A Celebrity-Owned New York Mansion Once Declared ‘Legally Haunted’ Is on the Market for $1.9M
The home's former owner asserted that ghosts regularly interacted with her family, including waking up her daughter each morning by shaking her bed
In 1991, the New York Supreme Court decided that a house was “legally haunted” in a famous case known as the “Ghostbusters ruling.” Now, 28 years later, that same house is back on the market — and ghost hunters, it could be yours for $1.9 million.
While gorgeous both inside and out and located on an unassuming, tree-lined street in the village of Nyack, New York, (just 19 miles north of Manhattan), the home has quite the eerie history.
Known to many locals as the “Ghost house,” the home was once owned by a woman named Helen Ackley, who lived there from the 1960s through the 1980s. Ackley was adamant that spirits from the Revolutionary War era were present in the home.
In a 1977 story in Reader’s Digest — as well as several stories in the local newspaper — Ackley asserted that ghosts regularly interacted with her family, including waking up her daughter each morning by shaking her bed. When she finally went to sell the house in the late ’80s, Ackley was sued by the man who had entered into a contract to buy it, Jeffrey Stambovsky, because she neglected to inform him of the supposed paranormal presence.
Because it was widely known (and published) that Ackley believed the home to be haunted, and therefore had created a stigma around the property, Stambovsky won the suit and was allowed to back out of the contract — the home officially dubbed “haunted” under the law.
Located at 1 LaVeta Place, this spirited Queen Anne Victorian home is located on the idyllic Hudson Riverfront. Boasting 4,628 square feet of living space, the property includes five bedrooms, five bathrooms, stained glass windows, arched doorways, a three-car garage, a sun room and a saltwater pool overlooking the river.
Built in 1890, the property has been called home by several famous figures, including Definitely, Maybe director Adam Brooks, who lived there for 20 years; singer Ingrid Michaelson, who stayed there from 2012 to 2015; and, most recently, rapper Matisyahu, who has listed the house with Nancy Blaker Weber of Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty.
According to Weber, none of the home’s past three owners reported seeing any ghosts. In fact, she says, most Nyackers find the fact that the home is legally haunted simply “amusing” — herself included.
“This is the third time I have had the opportunity to list and sell this home, so I’ve logged a lot of time here, Weber tells PEOPLE. “If there’s anything I’ve felt, it is the warmth and creative spirit that exists in this beautiful home. I’ve never experienced anything that would lead me to feel it’s haunted.”
It seems the home’s past residents agree.
“I absolutely adored living at One LaVeta,” Michaelson told the New York Post. “It’s a magical home. It’s a memorable home. It’s a home where people gather, it draws you in and comforts you. And the view is unbeatable.”
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“I moved back to the area from Los Angeles and after touring for the better part of ten years,” Matisyahu told The Journal News. “When I stepped out onto the porch I looked out at the view and immediately felt this was the place for me to live with my three boys and create my next record.”