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Build Your Own Haunted House from Realtor.com

by JoAnn Gadkowski Team

Build Your OwnHaunted House (Click Here)

6 Real-Life Haunted Houses You Can Buy Right Now—If You Dare from Realtor.com

by JoAnn Gadkowski Team

6 Real-Life Haunted Houses You Can Buy Right Now—If You Dare

By Craig Donofrio

Children’s laughter echoes faintly in a childless house. A car door slams loudly, even though it seems to be locked. A piano key plinks repeatedly while the bench remains unoccupied.

Sounds like something you’ve seen in a movie, right?

Try real life. And it can be your real (albeit scary) life if you’re feeling brave enough to buy one of these six “haunted” houses. Just beware: You probably can’t use your ghostly guests as a contract contingency. (Full Article)

1. 138 E Fulton St, Canton, MS

Price: $850,000

The Priestley House was built by Dr. James Priestley, Canton’s first postmaster and one of its earliest doctors, around 1852. Both he and his wife, Susan, died in the home.

In 2002, the owner claimed something (perhaps the ghost of the doctor or his wife?) was terrifying his family, according to the Unexplained Files, a blog written by the creator of the short-lived haunted house TV show of the same name.

The owner said he saw the figure of a woman standing near a doorway, and descendants of the Priestley family reported seeing her as well.

Other ghostly happenings include a piano playing on its own, “hot spots” in the room where Susan died, and candles falling out of their holders. Not cool. 

2. 274 Charming Forge Rd, Womelsdorf, PA

Price: $850,000

This Pennsylvania estate may indeed be charming—if you can look beyond its purported ghostly past.

First, there’s the tale of Henry William Stiegel, who bought the land in 1760 while expanding his iron furnace company. Stiegel was in serious debt by the time the expansion was completed and was forced into debtors prison for a year. Upon his release, he was allowed to work again for the forge, but under the guidance of his nephew George Ege, who built the mansion on the property in 1774. (Still with us?)

Broke, humiliated, and angry, Stiegel would routinely storm through the back door, slam it behind him, and stomp upstairs to his third-floor room—until he died in the home in 1785. It’s said you can still hear him slam the door—even though it remains latched—and stomp up the stairs.

Another story involves a young female ward under Ege’s care—and her lover, a clerk. The clerk asked Ege’s permission to marry the girl, but Ege told the clerk he needed a better job. According to legend, the clerk ventured out on horseback to find his fortune. When he returned to Charming Forge and stood up in his stirrups to greet his would-be bride with the good news, it spooked the horse. The clerk fell, his neck was caught in the reins, and his head was torn from his body. Yes, you read that correctly.

Rumor has it the unlucky, headless clerk still wanders the grounds and the young woman weeps in an upstairs bedroom.

3. 744 Clay St, Port Townsend, WA

Price: $750,000

The Ann Starrett Mansion was built by George Starrett for his wife, Ann, in 1889. The lavish 5,796-square-foot mansion was a testament to their undying love, and the Starretts loved the house—in fact, you might say they still do. The couple died more than a century ago, but people claim their ghosts remain. Don’t worry: They’re friendly ghosts.

A redheaded woman has been spotted wandering the halls but “doesn’t do anything, just keeps the place warm and cozy,” Edel Sokol, the current owner of the mansion (which is now a bed-and-breakfast), told Peninsula Daily News.

Other sightings include a male ghost—possibly George—who also doesn’t interact with guests. However, still another ghost, the couple’s strict nanny, is said to keep up her old duties turning off lights, watching the night staff, and sometimes even thumping visitors on their forehead if they insult the house. OK, maybe this ghost is not so friendly after all.

To be perfectly transparent (get it?), we’ll go ahead and say it: This house is amazing!

4. 405 North Mayflower Rd, Lake Forest, IL

Price: $9.95 million

The Schweppe Mansion was built in 1917 as a wedding gift from Laura Shedd’s parents to her and her husband, Charles Schweppe.

