A landlord is suing former tenants who fled the New Jersey home in the middle of the night after only one week, claiming the residence is haunted.
Richard Lopez, an orthodontist and landlord, filed a state Superior Court lawsuit against Josue Chinchilla and Michele Callan, who left the Toms River home March 10 after living there a week with Callan’s teenage daughter and 6-year-old son.
Lopez’s lawsuit alleges that the couple diminished his ability to rent or sell the house when they told the Asbury Park Press about their experiences in the home.
The couple said doors would creak and slam in unoccupied parts of the house and clothing and other items would be found in places other than where they were left.
They said they finally fled the home after Chinchilla felt an invisible hand on his arm and Callan saw a dark apparition in their bedroom.
Lopez is seeking $15,000 in damages.
Chinchilla and Callan previously filed a lawsuit against Lopez, alleging the landlord initially agreed to return their $2,250 security deposit and let them out of their one-year lease before changing his mind.
In a case eerily similar to the supposedly true ‘Amityville Horror’, a New Jersey couple said that paranormal activity caused them to flee their rental home. They are now suing their landlord.
Michele Callan and her fiance, Josue Chinchilla, moved into the home in Toms River, N.J., with Callan’s two children on March 1 and were immediately spooked.
“Three taps on the TV, taps on the shoulder…” Chinchilla told ABC News.
At first they chalked it up to the adjustment period of moving into a new home.
But things only got spookier, they said.
Doors opened and closed. The family even claimed they recorded strange voices whispering, “Let it burn.”
The new tenants said that between the menacing voices, flickering lights and clothes mysteriously flying from their closets, they couldn’t take it anymore. They fled the three-bedroom home and checked into a hotel, where they said they have been living since March 13.
Callan and Chinchilla filed suit last week in New Jersey Superior Court, seeking the return of their $2,250 security deposit from their landlord, Richard Lopez.
Lopez filed a counter-suit claiming the couple is using alleged paranormal activity as a way to break their lease.
“Frankly, there is something else going on,” David Semanchik, who is Lopez’s lawyer, told the Asbury Park Press. “She is a single mom, she has this fiancé living with her. I think she is in over her head and she can’t afford the rent.”
The couple said that isn’t the case, but ultimately a judge will have the final word on whether the family will be able to escape their alleged nightmare on Lowell Avenue.