The most common phobias in each US state, according to search trends

FILE - People walk on the sidewalk along Fifth Avenue on Sept. 16, 2023, in New York City. (Photo Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images)

From a fear of holes and to a fear of failure, there is a wide range of apparent phobias across the United States – or at least, many people seeking information about them online. 

A fear of holes, or those who suffer from trypophobia, was found to be the most-searched in the nation, taking the No. 1 spot across 11 states, according to a new report. 

The research team behind the report, commissioned by the online directory Customer Service Number, analyzed 41 different phobias and the search volume behind each over the past year. 

The team included different – but related – searches for each phobia. For example, they collected keywords such as "afraid of heights," "scared of heights," "fear of heights symptoms," "I’m afraid of heights," and "acrophobia treatment" when analyzing a fear of heights. 

The results provide an interesting glimpse into the fears that may keep some Americans up at night. 

A fear of holes, in which the sight of clusters of holes can cause intensely unpleasant visceral reactions, was the most common search in states like Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Virginia. Past research has indicated that this phobia may actually stem from an ancient evolutionary part of the brain telling people that they are looking at a poisonous animal.


FILE - A honey bee diving into a cell of a honeycomb. (Photo by Frank Bienewald/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, searches of "a fear of failure" – known as atychiphobia – topped seven states, including Illinois, Massachusetts, and Ohio. People with atychiphobia may avoid any situation where they see a potential for failure, like a job interview, according to the Cleveland Clinic. People who suffer from this phobia can also be afraid of getting into a failed relationship or being a disappointment to others, the academic medical center adds.

Not far behind a fear of holes and a fear of failure was a fear of blood (hemophobia) and a fear of heights (acrophobia), according to the report.  

A fear of blood was the most searched phobia in Florida, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Washington. While some people may feel queasy at the sight of blood, those who suffer from hemophobia have an extreme fear of seeing it or getting tests done where blood may be involved, online therapy service BetterHelp explains. Those who suffer from it are encouraged to seek out support, as it can lead to an avoidance of necessary procedures or doctor appointments.


FILE - A person donates blood on May 25, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

A fear of heights was the most-searched phobia in Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Nebraska, and New Hampshire, according to the report. 

Another phobia that appeared high on the list was the fear of people – or anthropophobia. The most searches for this phobia were found in the most populous states like California and New York, as well as New Jersey and North Dakota, the report said. 

While a fear of people can be part of social anxiety disorder, they are not the same, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Those who suffer from social anxiety may feel fear and embarrassment while in social situations, like on a date or speaking to a waiter, while people with anthropophobia are afraid of people – regardless of the setting.


FILE - Tourists are seen on Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, California, on Sept. 3, 2022. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

In West Virginia, Indiana, and Texas, people were searching for a fear of needles (trypanophobia) the most. The fear of being alone (autophobia) was the most-searched phobia in Maine and Nevada, while a fear of the dark (nyctophobia) topped the list of searches in Alaska and Michigan, according to the report.

A fear of vomiting – or emetophobia – was the most googled phobia in Arizona and South Carolina, and a fear of long words, known as hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia — topped the list in Arkansas and Kentucky. 

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This story was reported from Cincinnati.