As the days become shorter, the evenings darker and Halloween approaches, our minds often wander from candy and pumpkins to ghosts and ghouls. Whether you’re carving a jack-o-lantern or diving into a horror movie marathon, there’s no doubt that Halloween is the spookiest of holidays. But did you know that there are jobs that bring the fright year-round?
With an eerie feeling, we dove into the darkest corners of Indeed’s data to find Indeed’s scariest jobs, where they can be found and what cities are the capitals of scary jobs.
Ghost tour guides
This Halloween, the ghosts we talk about are a little different from the type we usually talk about (hint: these are real). Ghost tour guides take guests through houses, buildings and neighborhoods, telling them the spooky stories that haunt the area. Telling hair-raising tales while strolling through old and dark places earns this job a five out of five spooky ghosts on our scary job scale.
The cities with the most ghost tour guide jobs are Boston, MA (where Charles Dickens is thought to haunt a hotel), Charlotte, NC, and San Antonio, TX, all old cities with rich (and haunted!) pasts.
Taxidermists preserve animal bodies so they can be mounted and stuffed for display. Long relied on by hunters and museums wanting to showcase animals, taxidermists get 3 out of 5 spooky ghosts on our scary job scale because, although some people find animal displays scary, others appreciate them so much that they feature them as interior decor!
The highest concentration of taxidermists are in Grand Rapids, MI, Oklahoma City and Fort Collins, CO — popular hunting places surrounded by rural areas.
Someone has to study the creepy crawly things that make so many of us jump when we see them. Luckily, entomologists take on that task — they’re insect experts. Because not all bugs cause us fright (ladybugs are actually considered lucky and butterflies are downright beautiful), this job gets two out of five spooky ghosts on our scary meter.
The highest concentration of entomologist jobs are in Washington, DC, New York and Los Angeles.
Haunted house staff
One job description on Indeed asked for a haunted house actor with “a passion for scary scenarios.” Another said a key part of the job was “scaring the heck out of customers as they walk through.” Yikes!
Since striking fear into the hearts of haunted house visitors is essential to this job, we think it merits a four out of five spooky ghosts on our scary scale.
And where are these scares concentrated? The highest number of haunted house worker jobs are in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
Though auditors may not feature in horror movies, if you’ve cut corners on taxes or bills, you may very well be dreading a call or visit from them. On the other hand, those whose books are in order have nothing to fear from auditors: for that reason, they get 2.5 out of five spooky ghosts on our scary scale.
The most auditors are in New York, Dallas and Los Angeles — giant cities with big financial sectors.
Gravediggers have an important job to do, but there’s no doubt it’s a bit spooky — scary stories and folk tales are littered with references to this job. Spending so much time in cemeteries earns gravediggers four out of five spooky ghosts on our scary scale.
In recent Indeed job postings, Texas needed the most gravediggers, with Dallas, Lubbock and Beaumont at the top of the list.
Very few jobs ask employees to predict the future, but fortune-telling is a key element of many psychic jobs. Psychics work in different ways, from palm reading to tarot cards, but there’s no doubt that sitting down to hear your fate, or attempting to communicate with loved ones who have passed away, would put many people on edge. The otherworldly nature of this job earns it three out of five spooky ghosts on the scary scale.
It seems Texans and New Yorkers are the ones most in need of some psychic direction in their lives — San Antonio, Austin and New York City are the places psychic jobs are most concentrated.
Having identified the scariest jobs on Indeed, we next wanted to know which cities took the crown for spookiest. So we looked at the 50 cities with the most jobs and determined how many jobs per million in each were “scary” jobs. This gave us our list — the top ten cities where scary jobs are the most concentrated.
If you’re headed to one of these places ... beware!
1. New Orleans, LA
The big easy topped our list this year for scariest city in the U.S. Although famous for jazz and jambalaya, Nola is also home to the famous French Quarter, which is rumored to be haunted — one restaurant even sets a place with bread and wine every evening for its resident ghost. This explains why it has the fourth-highest concentration of ghost tour guides.
New Orleans also has the highest concentration of auditors and the third-highest concentration of entomologist jobs. Spooky!
2. Albany, NY
Albany, the capital of New York State, came in second for scariest cities in the U.S. Not only is it the place where state officials duke it out, but the New York State Capitol Building houses creepy faces carved into its stone decorations and loads of ghost stories. Albany’s location on the appropriately named Erie Canal and the Hudson River means spooky things have probably been floating in and out of Albany for centuries.
In modern-day Albany, the city has the second-highest concentration of auditor jobs.
3. Tampa, FL (note: this includes St. Petersburg, which has a historic downtown)
Tampa, Florida, places third on our list of scary cities. Located on the west coast of Florida on Tampa Bay, it is home to many attractions, including Busch Gardens and historic St. Petersburg on the other side of the bay. The local Tampa spot that claims to be the most haunted is the Tampa Theater, with stories of jingling keys in the lobby and a man in a fedora seen waiting in seat 308.
Ghost stories aside, Tampa has the sixth-highest proportion of parking enforcement officers, who will certainly send someone running to pay a meter if they see them!
4. Charleston, SC
At number four for scariest cities is Charleston, South Carolina — a beautiful coastal city known for its brightly colored houses and booming port. Many sites in Charleston are rumored to be haunted, including the Old Exchange Building, which once housed the pirate Blackbeard. Edgar Allan Poe, author of “The Raven” and many spooky stories and poems besides, even lived there on nearby Sullivan’s Island, for over a year when he was young.
Charleston’s spooky past lends itself to ghost tours, which is why it is home to the highest proportion of ghost tour guides. Another fact likely to make visitors jump is that it has the highest proportion of parking enforcement officers. Charleston is also home to the second-highest concentration of pest control jobs.
5. Miami, FL
Miami, known for its gorgeous beaches and Cuban influence, makes the list of scariest cities at number five. The most haunted building in Miami is rumored to be Villa Paula, the first Cuban consulate in the city. It is now rumored to house the ghost of Paula — the first consul’s wife, who died there.
Aside from this, Miami is known more for partying than spooking people. But the city is home to the third-highest concentration of parking enforcement officers and the fifth-highest concentrations of auditors, which will certainly cause a fright if you’re worried about your car or finances. The city is also home to a high concentration of taxidermy and psychic jobs.
This fall season, we’ll be on the lookout for things that go bump in the night and making sure our bills are in order — otherwise, we know haunted house workers and auditors will be out to get us! No matter where you live or how you celebrate Halloween, we wish you a spooky fun day.
For scariest jobs, we looked at the cities that had the highest number of postings for each scary job. This is expressed as the percentage of national share of those jobs. For example, Boston has 9% of all ghost tour guide jobs in the U.S.
For spookiest cities, we limited our analysis to the 50 cities with the most jobs on Indeed. We calculated the number of scary jobs each city had as a proportion of all jobs in that city. This provided us with a local concentration of scary jobs that allowed for ranking.