Twenty years later, Laura died of a heart attack. Four years later, servants discovered Charles’ body in his bedroom with a bullet in his head and a note stating, “I’ve been awake all night. It’s terrible.”

The house remained vacant for 46 years after Charles’ death. Legend claims that the ghosts of the tragic couple and their servants wandered the halls, and a single window in the master bedroom remained spotless while the others were dusty and covered by cobwebs.

The mansion underwent a renovation in 1987, and it’s unclear if it’s still haunted by its former owners. Wouldn’t you like to find out for yourself?

5. 5121 Franklin Avenue, Los Angeles, CA

Price: $4.79 million

The basement of this extraordinary 1927 Frank Lloyd Wright home, called the Sowden House, is rumored to be the killing ground of Elizabeth Short, aka the “Black Dahlia,” in 1947. The prime suspect was the homeowner, Dr. George Hill Hodel, who fled to Asia to avoid prosecution. He died in 1999.

Even Hodel’s son, Steve, believes his father murdered Short—by cutting her body in half—in this house. Sometime in the early 2000s, Steve Hodel searched the basement with a cadaver dog and claimed the canine had picked up the scent of human decomposition. The case remains unsolved.

People have reported seeing shadows of severed bodies and hearing voices and chains dragging.

6. 13800 W County House Rd, Albion, NY

Price: $1 million

The Pillars Estate, built in the 1880s, is no stranger to poltergeists. Over the years, workers and residents have sworn they heard and saw ghosts of children and a woman in white with a parasol. It’s unknown who haunts this 13,286-square-foot mansion, but the spirits began making noise after recent renovations.

Apparently the ghostly kids like to play hide-and-seek with guests, and someone repeatedly strikes the same piano key in the parlor.

Some people just can’t stand change.

See Full Article Here

Denver Broncos Vs. Green Bay Packers at 630pm on NBC in Denver, Colorado

by JoAnn Gadkowski Team

Denver Broncos Vs. Green Bay Packers at 630pm on NBC in Denver, Colorado


Full Broncos Schedule Here!

 

 

Every October, as Halloween approaches, we’re surrounded by the same familiar imagery. Everywhere we look, there’s the flickering glow of a ghoulish jack-o’-lantern, a room covered in spooky cobwebs, and people wearing bloody fangs or witches’ hats. But where did these associations come from, and what do they mean? Read on for a quick primer on the origins of classic Halloween images and symbols.

1. Skeletons and Ghosts- Skeletons and ghosts have roots in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, from which the modern-day Halloween is derived. The festival took place on the night of October 31, marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the cold, dark winter. It was, in essence, a festival of the dead. The Celts believed that on this night, the boundary between the realms of the living and dead became blurred — the dead returned as ghosts and they could walk amongst the living.

This “day of the dead” association still remains strong today. That’s why symbols of death — like graveyards and haunted houses — are so ubiquitous around Halloween. Skeletons and ghosts too are eerily symbolic reminders of the otherworld, death, and human mortality.

2. The Jack-o’-Lantern

Believe it or not, the original jack-o’-lantern wasn’t a pumpkin — it was a turnip.

According to Irish folklore, a fellow nicknamed “Stingy Jack” played a trick on the devil and was condemned to forever wander the earth without a resting place. Armed with only a glowing ember from the devil to light the way, Jack put it into a carved-out turnip and made a makeshift lantern. The Irish called him “Jack of the Lantern,” or “Jack O’Lantern” for short.

On All Hallow’s Eve (now known as Halloween), people in Ireland and Scotland would carve scary faces into turnips and potatoes and place embers inside of them, in hope of warding off evil spirits and Stingy Jack. European immigrants adapted this tradition when they traveled to the United States, soon discovering that pumpkins made for perfect jack-o’-lanterns. Nowadays, they are a familiar sight on windowsills and doorsteps every Halloween.

