Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Mapping Ghost Houses

The American stigmatized property map has finally arrived. Due to the huge success of the Japanese stigmatized property mapping site Oshimaland it is surprising that it has taken so long for a Western version of the site to emerge.

In Japan many house buyers are put off buying a property if it has been the location for a gruesome crime, murder or suicide. Because of this squeamishness on the part of house-hunters many real-estate agencies don't like to advertise the gruesome history of these properties.

That's where Oshimaland comes in. It maps these 'stigmatized' properties. Each property listed on the Oshimaland map is rated based on its level of stigmatization. This rating is indicated by the number of fire icons attached to a property. If a property has witnessed more than one gruesome event in its past then it might have a three 'fire' icon rating.

The map is so popular in Japan that Osimaland in now proving very popular in other countries, like the UK and the USA.

New website Housecreep bills itself as 'an online community that chronicles the history of homes from all over the world'. In effect it is very similar to Oshimaland in that it is mapping 'stigmatized properties', homes that have witnessed gruesome crimes.

Type an address into the housecreep map and you can view all the nearby homes which have been identified by the housecreep community. If you scroll down in the map sidebar you can see that housecreep is mainly recording the locations of houses that witnessed horrendous murders. For example, in Toronto you can view the locations of homes where a 'mummified baby (was) found in the attic floor boards', where a 'woman was stabbed to dead' and where a 'man was murdered in his home'.

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