Would you be OK living in a house with ghosts?

A new report finds more than 4 in 10 New Jersey residents believe they’ve already lived in a home that was haunted, and they would be fine doing it again.

The study, which was conducted for Clever, a real estate data company, finds most homeowners are more afraid of mild foundation issues, a leaky roof, bugs, radon and a broken furnace than ghosts, and they would rather live with ghosts than near the scene of a violent crime, a former meth lab or within a mile of a prison.

The report also finds in today’s competitive real estate market, 73% of respondents would consider a buying a haunted house but 52% said they would not pay full market value for it.

L’Aura Hoffman, the founder and director of the New Jersey Ghost Hunters Society, said it’s not surprising so many Garden State residents believe they’ve been living with ghosts because many homes are indeed haunted.

Most ghosts don't even know they're dead.

“A conservative guesstimate for New Jersey, I would say a good 30 to 40%,” she said.

She said most ghosts are basically harmless because “9 times out of 10 they don’t even know that they’re dead, so they don’t even know they’re a ghost, they don’t recognize the change in the landscape around them, they still see the house as they remember it.”

Hoffman said during séances she cautions people to not say to ask ghosts when they've died because that knowledge "could be quite a shock."

She pointed out if you’ve remodeled the house where you live and put in a wall where there used to be a door, “that’s why you see sometimes a ghost walking through a wall because they still see the door that was there.”

Another reason not to be spooked by ghosts is “they can only manifest enough telekinetic energy to move a couple of little things. Maybe you’ll feel a tap on your shoulder or your waist if it’s the height of a child.”

Other signs of haunting

Lights turning themselves on or off.

Television changing channels on its own.

Objects going missing and reappearing in places where you didn't leave them.

The Yankees fan

She said one of the nastiest ghosts she ever encountered was a big New York Yankees fan when he was alive, and the ghost was in a home where a woman enjoyed watching the show "Melrose Place."

“If the Yankees were playing he would switch the channel over to the Yankees game, and she kept fighting and putting it back to 'Melrose Place,' and then at one point he just blew out the TV,” she said.

Hoffman also noted sometimes you may encounter a ghost in home that has a “residual haunting.”

“It’s like an audio or videotape that’s in a loop and just replays itself, either on an anniversary or just repeats itself at a certain time of day or month,” she said.

Notable haunted homes in N.J.

Spy House in Port Monmouth, built in the 1600s, where many ghosts of children and the British troops who enjoyed drinking pints of beer during the Revolutionary War have been repeatedly seen.

Ringwood Manor in Passaic, a 51 room Victorian –era mansion that reportedly has been a ghost hotbed for decades.

The Hermitage in Ho Ho Kus, where spirits and voices of the dead are frequently reported.

Hoffman said there are not more ghosts floating around as we approach Halloween, it just may seem like that because people are more keyed into hauntings and the occult at this time of year.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com.

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