A truly contemporary component to living in a haunted house is what it will cost you to get out.
In this instance, family goes house hunting. Family rents house and moves in. Family learns house is haunted. Family flees. Family sues.
In March of 2012, Michele Callan, her fiancé Josue Chinchilla, and her two children moved into a three-bedroom rental home on Lowell Avenue in Tom’s River, New Jersey.
As soon as they moved in, the strange occurrences began. Chinchilla claimed to hear three taps on the television and then felt three taps on his shoulder. The activity quickly escalated from there. Doors throughout the house opened and closed on their own. Lights flashed and flickered. Clothes flew from the closets. Voices and whispers echoed through the halls, including an ominous phrase, “Let it burn.” Chinchilla claimed that during the night the sheets were ripped away from him and a dark apparition grabbed his arm.
Within two weeks, the family had endured all they could. Even though their rent was paid until the end of the month, they moved into a hotel.
Callan and Chinchilla then sued the landlord to retrieve their $2,250 deposit. The landlord accused them of using the haunting to weasel out their lease and filed a countersuit.
Callan reasoned there was no way she would have paid $4,000 in deposit and rent and moved in all of their stuff only to move it all out again two weeks later, forfeit the deposit, and pay more money to live in a hotel.
Whatever the outcome, Callan and Chinchilla vowed never go back to the house again and felt that while they’d lived in the house, their lives and the children’s lives were in danger.
The family called in a local pastor, who assessed the house for activity and proclaimed that it was most likely occupied by a demonic presence. They also called in the NJ Paranormal Investigators, who confirmed that the house was definitely haunted—one of the most active hauntings they’d seen. “We were shocked. Out of all of the investigations we have done, this is where we came up with the most concrete evidence in close to 20 investigations.”
By the fall of that year, both parties had agreed to allow their case to be heard on the People’s Court television program. Although the show covered the couple’s three months of back rent, the verdict went in the favor of the owner and their deposit was not returned.
In 2017, the home was put up for sale.