Real Estate & Property Law
Suit Claims Ghosts in Rental Home Justify Return of Security Deposit
Posted Apr 17, 2012 4:30 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A couple in Toms River, N.J., claim in a lawsuit that they are entitled to a refund of their security deposit because their rental home is haunted.
Josue Chinchilla and Michele Callan report seeing flickering lights and hearing slamming doors, footsteps and whispering voices, the Asbury Park Press reports. And those are the least of their problems, the couple says. When they leave and return home, clothes that had been hung in their closet are strewn about the floors. Chinchilla says that once, an apparition tugged at the sheets when he was in bed and touched his arm. The couple also says that a voice appears to be saying, “Let it burn,” ABC News reports.
The couple hired two sets of paranormal investigators, who say something is going on but disagree over whether Chinchilla and Callan are plagued by a residual haunting or an active haunting. ABC News also offers some evidence: Its cameras recorded a light going on of its own accord after Callan ordered the ghosts to “get out of my house.”
The couple left the home one week after moving in, though they had paid a full month’s rent along with the security deposit. “There’s no way I’m going back there,” Callan tells the Asbury Park Press.
The landlord, orthodontist Richard Lopez, has countersued the couple for breaking their one-year lease. Rent is $1,500 a month and the security deposit was $2,250.
Lopez’s lawyer, David Semanchik, told the Asbury Park Press that nobody else has ever claimed the house is haunted. He thinks Callan and Chinchilla can’t afford the rent and are using the ghost story as cover.
Hat tip to Above the Law.