Want a side gig? People in China will pay you to prove a property is not haunted
It can be almost impossible to sell a property in Asia after it was home to an ‘unnatural death’, but, thankfully, a group of intrepid freelancers in China will make sure the place is not haunted — for a price.
In China, a small industry of “haunted house testers” are hired by property agents, owners or potential buyers. They are typically paid one yuan per minute, and could make upwards of 1,440 yuan (US$220) for a 24-hour stay, according to Dahe Daily, a news website based in the central province Henan.
The report quoted one haunted house tester, a retired soldier surnamed Zhang, who said he knew of over a dozen other people who were taking on the job.
“This is a niche occupation. It’s not suitable to be a full-time job, but it can be a part-time gig. Workers need to fly across the country and they do not know where they will go next,” he said.
Zhang also said that the demand is not high and said he has received about one order annually over the past few years.
His clients are normally property agents trying to sell haunted properties or people who just bought a property they fear is haunted.
“The new buyers do not dare to sleep in the place, so they pay people to give it a try and see if it is safe,” he said, adding that he would use video calls to show the client how he checked every corner of the house.
“Some of my friends say it is an easy job; sleep for one night and get the money. They asked me for help to get into the gig, but most of them were afraid. My friends quit after their first time,” Zhang said.
In Asia, it is common for people to actively avoid houses that were the location of an “unnatural death” because of concerns that the incident will bring bad fortunes to the subsequent residents. “Haunted” flats tend to sell for a significantly lower price than similar places in the surrounding area.