‘Pet Sematary’ (1989)
Film recap: Shortly after Dr. Louis Creed moves his family to a small town in Maine (of course), his son is killed in a tragic accident. Grief-stricken, the good doctor decides to bury his son in the “pet sematary” just beyond their property—an abandoned Native American burial ground that he’s learned can bring the dead back to life. Not pausing to ponder why it was abandoned, he soon discovers the problem with his plan: The dead may come back to life, but they don’t come back quite the same.
Real estate lesson: Know the rules of disclosure
We learned more from this flick than how not to spell “cemetery.” There were two morals to digest. The first? Don’t bring people back from the dead, idiot. And the second? Always read the disclosure forms.
Look, if the doctor had actually done his homework, then he might have been better informed about the unearthly goings-on in his backyard.
Now, if the seller didn’t disclose, that’s another story. Understandably, sellers may not want to reveal certain facts about the property—if it was a crime scene, if a death occurred there, or if pets and people come back to life and wreak havoc until everybody’s dead. But in some states, they’re required to.
Plus, if buyers find out the truth later, they can sue if they think the property’s history will hurt its resale value.
‘The Mist’ (2007)
‘The Shining’ (1980)
‘Secret Window’ (2004)
‘Salem’s Lot’ (1979)
Film recap: Ben Mears returns to his hometown to write a book about a long-empty and supposedly haunted estate. When he discovers someone has bought the home, his project is put on hold. But then people around the house start dying and, of course, Ben uncovers the truth: Kurt Barlow, the owner of the estate, is a vampire who’s turning his victims into an army of undead slaves.
Real estate lesson: Know your neighbors
Let’s be honest: We don’t quite know how Sir Vampire scored his sprawling abode. Maybe he had some pretty solid home financing. Maybe it was an all-cash deal. Maybe he waived all the contingencies (do the undead really care whether the HVAC system is in good condition?). Regardless, when it came time to choose the best offer on the house, the seller’s agent probably didn’t check to see whether Barlow was a vampire.
So if you’re moving into a new neighborhood, or someone just moved in, it’s always a good idea to do a little recon. If you have the time—and the money—you can actually dig up quite a bit of dirt.
A caveat: Be careful not to alienate anyone—a good neighbor can be the magic ingredient for making a neighborhood feel like home. Even if they happen to be undead.