I know I seem to mention my lists of haunted locations a lot, but my ideas for paranormal blogs come from working and updating them and my efforts to keep track of adding new locations to them from television and websites I’ve discovered.
The whole endeavor began simply enough with a legal pad that went to a spiral notebook and then to a hardbound journal. When I got to the point I had to re-write the journal for the first time, I had to figure out how many pages to allow each state in advance and that’s when I noticed how paranormal density varied by state.
I came up with a number system to judge how many pages to give each state in the USA. The journal has forty lines a page to fill, which means I’ve got eighty lines per every two facing pages to fill in and every two more facing pages to include.
Hawaii got one set of two facing pages, and not counting it’s most populated cities, each of which I gave a page of their own, I allowed California three to four sets of facing pages to fill in with locations.
However, for each city I added, I added more pages whereas if it wasn’t for those larger cities with more potential witnesses and accounts, I might end up with a large state that didn’t rate as high others. On the other hand, some states that were smaller but had more historical and cultural relevance in the country went higher than larger states with fewer cities.
Assuming updates and growth of the lists would stay fairly consistent over time, this is what I developed based on the number of haunted locations I’ve obtained so far:
Level One (80 to 120 location probability)
Alaska, Colorado (without Denver), Delaware, Florida (without Miami, Key West, St, Augustine and Tallahassee), Hawaii, Idaho, Maryland (without Baltimore), Michigan (without Detroit), Minnesota (without Minneapolis/St. Paul), Missouri (without St. Louis), Montana, Nebraska, Nevada (without Las Vegas, Carson City and Virginia City), New Hampshire, New Mexico (without Albuquerque and Santa Fe), North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina (without Charleston), Utah, Vermont, Washington (without Seattle and Spokane), West Virginia, Wyoming and the District of Columbia
Level Two (120 to 240 location probability)
Alabama, Arizona (with and without Tombstone), Arkansas, Colorado (with Denver), Connecticut, Georgia (with Atlanta and Savannah), Illinois (without Chicago), Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana (without New Orleans), Maine, Maryland (with Baltimore), Massachusetts (without Boston and Salem), Michigan (with Detroit), Minnesota (with Minneapolis/St. Paul), Mississippi, Missouri (with St. Louis), Nevada (with cities), New Jersey, New Mexico (with Albuquerque and Santa Fe), North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania (without Gettysburg, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia), South Carolina (with Charleston), South Dakota, Tennessee (without Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville), Virginia (without Charles City and Richmond), Washington (with Seattle and Spokane), Wisconsin (without Milwaukee)
Level Three (240 to 320 location probability)
California (without Los Angeles, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Sacramento and San Diego), Florida (with cities), Georgia (with cities), Illinois (with Chicago), Louisiana (with New Orleans), Massachusetts (with Boston and Salem), New York (without New York City), Ohio (without Cleveland, Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus), Pennsylvania (with Gettysburg, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia), Tennessee (with Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville), Texas (without Austin, Dallas, Forth Worth, San Antonio and Houston), Virginia (with Charles City and Richmond), Wisconsin (with Milwaukee)
Level Four (320+ probability)
California (with cities), New York (with New York City), Ohio (with cities), Texas (with cities)
Apparently the number of hauntings per state is determined by factors of size of the state in relation to the number of cities it has, local historical significance and volume of research from books like “Volunteer Ghosts,” “Haunted Ohio” and “Haunted Houses of California” with their devotion to obscure locations definitely affects how certain states rank when compared to others.
As you can see, several of the prairie states, although large in size, don’t have as many cities for potential locations while larger states, like Texas and California with its higher number of cities, tend to double their numbers when they include their most populated cities.
Also, historically rich states like Tennessee, Virginia and Pennsylvania that are small to medium in size become more prolific for hauntings when one includes the stories connected to the history in their region as per the Revolutionary War and Civil War.
Ohio, on the other hand, profits greatly from the work and books by Chris Woodyard whose research is a part of several Haunted Ohio websites. Another thing, despite how haunted Tombstone, Arizona is, its number of haunted locations isn’t enough to push the state’s low number of locations any higher whereas states like Louisiana, which is already historical significant rates even higher when it includes the even more culturally rich city of New Orleans.
However, this way of determining numbers is nowhere absolute. A more certain way of determining ratio would be by using a mathematical formula per number of locations with the known area of the state. Such a system, however, might match a state with a high concentration of locations in a smaller area equal to a state with a larger area with fewer haunted locations. A separate x-factor, possibly involving historical and/or cultural factors, would be needed to offset that kind of formula.