(Life's Little Mysteries) A couple has broken the lease on a rental home in Toms River, New Jersey, claiming the house is haunted. Jose Chinchilla and his fiancée, Michele Callan, are suing their landlord for the return of their $2,250 security deposit, arguing that paranormal activity — including eerie whispering sounds, flickering lights and slamming doors — forced them to flee the home just a week after moving in. They even brought in ghost hunters to verify their claims.
But the landlord has filed a counter-suit, claiming the couple fabricated the ghost story to weasel out of paying the rent. A judge will hear the case later this month.
Whose side is the law on? Can you break a lease if your rental home is haunted?
"So much will turn on whether there's actually credible evidence of paranormal activity," said Eric Goldman, an associate law professor at Santa Clara University. "Usually the answer is there isn't any evidence, at which point no matter what the tenants say they'll have nothing to substantiate it."
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