I don't remember exactly when I read this. My memory is somewhere around when I was in middle school, so in the 1990s, as part of a collection of horror stories. The story had some children (I think at least a brother and a sister) moving to a new house with their parents. They see ghostly presences in the house that seem to be trying to drive them off. I think that there may have been some oddity of the house being cheaper than expected, or maybe that the parents paid entirely in cash (unusual in the story as I recall it, compared to mortgage/financing). After encountering the ghosts, the children run into a set of criminals (I want to say some sort of organized crime) in the basement, and that they're tied to why the parents got such a cheap price and paid in cash. I don't remember if the criminals were looking for something they believed hidden in the house, if they were getting some sort of "revenge" on the family for buying the house before they could, or if it was just some sort of chance encounter, but they kill the children. When the children awake as ghosts, they see a family walking into the house and try to warn them off, only to realize that somehow their ghosts went into their recent past, and it's them who are walking into the house, and ignoring the warnings of the ghosts.

Given my usual books at the time, it was probably a fairly short collection, maybe a paperback under 100 pages, in English, and there's a decent chance it was a Scholastic book. I mainly remember the book for how sudden and unjust the encounter with the criminals was to me. No foreshadowing, nothing that the kids had done wrong, but they're just killed out of hand. I don't remember anything about the ethnicity or the location of the family. My brain says Caucasian middle-class, somewhere in the United States, but that might have been because that's what my family is, and I would default to that.


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