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Haunted or just old?
Upstate New York is a very scary place, at least according to one ranking.

Nope, the ranking does not come from the Tax Foundation, which recently declared New York the second-worst tax climate for businesses in the country—for the third year in a row—but from Austin, Texas-based LawnStarter Lawn Care.

The company’s blog recently ranked the 13 U.S. metro areas with the most (potentially) haunted houses, and Rochester landed at No. 10. The company based its ranking on census data on old homes and vacant homes.

The company explains older homes and vacant homes have a perceived, if not actual, chance of being haunted. It assigned 75 percent of its score to the percentage of homes in a metro that were built before 1940 and 25 percent to the percentage of homes in a metro that are vacant.

Here are the numbers for Rochester:

 Number of homes: 475,834
 Number of homes built in 1939 or before: 130,493
 Percentage of homes built in 1939 or before: 27.4 percent
 Number of vacant homes: 48,314
 Percentage of vacant homes: 10.2 percent

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pa., topped the list. It was followed by Albany at No. 2, Syracuse at No. 3 and Buffalo at No. 8. New York City was downstate’s standard bearer of scare at No. 12.

This should come as good news for the folks behind the area’s Haunted History Trail, believed to be one of the first—if not the first—organized paranormal marketing efforts in the nation. The campaign is designed to make a major economic impact, and it is drawing interest from thousands of fans of the paranormal from across the country.

Creepy crawlers
And maybe not haunted, but an upcoming program definitely falls in the scary and creepy category.

We’re pretty certain we won’t be at the Genesee County Park & Forest in East Bethany on Saturday for their special program. And we suggest any arachnophobes or the simply squeamish avoid it as well.

“The Secret World of Spiders” invites folks to learn “about the amazing lives of your tiny, eight-legged neighbors and why having them around is a good thing.”

Attendees can meet live tarantulas and other spiders from around the world, and find out how spiders—“like tiny little bodyguards” —help us stay safe and healthy.

The event is at the Genesee County Park & Forest Interpretive Nature Center on Saturday from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Space is limited; pre-registration is required. Call (585) 344-1122 or email Shannon.Morley@co.genesee.ny.us.

Send tips, rumors, inside information or strange tales for the Loop to Managing Editor Mike Dickinson at mdickinson@rbj.net.

10/21/2016 (c) 2016 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email rbj@rbj.net.

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