I enjoyed reading “10 Horrifying Haunts,” from November issue of “BBC History Revealed” on my Kindle, which inspired me to share with my fellow readers the story of a “legally” haunted house here in the U.S. Compared to the famed haunted castles, pubs, or inns with colorful histories in the U.K, it might be deemed rather commonplace, but it is the real McCoy in the supernatural phenomena devoid of hoaxes and mass media hysteria. It’s so spellbinding and real into the bargain that it’s worth the noting.
It’s the house built circa 1890 that sits right on the Hudson River in Nyack, New York. It had been used as both a boarding house and a family residence before one woman by the name of Helen Ackley moved in with her family, who soon realized that the house was also inhibited by the restless poltergeists of the supposedly Revolutionary War era. The Ackley family and the spirits began their tacitly mutual ghostly cohabitation until late 1980s when a young Yuppie couple from the New York City bought the house, not being aware of the haunted history of the house because neither owner Helen Ackley nor her real estate broker revealed the haunting to buyer Jeffrey Stambovsky before and at the time of a sale of the house. The aftermath of purchasing the house was all over but the shouting; the new Stambovsky family could not cope with the daily disturbances of poltergeist activities and wanted to rescind the contract with the former owner, who failed to inform them of such historicity of the house. Hence, the matter was eventually brought to the Appellate Divisions of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, which rescinded the contract, ruling that a seller was duly to let a buyer aware of all the information about the house at sale resulting in a proverbial case law entitled “Stambovsky v. Ackley”, aka the “Ghostbuster Ruling”.
Bizarre or preposterous even the situation might seem, it was certainly a paramount case of a haunted house that a court of law, the authority of Reason and Judgment, officially declared it to be. The house with a spooky and celebrated litigious history still stands still at the same place but with a series of new residents always giving way to the old spectral residents. The story of the famed haunted Nyack house sends the chill down my spine because it even persuaded a solemn court of law to accept the phantasmal existence in this otherwise lovely old house in the ordinary landscape of everyday life that could be in my town and your town. By the way, the house is currently on the market. The address is: 1 Laveta Pl, Nyack, NY 10960.