Mr Sneed had bought the house for the business. It was on top of a rift in time and space, and, as such, there were rumours that the house was haunted. Sneed commented that it was good for business.
When the Ninth Doctor and Rose arrived in 1869, they discovered that the bodies of the dead had been animated by the gaseous Gelth, who had lost their physical bodies during the Last Great Time War. They were using the rift and a servant girl, Gwyneth, to move to the Earth. Mr Sneed was later killed by the Gelth, and they used his body for a short time before the house were blown up, with them in it, by Gwyneth. (TV: The Unquiet Dead)