3. Vampires

Even ancient civilizations had legends and folklore about supernatural, demonic, blood-drinking entities — primitive vampires, if you will. But Bram Stoker’s 1897 classic horror novel Dracula really brought the modern version of vampires to life. These creatures are synonymous with horror and the undead because they are often described to be revenants — human corpses that return from the grave to torment the living. Their connection to death and the supernatural make them a fitting symbol for Halloween.

See full article here

Spooktacular Halloween Fun in Colorado Springs from VisitCOS.com

by JoAnn Gadkowski Team

Are you ready to celebrate this spooky holiday this weekend?

Here are a few ideas of what to do from VistCOS.com (see full article here)

Boo at the Zoo - Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Dates: October 17-18, 23-25, 30-31, 2015  
Time:  4-8:30pm; last ticket sold at 7:30pm 
Cost: 
$17.25 for ages 3-65 
$12.25 for Zoo members  
$15.25 Military and over 65 Senior Discount 
FREE for ages 2 and under

Harvest Day at M Lazy C Ranch

Date: October 1-31, 2015
Time: Call to book your ride; open and available most days
Cost: $10 for a pumpkin and hay ride

 

Old Colorado City Business Trick Or Treat

31 October 2015 2:00 pm
Free!

 

Happy Halloween from the JoAnn Gadkowski Team!

Denver Broncos Vs. Cleavland Browns at 11am

by JoAnn Gadkowski Team

Denver Broncos Vs. Cleavland Browns at 11am on CBS


Full Broncos Schedule Here!

 

 

Open House 10/18 12-3p 820 Tyco

by JoAnn Gadkowski Team

Open House TOMORROW! 10/18 12-3p 820 Tyco (see full listing here)

$725,000
SqFt. 5165
5 Beds
4 Baths


Outstanding views and perfect floorplan are just the beginning of this extremely special D12 two story located on a quiet culdesac in Upper Skyway.Freshly remodeled with new kitchen and updated baths this is a rare opportunity on a flat lot with views to Kissing Camels.Large open entry with sweeping staircase graces the formal living & dining rooms. Large family room with built ins and fire place opens to gourmet kitchen with extensive cabinetry, granite counters,newer appliances and large eating nook w spectacular views.


                       
Sellers have completely transformed the entire home with remodeled recreation room and new wet bar with wine refrigerator. The master retreat has been transformed into a gathering room with sleeping area (formerly sitting area or nursery) and stunning 21x12 master bath with large his and hers vanity w appliance garages,beautiful marble floors, huge walk in steam shower w his and hers faucets, jetted tub, and a master closet with every imaginable amenity. Off the master is an office/6th bedroom complete with built in desk. Two large bedrooms with walk in closets and private sinks and Jack&Jill bath complete the second floor. Large mud room w cubbies and storage plus laundry room! Exterior has been freshly stuccoed w added stone accents.Rare nearly half an acre flat lot is professionally landscaped w mature trees, large grassy yard and room for soccer! Views are what dreams are made of w morning sun on Garden of the Gods and twinkling city lights at night. Extras include 3 furnaces, water purifier, invisible fencing, radon system, and laundry chute from the master. Owners have added 2 new hot water heaters, sewer cleanout, and hand wood floors in many rooms. Enjoy mountain sunsets and city views from your private hot tub. This home has it all and more!

 

Top 10 Bad Staging Ideas on Realtor.com

by JoAnn Gadkowski Team

Top 10 Bad Staging Ideas
By Justin Riordan on Realtor.com (full article here)

Not all home staging is created equally. Staging Darwinism is real and only the smart survive. Below we countdown the top 10 “stoopidest” home staging ideas.

#10. “Bake cookies right before your open house.”

