Halloween can be a hard holiday to celebrate. We live in a world full of anonymous shooting threats, harassment of women, illegally imported lethal drugs, and roving packs of emus, and sometimes it feels like there’s too much real horror in the world to keep up with, much less fictional stuff.
On the other hand, Halloween can make us thankful that we aren’t besieged by zombies, ghosts, werewolves, and vampires all of the time. In fact, we can be really glad we don’t live in a world full of vampires, because according to a study from real estate website Trulia, Austin and San Antonio would be two of the most dangerous cities in the country in the event of a vampire attack.
That’s a real study with real methodology, even if it is pretty tongue-in-cheek. On the list of “10 Places You’re Likely To Get Attacked By A Vampire,” Austin ranks second (behind San Diego), while San Antonio places at number nine, behind San Francisco, Louisville, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Boston, and Seattle (but just ahead of Phoenix). They determined the risk of vampire attack based on the number of blood banks and hospitals per capita in each city—and Austin, with 3.0 hospitals and blood banks per 50,000 people, is a prime target for lazy vampires (San Antonio, with 2.2 per 50K, isn’t far off).
Of course, this methodology is a bit suspect. Blood banks and hospitals presumably are vampire targets in the event of, say, a vampire famine—but even a cursory familiarity with the mythos through the lens of Bram Stoker or Anne Rice tells a person a few other things about what vampires are into: Namely emotional manipulation, sexytimes with the easily-hypnotized, and gloomy castles.
Anybody who’s spent much time on Tinder or OKCupid can affirm that emotional manipulation is plentiful in both cities, and Men’s Health declared Austin the most sex-crazed city in America back in May. Our own John Nova Lomax wrote just a few days ago about the history of Texas castles, which would give any budding Dracula plenty of options for where to set up, so it doesn’t seem totally off-base—except for one thing: They forgot about the sun.
Both Travis and Bexar Counties are in the top fifteenth percentile for the sunniest cities in the U.S., and San Diego and Phoenix, which bookend the top ten, are even worse. An aspiring Lestat might be into the blood banks and hospitals in Central and South Texas, and the sex-happy populations and castle-like courthouses and jails offers a fine quality of unlife, but we’re guessing that any rookie vamp who suggested to his peers that they settle in Austin or San Antonio instead of, say, Seattle or Maine would find himself laughed out of his lacy gloves by mealtime.
All of which is to say that Halloween is fun, for sure, but the methodology used to compile lists on the Internet is often highly subjective and inaccurate. Whether the topic is “where do vampires hang out” or “what city loves tacos the most,” the results are as likely to tell you about what the people who made the list thought was important as they are to tell you anything about the world we live in—or the one we’re glad we don’t.