Americans’ Biggest Fears
A Halloween Guide to What Freaks Americans Out
If you find yourself on edge during this spooky season, you’re not alone.
While samhainophobia — the fear of Halloween — is quite rare,i more than three-quarters of Americans say they have a fear of some kind.ii
Some of the biggest: 30% of Americans are afraid of snakes, making serpents the most common phobia. Fear of heights is a close second, with 28% of Americans preferring to stay close to the ground.
Other common fears include spiders (24%), public speaking (23%), and disease (21%).
Certain fears are more common among specific demographic groups.
Women have a greater fear of dogs, but men have a greater fear of cats.
Fear of clowns is more common amongst those in younger age groups … while fear of enclosed spaces is more common among older Americans.
17% of Americans are afraid of crowded spaces — while just 2% are afraid of open spaces.
Other rare fears include the fear of dirt (2%) … and bright lights (3%).
6% of Americans are afraid of clusters of small holes, which … well, honestly, we have no idea what that means.
A quarter of Americans say their fears interfere with daily lifeiii — which is about the same percentage as those who say they’ve discussed their fears with a therapist.iv
Perhaps the scariest thing of all is the 16% of Americans who say they have absolutely no fears.
Keep them away from us.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Around 83% of Americans have at least one fear, while 16% say they have no fears at all.
- The most common fears are snakes (30%), heights (28%), and spiders (24%).
- Rarer fears include dirt (2%), bright lights (3%), and clusters of small holes (6%).
- "What Is Samhainophobia? The Extreme Fear of Halloween That Makes Some People Physically Sick" (Kashmira Gander) — Newsweek
- Daily Survey: Phobias — YouGov, pg.4
- Daily Survey: Phobias — YouGov, pg.42
- Daily Survey: Phobias — YouGov, pg.43