Our sense of smell is very closely related to our sense of memory. True enough, for some people, the smell of freshly baked cookies may bring back fantastic memories of days past when their loving mother baked cookies every Saturday afternoon. However, I use to work at Mrs. Fields, and my boss was a real jerk. Whenever I smell freshly baked cookies … I get slightly nauseous and a bit angry. Your house should smell like nothing when it is being shown. Scented homes lead to one of two reactions:

Buyers who are chemically sensitive get headaches, irritated eyes, or nausea and want to leave immediately.
Buyers wonder what you are trying to cover up and immediately become suspicious that you are a shyster.
#9. “My house won’t sell unless it has plants in it.”

Live plants or flowers in a vacant house tend to become dead plants very fast. Unless you are dedicated to checking on these plants regularly, you need to skip them, because nothing stops a house from going pending like dead plants. Fake plants are just that, fake. When it comes down to it, staging is creepy. You are in a house that appears to be occupied and yet, it is not. Every time you add something fake, it is one more reminder that this is not real and thus adds to the creepy factor.

#8. “If they can’t see past that ‘__________’ then they don’t deserve to buy my house.”

The truth is, if they can see past “____________” then you did a poor job preparing your house for the market. If you find yourself saying this, think again.

#7. “I can just lightly stage this room and it will work.”

Light staging or, as I call it, “the placing of random objects in a room,” like a chair and a rug in a bedroom, does not help sell houses. It will actually slow the process down. Staging is only meant to do three things:

Show the room’s purpose
Show the room’s scale
Add light to the room
Random objects in a room serve only to draw attention away from the house. Light staging is like hiring a clown to dance in front of a rack of dresses to help sell the dresses. Your buyers end up paying more attention to the clown than they do the dresses. Either stage the room completely, or don’t stage it at all.

#6. “I am paying for the staging, you should only stage with things I like.”

You are correct in that you are paying for the staging, but you are incorrect in that you think you are the customer. Really when it comes down to it you are now a retailer, trying to sell a product. You have hired a stager just as a department store would hire a visual merchandizer to display their items to sell to a customer. Your stager is concerned about what the potential buyer will like. You should be too.

#5. “The style of the staging should match the style of the house.”

Nobody has an entire household full of mid-century modern furniture. When staging a home we want the house to look obtainable. We want our clients to say, “Hey, I could do that!” By staging with an eclectic mix of furniture that does not necessarily “go” with the house, we prove to people that their mis-matched, rag-tag lot of furniture could look good in the house as well.

#4. “We should make everybody take off their shoes before they enter.”

Why in the world would you ask people to be uncomfortable in their new home, the first time they see it in order to protect floors that will no longer belong to you in a matter of weeks? Regardless of how or if you ask, thoughtful people with dirty shoes will remove then before coming through; thoughtless people will leave them on.

#3. “We should pull out the staging as soon as the house goes pending.”

Uh-oh! You pulled out your staging before the inspection period ended in order to save a few bucks on rental furniture. Now your sale has failed because the buyer didn’t like the condition of the water heater. I see that frowny face. Next time leave it in through the inspection period, better yet, through the financing contingency.

#2. “Staging can fix anything.”

I so wish this was true, but often, it is not. Sometimes things are so bad. They need to be fixed prior to, or in lieu of, staging. If your entire house is painted in rainbow tie-dye, no amount of staging can help you.

And the #1 “stoopidest” idea … “Staging is easy.”

It is amazing how many sellers I meet on a daily basis. Nearly every single day somebody calls me to explain to me why they don’t need staging services. They say they know exactly what their house needs in order to sell, and how they have a lot of experience doing what I do and they could just do it themselves. I always wonder to myself, “Then why are you calling me?” The truth of the matter is, home staging is not as easy as it looks.

I often compare it to women’s gymnastics. You know you are doing it right when it looks effortless. If you get a chance Google “Nadia Comaneci, perfect score” and watch the video. I don’t think she even broke a sweat. Good home staging looks like that.

What it all comes down to is that “staging is easy” is the No. 1 biggest myth we would love to perpetuate.

In the end, “stoopid” staging does nothing to help you and could actually hurt your sale. You need a competent staging professional if you want top dollar for your house.

