You might feel jumpy around spiders or shudder suddenly when peeking over a cliff. But what gives your neighbors the heebie-jeebies?
In the spirit of All Hallow’s Eve, the safety experts at YourLocalSecurity.com (YLS) are proud to introduce our latest installment of America’s Most-Searched Phobias. So let’s bump up the spook factor as we take a peek into each state’s most common fears. *Cue creepy music.*
So What is a Phobia Exactly?
Before we dig in, let’s get the jargon out of the way. Phobia is an ancient Greek word meaning morbid fear (yep, it’s OK to feel those tingles down your spine).
Today, we define a phobia as “an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation” (cheers, Merriam-Webster). The dictionary fine print also adds “intolerance or aversion for,” which might explain why someone with a phobia often experiences disgust and fear in equal measure.
To find each state’s most-searched phobia, the YLS team analyzed search volume for nearly 40 different “fear of” terms, focusing on the top 15. We then pooled Google Trends data from August 2018 to August 2019 to determine the top phobia in each state.
- Fear of holes—or trypophobia—had the highest search volume of any term we analyzed, taking first place as this year’s most popular phobia. This fear of small clusters of holes seems to have skyrocketed in search popularity recently, perhaps thanks to media mentions everywhere from TV shows to iPhone descriptions to science articles.
- Mauna Kea in Hawaii is the tallest mountain in the world when measured from its underwater base. This looming volcano might contribute to Hawaiians’ acrophobia, or fear of heights.
- According to the 2017 American Community Survey, only 28.5% of Washington, D.C. residents have tied the knot—the lowest percentage in the country. Perhaps their gamophobia—or fear of commitment—plays a role…
- Texans have plenty of reason to feel some snake fears. The Lone Star State has more snake species than any other state except Arizona.
- Residents in Iowa, Utah, and West Virginia searched most for fear of clowns, or Coulrophobia. Perhaps Pennywise in IT Chapter Two contributes to an uptick in aversion to these face-painted comedians.
Complete List of Each State’s Most-Searched Phobia
|State||Most-Searched Phobia||In the Greek|
|Alabama||Fear of Public Speaking||Glossophobia|
|Alaska||Fear of Needles||Trypanophobia|
|Arizona||Fear of Holes||Trypophobia|
|Arkansas||Fear of People||Agoraphobia|
|California||Fear of Failure||Atychiphobia|
|Colorado||Fear of Holes||Trypophobia|
|Connecticut||Fear of Holes||Trypophobia|
|Delaware||Fear of Holes||Trypophobia|
|District of Columbia||Fear of Commitment||Gamophobia|
|Florida||Fear of Snakes||Ophidiophobia|
|Georgia||Fear of Snakes||Ophidiophobia|
|Hawaii||Fear of Heights||Acrophobia|
|Idaho||Fear of Needles||Trypanophobia|
|Illinois||Fear of Public Speaking||Glossophobia|
|Indiana||Fear of Spiders||Arachnophobia|
|Iowa||Fear of Clowns||Coulrophobia|
|Kansas||Fear of Holes||Trypophobia|
|Kentucky||Fear of Holes||Trypophobia|
|Louisiana||Fear of Public Speaking||Glossophobia|
|Maine||Fear of The Dark||Nyctophobia|
|Maryland||Fear of Spiders||Arachnophobia|
|Massachusetts||Fear of Failure||Atychiphobia|
|Michigan||Fear of Holes||Trypophobia|
|Minnesota||Fear of Water||Aquaphobia|
|Mississippi||Fear of People||Agoraphobia|
|Missouri||Fear of Spiders||Arachnophobia|
|Montana||Fear of Flying||Aviophobia|
|Nebraska||Fear of Holes||Trypophobia|
|Nevada||Fear of Heights||Acrophobia|
|New Hampshire||Fear of Flying||Aviophobia|
|New Jersey||Fear of Public Speaking||Glossophobia|
|New Mexico||Fear of Holes||Trypophobia|
|New York||Fear of Public Speaking||Glossophobia|
|North Carolina||Fear of Water||Aquaphobia|
|North Dakota||Fear of Needles||Trypanophobia|
|Ohio||Fear of Blood||Hemophobia|
|Oklahoma||Fear of Water||Aquaphobia|
|Oregon||Fear of Water||Aquaphobia|
|Pennsylvania||Fear of Failure||Atychiphobia|
|Rhode Island||Fear of Holes||Trypophobia|
|South Carolina||Fear of Holes||Trypophobia|
|South Dakota||Fear of Needles||Trypanophobia|
|Tennessee||Fear of Being Alone||Autophobia|
|Texas||Fear of Snakes||Ophidiophobia|
|Utah||Fear of Clowns||Coulrophobia|
|Vermont||Fear of Needles||Trypanophobia|
|Virginia||Fear of Blood||Hemophobia|
|Washington||Fear of Spiders||Arachnophobia|
|West Virginia||Fear of Clowns||Coulrophobia|
|Wisconsin||Fear of Water||Aquaphobia|
|Wyoming||Fear of Flying||Aviophobia|
Staying Safe While Being Spooky
We don’t want to spoil your Halloween fun with all this phobia talk. So before you head out for trick-or-treating with your kids, make sure you equip your household with an ADT-monitored home security system from Protect Your Home.
An ADT-monitored package can help protect your home and loved ones—even during all the foot traffic on your doorstep this fall. Happy Halloween!
YourLocalSecurity.com, partner of Protect Your Home—an ADT Authorized Premier Provider—aims to provide the security tools and information needed to build a safer home environment. For media inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.