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Americans’ Biggest Fears

A Halloween Guide to What Freaks Americans Out

 

October 2023

Script

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:

  1. Around 83% of Americans have at least one fear, while 16% say they have no fears at all. 
  2. The most common fears are snakes (30%), heights (28%), and spiders (24%). 
  3. Rarer fears include dirt (2%), bright lights (3%), and clusters of small holes (6%). 

Source(s)

Shownotes

SOUND: "Cursed Lullaby" (Argy Ottas

FOOTAGE: Matt Scherf (Getty) // CITED SOURCES AND NEWS OUTLETS ARE NOT AFFILIATED WITH AND HAVE NOT ENDORSED OR SPONSORED ANY PORTION OF THIS PRODUCTION. 

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