Index reveals the spookiest towns in the UK

A guest-post by Online Mortgage Advisor UK

’Tis the season to be spooky! At least that’s what we would’ve said last October. 2020 has proven to be a scary year in general. Nonetheless, with Halloween approaching, the experts at OnlineMortgageAdvisor.co.uk were curious to find out which are the spookiest towns in the UK.

To find out OnlineMortgageAdvisor.co.uk took into consideration seven factors: the number of cemeteries, paranormal sightings, abandoned homes, spooky roads, safety at night, level of crime and annual sunshine. In order to get the most accurate data, the numbers for each spooky criteriawere divided by the total population for each location.

Where are the spookiest places in the UK? 👻

The top five scariest places in the UK are Newport (1070 spooky points), Birmingham (1040), Leicester (980), Nottingham (940) and Liverpool (930). 

Spooky Fact: According to data from  SellHouseFast.uk, Leicester is also the city where your home is most likely to be invaded by spiders! Yikes! 

If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, the best town to visit is Newport, gathering an overall spooky score of 1070! The city was given the highest score for the number of cemeteries, paranormal sightings, spooky roads and safety at night, based on its population count. The highest scores were given to the places within the top 10% of that sample size. 

Based on that methodology, the cities/towns ranking the highest (300) for Cemeteries were: London, Newport, Birmingham, Stoke-on-Trent and Nottingham. 

Spooky Fact: Newport has the second-highest population/cemeteries ratio (51,141), just below London (51,218 people per cemetery). 

Is it a bird, is it a ghost, or is it my nan? The places with the most paranormal sightings REVEALED!

So, what are the scariest cities when it comes to ghost sightings, you may ask? OnlineMortgageAdvisor.co.uk can reveal that the town/cities which ranked highest (300 points) for paranormal sightings are: Newport, Birmingham, Preston, Bradford.

The places with the second-highest scores for paranormal sightings (270 points) are Leicester, Leeds, Liverpool, Coventry and Swansea!

If you would prefer the dead to stay dead, then the best cities to move to are Edinburgh (60 points), Cambridge (60) and York (30).

Home, not so sweet, home… Here is where you’ll find the most abandoned houses!

From dust on the furniture, to spider webs and poltergeists in the basement, there is something very eerie about abandoned houses. With that in mind, OnlineMortgageAdvisor.co.uk sought to investigate the places with the most and least number of abandoned homes/population. 

The research can reveal that the places with the highest abandoned homes/population ratio, hence garnering the most points (200), are Bristol, Cambridge, Nottingham, Reading and Cardiff.

At the other end of the scale, we have the towns/cities with the fewest abandoned homes/population (gathering only 20 points): Newry, Bradford, Armagh, Aberdeen and Newcastle upon Tyne.

THESE roads will make your skin crawl 🕷

Have you ever found yourself walking alone on an unfamiliar road, only to look up at a sign telling you the road’s name is Dead Lane? OnlineMortgageAdvisor.co.uk can reveal the places with the spookiest roads. These are:

Manchester (Elm Street, Hallows Avenue, Dark Lane), Gloucester (Cemetery Road, Black Dog Way, Spider Lane), Birmingham (Hallow Close, Hanging Lane, Dark Lane), Southampton (Elm Street, Cemetery Road, Warlock Close),Nottingham (Ghost House Lane, Dead Lane), Northampton(Black Cat Drive, Elm Street), London (All Hallows Road, Cemetery Lane/Road), Newport (Warlock Close, Cemetery Lane/Road).

Scared of the Dark? Don’t go to THESE cities!

OnlineMortgageAdvisor.co.uk also looked at the annual hours of sunshine to determine which place is the darkest of them all. The cities/towns with the most sunshine had the highest amount of points deducted on the tables, whilst the darkest cities had the lowest amount of points deducted. 

The darkest places in the UK are Glasgow (1203.1 hours of annual sunshine), Manchester (1212.4 hours), Armagh(1245.5 hours), Belfast (1246.9 hours) and Newry (1255.8 hours). 

At the other end of the spectrum, the cities with the most annual sunshine are Peterborough (1596 hours), Oxford(1577.9 hours), Cardiff (1549.4 hours) London (1540.4 hours) and Reading (1522.9 hours). 

Methodology: 1. Found the top 40 UK cities by population. 2. Used findagrave.com to find the total number of cemeteries for each UK city.3. Used Paranormaldatabase.com to find the number of paranormal sightings.4. Abandoned homes were found via the following data sources: statswales.gov.wales and gov.uk. Only long-term vacant dwellings were considered (at least 6 months).5. Crime level data was sourced from Numbeo.com. The Crime Index is an estimation of the overall level of crime in a given city or a country. We consider crime levels lower than 20 as very low crime levels.6. The Safety Index is sourced from Numbeo.com. It shows how safe it is to walk alone at night. If the city has a high safety index, it is considered very safe.7. Spooky Road Names – Compiled list of scary names: Devil, elm street, ghost, hallow, dead, hell, blood, hanging, dark, headless, witch, cemetery, black cat/dog, broomstick, spider, warlock. Searched https://www.streetlist.co.uk/and https://www.proviser.com/ to find which cities had streets with the names.8. Annual Sunshine shows the average number of hours of sunshine for the nearest climate station to each city. It was sourced from https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/climate/maps-and-data/uk-climate-averages. The nearest climate station was used for each city.9. To account for size differences between cities, the respective city population was divided by the corresponding measure.10. The factors used have varying units of measurement. To resolve this, each measure was standardised by calculating the value based on the percentile rank within the sample cities.

