Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Sheffield have been identified among the top UK cities for making the most ‘spooky’ searches on Google, according to research from fast house buying company Open Property Group.
Ahead of Halloween, the company delved into the world of the supernatural to see which cities made the most searches for terms related to life after death, including ‘haunted house’, ‘haunting’, ‘paranormal’, ‘afterlife’, ‘tarot cards’, ‘mediumship’ and ‘ouija’.
Using proportional trends data taken from Google Trends it found the above cities to be the most prominently featured for the ‘spooky’ search queries – a strange correlation which begs the question: are people who live there interested in connecting to the dead?
Of those cities, Birmingham came out top for the terms ‘haunting’ and ‘ouija’, while Liverpool had the most searches for ‘haunted house’, ‘paranormal’ and ‘mediumship’.
Sarah Winchester, events manager at Haunted Houses, said: “People’s interest in the paranormal has been rising steadily over the last 20 years, but it has increased significantly in the past few years. I believe that this is due to the rise in television programmes on the subject and the accessibility of events throughout the country by a variety of paranormal teams.
“As a paranormal investigator for the past 15 years I have personally encountered many different types of activity and I have also heard a variety of stories from other people about activity that they have experienced – everything from people being touched, knocks, voices, feelings that do not belong to us, shadow figures and full body apparitions.
“Birmingham, in particular, is a city that has vastly changed over the years and has a lot of religious institutions within the city. There are many reports of paranormal activity within the city and also in 2011 and 2014 police said that they received around 55 calls about witches.
This shows that the belief in the craft is still around and could be why Ouija Boards are especially favourable in Birmingham.”
Search volume data also shows that things do go ‘bump in the night’ in the aforementioned cities with a combined total of 46,000 searches made in September for keywords related to “is my house haunted?”. When taking into account the UK as a whole this figure rises to more than 236,000.
Similarly, more than 20,000 queries were also made in those cities for keywords related to “how to contact the dead”; 81,000 searches were made across the country.
Wesley McDermott works for Haunted Rooms. He said: “It could very well be people from those cities are more open to things such as an interest in the paranormal, it’s hard to say why, though it would be interesting to find out!
“Newsham Park Hospital in Liverpool is a brilliant location for us. It was once a Seamen’s Orphanage and mental hospital, and has reports of child ghosts and patients roaming its corridors. It’s what you’d expect of an old abandoned hospital too, and really sets the tone for an exciting night of investigations.”
Founder of Open Property Group Jason Harris-Cohen said: “The more we looked into the data the more we began to see a ‘spooky’ correlation between people in Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield and London searching for haunted houses, hauntings and all things paranormal, and also things in relation to the afterlife and connecting to the dead.
“It might be surprising to hear that a lot of people are interested in the history of a property before they make a purchase – but property with an eerie feel or past can decrease a value by up to 20% and significantly reduce the appear to potential buyers. Creaky floorboards and doors and flickering lights may also just be a sign of dodgy DIY!”
* This post was written by Georgie Kemp, Digital Marketing Assistant at Impression