GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – We don’t mean to scare you, but neither Greensboro nor Winston-Salem is considered a very good place to celebrate Halloween.

What’s really horrific is that the best places in the country for Halloween are considered to be New York, San Francisco, Miami and Los Angeles, where you don’t need a circled calendar date to find your spine tingled by something.

These findings were derived by WalletHub, the financial advice site that uses data to track issues in our lives, which in this case is The Best Places for Halloween.

WalletHub put data from three key topics – Trick-or-Treater-Friendliness, Halloween Fun and Halloween Weather – into its cauldron and stoked the flames beneath until a spellbinding ranking came boiling out.

This life-sized Dracula was a family heirloom of a decoration for Halloween. (WGHP)

That’s when we learned there were 83 more terrifying places than Greensboro and 96 more frightening than Winston-Salem that made the list. Raleigh (No. 45), Charlotte (No. 72) and Durham (No. 87) weren’t a whole lot better (or worse, depending on how you see it).

This is a funny one: New York masqueraded as the friendliest place for trick-or-treaters, and Orlando was No.1 for Halloween fun. Best weather? Sacramento, which we found to be ridiculous and far from sub-slime.

Greensboro scored in the top half for Halloween fun (No. 46), the same category in which Winston-Salem was No. 99.

Milwaukee had the highest potential for trick-or-treaters (for some reason), and San Francisco, No. 2 overall, had among the lowest. The crime rate in Gilbert, Arizona, was far from scary, but Memphis and Birmingham, Alabama, had the highest rates.

Winston-Salem ranked No. 95 for costume stores per capita (there was a big tie for No. 1 among Vegas, New York, Atlanta, Orlando and New Orleans, some of which made costumes famous).

We were thunderstruck to see Greensboro was No. 95 for Halloween weather forecast, which again made us think that the meteorologists consulting this data must be vampires and never awake during the day. (FWIW, we are looking at a high of 68 and a 40% chance of rain on Monday.)

What makes a good Halloween city?

Luke Erickson, a personal finance professor at the University of Idaho (WALLETHUB)

How much does any of that even matter? Here’s what Luke Erickson, a personal finance professor at the University of Idaho, told WalletHub were the most important factors when evaluating a good city to celebrate Halloween:

  • Safety.
  • Kid-friendly communities.
  • After-party scenes for the adults.
  • Halloween-themed activities like straw mazes and pumpkin patches.
  • Halloween alternative activities.

“I live in Boise, Idaho, which has a fantastic mix of safe, family-friendly communities, activities for adults and Halloween-themed farms and spook alleys,” Erickson said. “Something for everyone.”

We would argue that the Piedmont Triad has a lot of options for folks to celebrate Halloween, too. We can cast a spell with the best of them.

Frightening figures

But one other point from WalletHub to howl about: The average U.S. household is expected to spend $100.45 on Halloween, from decorations to treats to costumes. Do the math. That $10.6 billion will haunt you.

And that’s a lot of gobblin’ by the goblins.