Florida ranks fourth among most haunted states

St. Augustine's dated history likely boosted Florida's spook-factor.

Florida is the fourth spookiest state in the nation, according to a new study released by moveBuddha — and no, they didn’t factor in the horror of politics.

With Halloween quickly approaching, Florida landed in the top 5 of most haunted states after researchers averaged three metrics: spook score, creep score and boo score.

Of the three measurements, Florida’s highest score was its creep factor, which took into account the number of unsolved murders by population and the number of abandoned buildings. In that category, Florida scored an 8.7 out of 10, putting it in seventh place among all the states in that measurement.

“Many of the creepiest places in America are those where persistent housing and income inequality have been met with sharp economic downturns, leaving ruins and urban legends in their wake,” the data report reads. Now that’s haunting.

According to the score, Florida has an unsolved murder rate of 88.5, and 19 notable abandoned buildings.

Florida recorded a 6.4 spook score, which factors in the number of haunted places by population, the founding date of the oldest town or city, number of cemeteries by population and age of the oldest cemetery.

Florida can likely thank St. Augustine for a boost in that rating. Founded in 1565, St. Augustine takes the title as the oldest continuously occupied city of European and African American origin in the U.S.

As for the scariest rating, the boo score, Florida reported a score of 5.8. The boo score examines the number of ghost towns and reported ghost sightings. The study defined ghost towns as a village, town or city which has lost or experienced a steep decline in its residents but still features remnants of its buildings.

According to the nationwide index maintained by Ghosttowns.com, Florida has the most ghost towns of any state east of the Mississippi River, with no fewer than 241.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected].


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