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Le Freak, C'est Chic: 13 Stocks Eerily Perfect for Halloween


Boneyards, body parts, spirits, and haunted houses. You can invest in them all.

[Editor's note: Together, Services Corporation, Stewart Enterprises, StoneMor, and Carriage Services provide only 20% of the death care market share, according to S&P. The rest of the industry is composed of small, local competitors, typically family-owned funeral homes where the funeral director is also the embalmer.]

The Body Parts

Bone and connective tissue product manufacturer Osteotech was acquired by Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) in 2010, making the parent company an even larger player in the "regenerative biologics" business. Body parts of the recently deceased including skin, bones, and tendons are frequently used as transplants for living patients. According to one estimate, the sum of a cadaver's parts can be worth over $200,000. One body can save the lives of up to eight people and enhance the lives of more than 50 people, estimates the Red Cross.

Interestingly, until 2005, the Red Cross was one of the nation's largest organizations that specialized in tissue gathering and distribution of bones, skins, and veins. That year, assets of the American Red Cross Tissue Services Unit were sold to the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MFT), which was then and still is the nation's largest tissue bank. Heart valves (mitral, aortic, pulmonary, and tricuspid) gathered by organizations such as the MFT often find their way to the heart valve experts at Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE:EW), which in turn distribute them to hospitals treating patients with cardiovascular disease.

The Spirits

For financial contact with a "real" spirit, consider Vail Resorts (NYSE:MTN). The $2.1 billion "mountain, lodging, and real estate" holding company has in its portfolio a New Mexico-based haunted resort, La Posada de Santa Fe. A former mansion, the resort frequently fields reports of sightings of the original lady of the manor, a wealthy recluse who rarely left her bedroom after a personal tragedy. The mysterious spirit has been seen by staff and guests, and has been featured on Unsolved Mysteries and Weird Travels. Yes, her bedroom, Suite 100, is open to the public.

They're back! Psychic Friends Network (OTC:PFNI), a staple of 1990s late-night and cable infomercials, is back and upgraded for the revolution in technology. This year, the company is relaunching the original brand on a technology platform that capitalizes on the latest social media and video technologies. Today the $30 million market cap company provides on-demand psychic advice by connecting professional live psychic readers with customers via telephone, video, voice, and text chat.
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