How to fix a haunted house

If there's something strange in your neighbourhood, who you gonna call? Probably not the Ghostbusters after you read this...

With Halloween just around the corner even the sound of a creaky floorboard will have you convinced you have a haunted house. Plentific have shared with us some top tips for fixing common household problems that often leave us feeling spooked at this time of the year.

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Strange noises

Old brick house with white window

(Image credit: TBC)

Do you hear bumps in the night? When we hear a noise we don't recognise it can leave us spooked and on edge. Ghosts are often associated with spooky noises, such as scratching and faint wailing. The truth is the average property can cause a wider range of noises than a 16-piece orchestra.

The scratching noises are more than likely caused by resident mice or rats than a haunting spirit. The strange gurgling sound is probably down to a faulty boiler. Have you ever heard something banging, like it's trapped underfoot? A plumber will tell you this sound is innocently caused by trapped air pressure in the pipes, not a ghoul.

Flickering lights

burned wooden house wall with yellow lights

(Image credit: Future PLC/Ben Anders)

Do the lights often flick on and off unexpectedly? In horror movies lights switching on and off at random is a common occurrence indicating paranormal activity, but it's far less likely to be the case outside of the movies! Have a licensed electrician inspect your property and they will most likely tell you that the flickering is being caused by faulty wiring, loose bulbs, fluctuating voltage or any number of perfectly logical reasons not related to spirits.

Doors opening and slamming

The sound of a door slamming suddenly, especially from another room, can be very alarming and scary. Rather than being anything sinister it could simply be blamed on a bad fitting. If a door can open and close on it's own, it may be that the strike is slipping too easily out of the latch? The door may need re-hanging to eradicate the problem. A local handyman or carpenter would be the professional to call ,not the Ghostbusters.

Related: 5 super simple DIY Halloween ideas

Missing items

wooden organizer with key holder

(Image credit: TBC)

Do you put things down then go back and they aren't where you thought they were? Supporters of the supernatural are quick to blame ghosts but rather than this being the work of a cheeky poltergeist a more likely explantation can be busy modern life and poor organisation.

Make things easier for yourself by implementing useful storage solutions: a hook for your keys to ensure they are always where you left them, or a safe for more valuable items. If you really want to stop your belongings from 'vanishing' try having a handyman put up some convenient new shelves to help you stay organised.

Unpleasant smells

Did you know that burning plastic components in an electrical socket can produce an unpleasant fishy odour? Yuk! To avoid this ,make unplugging and switching off sockets a priority. If the problem still persists you might need to consult an electrician to check for further problems.

Related: How to make slime for Halloween

Change in temperature

Plant pot on wood table over white wall background

(Image credit: Hive)

Feeling the chill? When it's cold enough indoors to see your breath you may feel like you're in a scary movie? It could just be that you need to get better temperature control. Installing a smart thermostat will allow you to control the heat without even having to move, if you're frozen on the spot that is.

Holes in the garden

It's not the work of the waking dead. A landscaper will be able to tell you if it's the result of sinkholes, collapsed drains or a resident family of busy moles.

Feeling your skin crawl

laundry room with washing machine

(Image credit: TBC)

Urgh bedbugs! No one wants those, they are almost as unwanted as ghosts. Clean your bedding immediately, on the highest temperature setting on a long cycle. It's recommended to get a professional in to do the job properly, because you don't want them returning. Get a local pest control expert to inspect your mattress because they hide in all the creases and crevasses.

Heather Young

Heather Young has been Ideal Home’s Editor since late 2020, and Editor-In-Chief since 2023. She is an interiors journalist and editor who’s been working for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines for over 20 years, both in-house and as a freelancer.