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What Americans Fear the Most: A State-By-State Breakdown of the Top Phobias

Just in time for Halloween, Customer Service Number has compiled a list of the most common phobias in the US based on Google searches. 

The research team examined 41 common phobias with over 300 related keywords, looking for specific searches for each. For instance, for fear of heights, they collected keywords such as “afraid of heights,” “scared of heights,” “fear of heights symptoms,” “I’m afraid of heights,” and “acrophobia treatment.” The team then calculated the total number of searches for each phobia in each state to determine which had the highest number of searches.

Fear of Holes (Trypophobia)

Fear of Holes (Trypophobia).
Image Credit: shellystill and depositphotos

The first bone-chilling revelation comes from 11 states, including Georgia, Mississippi, Virginia, and North Carolina, where the top phobia was the fear of holes, also known as trypophobia. Some experts suggest that it may be related to a fear of patterns, as trypophobia is often triggered by clusters of small holes or bumps arranged in a specific pattern. Some people with trypophobia report feeling uneasy, anxious, or physically ill when they see images of holes, such as honeycombs, lotus seed pods, or bubbles.

Fear of Failure (Atchiphobia)

Fear of Failure (Atchiphobia).
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The dreaded fear of failure comes in at number two in seven states including Illinois, Massachusetts, and Ohio. These states with highly competitive jobs may be instilling a fear of failure among residents. 

Atchiphobia is an anxiety disorder that can affect a person’s ability to take risks, try new things, or pursue their goals and dreams. People with atychiphobia may experience intense feelings of anxiety, self-doubt, and low self-esteem when faced with situations that could lead to failure or disappointment. As a result, they may avoid taking on challenges, setting goals, or making decisions that involve any level of risk or uncertainty.

Fear of Blood (Hemophobia)

Fear of Blood (Hemophobia).
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The fear of blood topped the search list in five states, including Florida, New Mexico, and Washington. People with hemophobia may avoid Halloween parties or horror movies where blood or blood-related stimuli could be present.

Fear of Heights (Acrophobia)

Fear of Heights (Acrophobia).
Image Credit: AndrewLozovyi and Depositphotos

Fear of heights is commonly searched in Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Nebraska, and New Hampshire during this haunting time of the year. Given the possibility of towering mountains, it’s no wonder why residents strongly fear it.

Fear of People (Anthropophobia)

Fear of People (Anthropophobia).
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Another high phobia on the list is the fear of people or anthropophobia. Four states search for this phobia more than any other. In California, with its population of nearly 40 million, and New York, one of the world’s largest and busiest cities, it’s not surprising that the fear of people is people. Not so sure why folks from North Dakota and New Jersey are searching for the term as much.

Fear of Confined Spaces (Claustrophobia)

Fear of Confined Spaces (Claustrophobia).
Image Credit: AndrewLozovyi and Depositphotos

Residents of Connecticut, South Dakota, and Kansas have confined spaces or claustrophobia on top of most searched phobias during the bewitching Halloween season. These residents, in particular, probably can’t stand a crowded elevator stuck between floors, but don’t we all? 

Fear of Public Speaking (Glossophobia)

Fear of Public Speaking (Glossophobia).
Image Credit: AndrewLozovyi and Depositphotos

Fear of public speaking or glossophobia was the most searched phobia in Iowa, Missouri, and Pennsylvania. Does this mean that these states are having a lot of public events, conferences, and community gatherings, triggering this fear? Just something to think about. I’m not a fan of public speaking, either. 

Fear of Needles (Trypanophobia)

Fear of Needles (Trypanophobia).
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If you’re really scared of getting blood drawn or receiving a flu shot, then you might have trypanophobia or the fear of needles. In West Virginia, Indiana, and Texas, it appears that people would rather not get a shot at their next doctor visit. 

Fear of Being Alone (Autophobia)

Fear of Being Alone (Autophobia).
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A surprising phobia that made the list is the fear of being alone or autophobia, which is the top searched phobia in two states. Maine and Nevada seem to value human connection so much that being without it is their biggest fear. Hopefully, nothing is going on to contribute to this fear this spooktacular month.

Fear of the Dark (Nyctophobia)

Fear of the Dark (Nyctophobia).
Image Credit: IgorVetushko and Depositphotos

Fear of the dark or nyctophobia topped the list of searches in two states: Alaska and Michigan. These residents are searching for “fear of the absence of light” more than anything else at this creepy time of the year. Their location and number of daylight hours may serve as a trigger.  

Fear of Vomiting (Emetophobia)

Fear of Vomiting (Emetophobia).
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Nobody likes to throw up, but did you know that there is an actual phobia dedicated to it? Fear of vomiting or emetophobia is the most googled phobia in Arizona and South Carolina. Their residents seem to have an issue with regurgitation. 

Fear of Long Words (Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia)

Fear of Long Words (hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia).
Image Credit: Elnur_ and depositphotos

The last phobia that made the list is an interesting one. It’s the fear of long words, which is ironically known as hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia — the longest-named phobia. Even the name of this phobia is sending shivers down the spines of those reading this in Arkansas and Kentucky.

The research in this article, conducted by Customer Service Number, provides a glimpse into the fears that haunt Americans, especially during this eerie Halloween season.

Theresa Bedford is a nationally syndicated writer. Her work has been seen on the Associated Press Wire, Blox Digital, and MSN. She writes about productivity, money, and simple living to help people focus on what really matters in life.