Spooky Factors:

Index Score

Cemeteries

3

Paranormal recordings

3

Spooky road names

2

Safety walking alone at night

2

Abandoned homes

2

Level of crime

1

Annual sunshine (hours)

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Finding Time to Write When You’re Homeschooling Your Children

A guest-post by Patrick Bailey

Thanks to COVID-19, or maybe by choice, you’re homeschooling your children. There are Pinterest boards galore on how to be the perfect homeschool parent. The problem is, it’s Pinterest, and you’re more than likely going to end up with more failures than successes. That’s not to say you aren’t capable of being a fantastic homeschool parent, but let’s face it, you’d rather be writing than teaching about writing.

So how do you find time to write when you’re homeschooling your kids? It’s a complicated dance that few understand because working from home IS working. And whether you write for fun or a living, you’d still like to find time to write. 

The Importance of Taking Care of Yourself

First, it’s important to remember that no matter how you’re caring for your children – their physical, emotional, educational, or other needs – your needs are also important. You have to make time for yourself for work if you are a working parent and then also for any activities that fill your cup as a human being.

Not taking care of your needs can lead to big issues. Depression, addiction, anger or resentment, less productivity, and other issues come from an unhappy parent who feels overwhelmed. Some people suffer from a dual disorder because it becomes too much. But taking care of your needs helps you avoid this. So, if writing is that thing for you, listen up. Below are some tips on how you can find time to write while your kids are busy learning.

7 Tips for Finding Time to Write

When you’re trying to write, it can be best to have a clear space and some quiet, but that’s not always possible with kids at home. You also might take breaks to help them with questions or take care of their general needs. So while it’s not an ideal writing situation, it can be managed. Here are some tips to help you along the way.

Write when they write

If you have younger kids that need constant supervision while doing their school work, try writing when they write. It will give you a 30 minute span of time to write if they are practicing free writing every day. Put it on your academic calendar and be ready to tackle something every day. 

Write when they sleep

If you have littles that nap, take the time to write while they’re asleep. If you’re a morning person, this can be a really productive time for your writing, and getting up an hour earlier than them can add to your writing time.

Schedule in some uninterrupted writing time

Try to have a set uninterrupted time that you can get at least an hour or two in to make sure your writing gets done. This can be a few days a week and whatever time works for you. It might be best to do this when someone else is home to help. To help with interruptions and distractions, wear headphones or put a special sign on your door.

Let them be bored

Creating a schedule for your homeschool day is important, but it’s also important to set aside blocks of time to be bored. Kids need boredom to inspire creativity. Let them know you’re going to spend time creating by writing, and they can pick something of their own to do for a set amount of time.

Build this into your day. This should be free play, where they have to choose how to fill their time without an assigned task. Set rules so that require them to pick a quiet, solo activity so that you can focus too.

Rethink your hours

Remember, the key is to be as flexible and organized as possible. This applies to school and work. School doesn’t have to be a full day like going to traditional school. Decide what they will learn and if it takes three hours one day, that’s all they need to do.

 For work, remember that your work blocks can be shorter periods of time. This will help you get more done because smaller blocks of time are easier to come by and you can prioritize better. It will also help your kids know that you’ll be free soon. If your schedule requires more standard hours, change the times you do school to fit into your schedule.

Don’t overschedule

If you pack your schedule full, no one will have time to breathe. Learn to say no so that you can have moments to yourself or time to write. Boundaries are important, and so is focusing on what you can do versus what you can’t.

Remember your why

Losing sight of why you are homeschooling can make things seem harder. Remember to let your children know that they are important too and that you are never too busy for them. Of course, they also need to understand that you do have times you need to write, so teaching them to respect that is important.

One Last Reminder, Mom to Mom

Whichever tips you choose to put into play, remember that you’re carving out time to pursue something you love. In doing so, you’re modeling an important behavior to your kids. They will learn to pursue what they love and that the art of learning and expressing themselves will never end.

Author Bio: Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them.

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What’s on the bahhhx

Amazon boxes have nifty AR pumpkin activities on them this month, as part of their #morethanabox campaign.

This offered hours of fun for all ages, not to mention some levity that didn’t require a lot of movement for a mom in a cast. Check out some of our virtual tomfoolery below; ignore messy room in background. We did this instead of cleaning it.