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Each State’s Most-Searched Phobia


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 (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.


Freaky Facts

  • 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

StateMost-Searched PhobiaIn the Greek
AlabamaFear of Public SpeakingGlossophobia
AlaskaFear of NeedlesTrypanophobia
ArizonaFear of HolesTrypophobia
ArkansasFear of PeopleAgoraphobia
CaliforniaFear of FailureAtychiphobia
ColoradoFear of HolesTrypophobia
ConnecticutFear of HolesTrypophobia
DelawareFear of HolesTrypophobia
District of ColumbiaFear of CommitmentGamophobia
FloridaFear of SnakesOphidiophobia
GeorgiaFear of SnakesOphidiophobia
HawaiiFear of HeightsAcrophobia
IdahoFear of NeedlesTrypanophobia
IllinoisFear of Public SpeakingGlossophobia
IndianaFear of SpidersArachnophobia
IowaFear of ClownsCoulrophobia
KansasFear of HolesTrypophobia
KentuckyFear of HolesTrypophobia
LouisianaFear of Public SpeakingGlossophobia
MaineFear of The DarkNyctophobia
MarylandFear of SpidersArachnophobia
MassachusettsFear of FailureAtychiphobia
MichiganFear of HolesTrypophobia
MinnesotaFear of WaterAquaphobia
MississippiFear of PeopleAgoraphobia
MissouriFear of SpidersArachnophobia
MontanaFear of FlyingAviophobia
NebraskaFear of HolesTrypophobia
NevadaFear of HeightsAcrophobia
New HampshireFear of FlyingAviophobia
New JerseyFear of Public SpeakingGlossophobia
New MexicoFear of HolesTrypophobia
New YorkFear of Public SpeakingGlossophobia
North CarolinaFear of WaterAquaphobia
North DakotaFear of NeedlesTrypanophobia
OhioFear of BloodHemophobia
OklahomaFear of WaterAquaphobia
OregonFear of WaterAquaphobia
PennsylvaniaFear of FailureAtychiphobia
Rhode IslandFear of HolesTrypophobia
South CarolinaFear of HolesTrypophobia
South DakotaFear of NeedlesTrypanophobia
TennesseeFear of Being AloneAutophobia
TexasFear of SnakesOphidiophobia
UtahFear of ClownsCoulrophobia
VermontFear of NeedlesTrypanophobia
VirginiaFear of BloodHemophobia
WashingtonFear of SpidersArachnophobia
West VirginiaFear of ClownsCoulrophobia
WisconsinFear of WaterAquaphobia
WyomingFear of FlyingAviophobia

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.

An ADT-monitored package can help protect your house and loved ones—even during all the foot traffic on your doorstep this fall. Happy Halloween!


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