Italian couple to sue former owners over 'haunted' house sale

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Melbourne, Mar 31 : An Italian family is planning to take legal action against the previous owners of their house for not telling them it was haunted.

Gaetano Bastianelli and his wife Stefania bought the modern home in the Umbrian town of Spoleto in 2005 for 120,000 Euros.

They were attracted to the deal because the entire furniture and fittings were left by the owners, right down to the coffee cups.

"We considered it the deal of the century," The Daily Telegraph quoted Bastianelli, as saying.

According to the couple, they had no idea that the house in Santo Chiodo road had been constructed near the disused Pozzi Ginori cemetery.

The couple also claimed that they were not aware of the fact that the strange things happening at the place during the 1970s had necessitated an exorcism - and prompted a visit from Perugia University's paranormal research team.

"The ghosts started their haunting on the first night. I woke suddenly at around one or two in the morning. There was water seeping from under the bathroom door," Bastianelli said.

"The hot water tap was pouring out boiling water and the room was full of steam. My wife was stunned, because she had turned off everything before going to bed, " he added.

Bastianelli, a former long-distance lorry driver, claimed that by next morning, malevolent spirits had left 'luminous green mould all over the walls'.

After enduring howls in the night and creaking staircases for the three years, Bastianelli finally hired a lawyer, Antonio Francesconi, to sue the previous owners for not informing him that the house was haunted.

"We have a good case. Under article 1490 of Italian law, you have to tell buyers if there is anything wrong. I think that the previous owners will settle out of court," Francesconi said.

Sergio Grifoni, a local historian, confirmed that an exorcism was conducted on a girl in the house in 1977.

"The local papers at the time said a girl had been possessed by the devil and had been taken to the bishop. Nothing helped, until Pope John Paul II prayed for her," Grifoni said.

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