A cat-loving real estate agent has raised spirits across social media after putting up ‘NOT HAUNTED’ signs outside of homes she’s selling in the Baltimore area to assure prospective buyers they’re completely ghost-free.
The signs, written in bold white lettering on a black background, were placed outside of two homes in Hampden by realtor Joy Sushinsky in recent weeks, and have since gone viral across Reddit and TikTok.
Though the 40-year-old told DailyMail.com she verifies with the property’s seller that the home isn’t plagued by paranormal activity before posting the signs out front, not everyone seems convinced by her assurances.
‘It’s definitely haunted,’ one Reddit user affirmed, responding to an image of the sign outside one of the homes. A viewer on TikTok concurred, writing: ‘Sounds like something a haunted house would say.’
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Cat-lover Joy Sushinsky (shown above, and right with her late cat, Killer) has been raising spirits across social media with amusing signs she’s placed out side of homes she’s listing in Baltimore, reading ‘NOT HAUNTED’
The signs, written in bold white lettering on a black background, were placed outside of two homes in Hampden
While sellers aren’t required to disclose whether or not a site is haunted under Maryland law – unlike in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Minnesota – Sushinsky says she’s confident the homeowners told her the truth.
And as a former paranormal skeptic-turned-believer, Sushinsky says she feels qualified to make that call.
‘I wasn’t a believer until recently,’ she told DailyMail.com. ‘I used to have a friend that would tell me all the time that her house was haunted but I didn’t believe her – I thought she was crazy.’
For Sushinsky, her belief system entirely changed earlier this spring when she moved into a home in Hampden, which had previously been abandoned for eight years.
‘When I moved in weird things started happening,’ she said, adding that she had moved into the property with her dog and ‘semi-Instagram famous’ cat, named Killer.
‘It pretty early on in the pandemic and it was hard to get a hold of furniture so the house was pretty empty still.’
Sushinsky said she would lie awake at night, listening to the door across the hallway from her bedroom periodically opening and slamming without explanation.
‘Every night I’d make sure it was locked, then wake up again and it would be open, having heard it open and close all night,’ she said.
Sushinsky said she started believing in ghosts earlier this year when she moved into a home that had been abandoned for eight years, with her dog and cat Killer (shown above in a mural)
Sushinsky said she would lie awake at night, listening to the door across the hallway from her bedroom periodically opening and slamming without explanation. Her cat would also meow and stare at the same corner of a room each day
Sushinsky said she spoke with her neighbors to try and find out about the home’s previous tenants, and whether the property had anything nefarious in its history, but her inquires yielded few leads.
In the meantime, she said she grew evermore aware of the seeming paranormal presence in her home.
Sushinsky’s cat, Killer, would make a strange ‘yowling’ noise anytime he walked past the same corner of a room near the front of the house, she claimed. The feline would also apparently stare at that corner for long passages of time, meowing.
Her dog too seemed to ‘be aware’ of the apparent spirit’s presence, she said.
‘It was freaky,’ Sushinsky, who lives alone, recounted. ‘I also knew it couldn’t be the cat making the noises in the middle of the night either because she was locked in the bedroom with me.
‘I didn’t tell too many people about what was happening, I was worried they’d think I was a little crazy.’
But when Sushinsky’s beloved Killer died in May, the bumps in the night that had so often startled her awake suddenly stopped completely.
‘There was no more opening or closing of doors all night long, it was the strangest thing,’ she said. ‘The coincidence of it all made me a believer [in ghosts], it’s like Killer took the ghost with him.’
But when Sushinsky’s beloved Killer died in May, the bumps in the night that had so often woken her suddenly stopped.
In light of the ordeal, Sushinsky said if she was ever to sell her current home, she’ll definitely inform any potential buyers that it used to be haunted.
The incident also inspired Sushinsky to reprise a tradition she’d first employed some three of four years earlier: placing ‘Not Haunted’ signs outside of homes that she was selling in the area.
Sushinsky said she first thought of the idea while on vacation in New Orleans, when she noticed some homes in the city’s French Quarter had for sale signs that specified if the home was ‘haunted’.
‘Wouldn’t that be fun to do for Halloween,’ Sushinsky remembers thinking at the time.
She said she returned to Hampden and placed her ‘Not Haunted’ signs on a number of properties that weren’t drawing much interest during a ‘lull’ in sales.
The incident inspired Sushinsky to reprise a tradition she’d first employed some three of four years earlier: placing ‘Not Haunted’ signs outside of homes that she was selling.
Not all have been convinced by Sushinsky’s assurances that the home’s aren’t haunted
Sushinsky reportedly received a lot of positive feedback from passers-by, telling her the signs had made them laugh or crack a smile. Incredibly, all but one of the homes bearing a sign also sold shortly afterwards.
While she didn’t use the signs during 2019’s Halloween season, Sushinsky said she decided to bring them back in rotation for the closing months of 2020, with the pandemic leaving people in need of a laugh now more than ever before.
‘With 2020 having been so blah, I knew this was my chance to bring the signs back,’ Sushinsky said. ‘I guess there’s much more social media this time around, because the signs really took off on TikTok and Reddit.
‘Because my number is attacked to the signs I’m also getting a lot of text messages from people telling me how much they enjoyed them.’
In addition to boosting spirits, the signs have also once again helped to increase sales. One home was sold by Sushinsky just seven days after she put a ‘No Haunted’ sign out front.
The home, which featured across TikTok, had previously been on the market for 222 days, until Sushinsky took over the listing earlier this month.
While she says she’s unsure whether she’ll continuing using the signs in 2021, Sushinsky said she’s currently drafting up new creative ideas to help drum up similar for her other listings in the future.