Nominations for Best of The Springs 2016- Please Nominate Us!

by JoAnn Gadkowski Team

Hello!

We would truly appreciate your nomination as Best Realtor for the 2016 Best Of The Springs (The Gazette)!

Click the picture below OR go to thebestofthesprings.com/nominations-city-life/ OR click here! Thank you!


5 Unusual Things to Do With Your Halloween Pumpkin- from KidsAdventures.com

by JoAnn Gadkowski Team

(5) Unusual Things to Do With Your Halloween Pumpkin (full article here)

By Deb Ng

Are you looking to try something different with your pumpkins this year?

Are your kids anxious for some fun with these fabulous orange orbs?

If you’re looking for some creative, pumpkin-y amusement to have with your family, you’ve come to the right place.

The editors of My Kids’ Adventures have put together a list from around the web.

In this article, you’ll find 10 fun and unique things to do with your Halloween pumpkin. Some of these ideas are a little unusual, but all are extremely doable and lots of fun. Have a ball!

Please remember that pumpkins rot quickly once they’re carved or cut. If you’re doing any carving or cutting projects for Halloween, you may want to do it only a day or so before.

Hint: A little Vaseline on the cut edges will give your gourds a little extra shelf life.

Ready for some cool new pumpkin ideas?

Read on…

#1: Hanging Jack Pumpkin Lantern
You don’t need too many instructions to get this hanging Halloween lantern going, but do stop by to see the original that Angela Pierre shows us at CupcakePedia. t’s an easy carve-and-hang project, but if you’re lighting this lantern, we recommend that you place the candle in a glass bowl inside the pumpkin’s head and leave out the moss so nothing catches fire. Better yet, use a safe LED candle, which will provide the same eerie effect without safety concerns.

#2: Dripping Crayon Pumpkin
This crayon drip pumpkin from Alexa Westerfield (a.k.a. Swelldesigner) at The Swell Life is another project requiring parental supervision, but the effect is definitely worth it. This one is easier than it looks: just melt crayons with a blow dryer and let them drip down your pumpkin. There are no open flames because the heat comes from a blow dryer, but it still may get pretty hot. If you’re concerned about little hands (or big ones), use some gloves for protection. This is a terrific way to use up all of those crayon bits, and you can totally go wild with the different color combinations.

#3: Pumpkin Seed Art
If you’re looking for the perfect Halloween activity for younger kids or a classroom Halloween party, try pumpkin seed art. It’s similar to the Artful Food project we featured on My Kids’ Adventures earlier this year, but with a Halloween twist.
This pumpkin activity comes from The Mother Huddle and is safe, easy and relatively neat. You’re not limited to making pumpkin pictures, either. Use your imagination and try different colors and combinations.

 

#4: Fall Flower Pumpkin Planter
What do you get when you cut the top off of a pumpkin, scoop out the insides and fill it with soil? A lovely fall planter, that’s what! Kids love to dig in the dirt and watch things grow. Add an extra element of fun by planting in a pumpkin. Mackenzie at Cheerios and Lattes filled her planters with beautiful fall blooms, but we can imagine going lots of different ways with this. Try filling with herbs, flowers or even a pumpkin plant.And if you’ve still got pumpkins intact (uncut) after Halloween, imagine giving a pretty pumpkin potted centerpiece to your hostess on Thanksgiving.

#5: Lighted Pumpkin Eyes
Turn your jack-o-lantern up a notch when you make these spooky lighted pumpkin eyeballs from Cindy at Skip To My Lou. These glowing, bulbous eyes are simple to make and incorporate into your Halloween pumpkin. They use LED tealight candles, ping-pong balls and googly eyes, so they’re a safe way to scare your trick-or-treaters silly.

Read this full article for more ideas at kidsadventure.com/halloween-pumpkin-ideas/​

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JoAnn Gadkowski Team
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Rocky Mountain Realtors
660 Southpointe #200
Colorado Springs CO 80906
719-339-8909

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