There are believed to be some ghosts in that house

There is believed to be some ghosts in that house

Can anyone tell me which of the to be verb is correct in this case?


The predicate of this sentence 'are believed to be...' is called a modal complex predicate. Its finite verb form must correspond with the Subject Number which is plural /ghosts/. So the only grammatically correct sentence is 'There are believed to be...'


This is one of those situations where no matter which version of the verb is the correct one, it can still sound awkward.

Aside from using the correct verb form (the plural, as provided by the other answers), you could also choose to simply rephrase the sentence, avoiding its awkwardness.

Either of the following would work:

Some ghosts are believed to be in that house.
It is believed that there are some ghosts in that house.


The first one is correct since you are referring to the ghosts, which is plural.

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