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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