Some lists matter more than others

Published 11:50 am Friday, October 28, 2022

In honor of Halloween — or “because of” — I decided to take a look at a few of the ranking lists that have infested my email of late, much like fleas on the backs of rabid bats.

These particular rankings came via a company called “Lawn Love,” a website dedicated (they say) to “build a smarter lawn care marketplace” … and to rack up as many website visits as possible by sending out ranking lists like the ones that hooked my attention for a little while.

The four lists I looked at were best/worst states/cities for UFO fans, to survive a zombie apocalypse, to be a vampire or to be a witch. Let’s dive into the trivial cauldron, shall we?

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Mississippi is No. 36 on the list of Best States for UFO Fans. We’re talking about flying saucers and unexplained lights, right? Not the band?

So I guess if it were about the English rock band, I’d be “out of reach, out of touch”? Heh, heh. That one goes out to both the UFO (band) fans out there.

We’re 41st in number of alien craft sightings; 34th in amount of UFO clubs and organizations, and average monthly Google searches; and ranked 26 each in sighting potential and number of entertainment events/attractions that are UFO-centric.

Jackson is the eighth-worst city to try to survive a zombie apocalypse, apparently. Home to our state’s governing bodies, Jackson fell 193rd out of 200 in the rankings, based on vulnerability, number of hideouts, availability of supplies, ease of mobility and likely protection. I guess this lines up with the city’s recent homicide totals.

If you’re a-feared of vampires, let me offer you comfort by assuring you that Mississippi contains neither the best nor worst cities for vampires. The best cities tended to be on the West Coast and in the northeast. The worst cities were in California, Nevada and Arizona. Surprisingly, our nearby neighbor New Orleans was nowhere on this list. Anne Rice would not be happy.

Lastly, I looked at the list for best and worst cities for witches. Jackson ranked right in the middle of the 200-strong list of cities, tying for 103 with Madison, Wisconsin. Jackson was 166th for number of covens, 134th for availability of sorcery supplies, 173 for healers and 45th for “spirituality” — pagan churches, tarot readers, astrology classes and the like. Strangely, the psychics didn’t see that coming.

What is one area where Mississippi ranks highest? Religiosity.

Depending on what ranking you look at, Mississippi is either No. 1, or tied for it. Most lists say 77 percent of Mississippians are “high religious” — 74 percent say religion is very important and 75 percent say they pray daily. Among adults in the Magnolia State, 83 percent claim to be Christians, 2 percent say they are members of non-Christian faiths, and the rest say they are not affiliated with any religion.

I don’t know about you, but I think some lists matter more than others. I wouldn’t classify myself as “religious,” but I am a Christian, and am glad to be on that “list.”

As far as vampires, zombies, witches and aliens go, I am none of those.

News editor Brett Campbell can be reached at