, we surveyed over 1,000 people across the U.S. asking what incentives it would take for them to stay in a haunted house. We also investigated people’s experiences with supernatural interactions, their biggest fears, and more.

Read on to see what we found, if you dare…

Bribing for Bravery

An infographic of insights on how much money Americans would accept to stay in a haunted house

Whether you’re the type of person who would jump at the chance to visit a haunted house or the type that can’t run away fast enough, there’s no denying that a little incentive would make the stay easier. So what is the average American’s price tag that they couldn’t turn down, even if it meant facing their fears?

Turns out more than half (55.4%) of people would require $10,000 or more to stay alone in an actual haunted house overnight. What’s more, 13.8% say they wouldn’t spend the night unless they were offered a whopping $1,000,000. On the other hand, millennials are the most thrill-seeking generation with 11% of millennial respondents saying they would do it for free!

But when given the option, most would take less money if it meant they could stay with their friends. 56% of people would opt for spending the night in a haunted house with friends for $10,000 over doing it alone for $1,000,000. Men are less likely to agree, with roughly two out of every three males saying they’d prefer to fly solo in return for a million dollars.

Haunted Homeownership

An infographic of insights around buying a haunted home

Staying in a haunted house for a night is one thing, but buying real estate with a notorious past is a much deeper commitment. New homeowners have enough to worry about as is, the last thing they need is the fear of a supernatural being looming over them as they attempt to get settled.

That’s not a concern for the 70% of people who would buy a house that someone died in if the price was right. But the more complicated the house’s backstory, the less willing people are to take the plunge.

Only 38% of people would consider buying a house that someone was murdered in. Additionally, three out of every four would stay away from a house that is known to be haunted, even if it was their dream home. Baby boomers are apparently the least superstitious bunch with 43% saying they would purchase a haunted house. And if locals are afraid of a home, that’s an automatic red flag for 28% of respondents.

Ghosts, Demons, and Basements, Oh My!

An infographic of insights around supernatural encounters

Some may say haunted houses are nothing more than homes associated with fictional folktales, but tell that to the 41% of people who have seen, felt, or heard the presence of a ghost. Baby boomers may not be afraid of living with them, but they’re the most seasoned ghost hunters with 29% saying they’ve seen a ghost with their own eyes.

But ghosts aren’t what most people are worried about when it comes to a haunted house. In fact, just 6% of respondents say the ghosts of people past are the most horrifying potential inhabitants. 47% are afraid of soul-sucking demons and 24% are spooked by possessed dolls.

When it comes to a haunted house, sounds that may be arguably pleasant in a normal situation can often inspire the most fear. For example, 41% of people agree that the sound of singing children is the most frightening feature of a haunted house. One in every five respondents is most afraid of the sound of footsteps—a noise that many may not even notice in a typical home.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately it’s clear that Americans have strong opinions about haunted houses. Luckily, most homeowners don’t have ghosts and ghouls to worry about in their neighborhoods. However, that doesn’t mean you should leave your home unprotected. Surety First’s contractor bonds provide homeowners with the high-quality protection they need in the event of a breach of contract. Contact Surety First to receive total security over your home and finances next time you upgrade your home.

About the Author:

Shortly after graduating from the University of California, Los Angeles with a bachelors degree in economics, Jeremy founded Surety First Insurance Services (formerly Schaedler Insurance), a Northern California based insurance agency specializing in surety bonds for California construction professionals. Jeremy is happily married and the proud father of two young boys. In his free time, he enjoys camping, fishing and shooting the breeze with friends and family.


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