The Dakotas are the two least-scary states in the United States, although North Dakota ranks first among available professional clowns.
The state of Florida is known for amusement parks, beaches on two coasts, and Burmese pythons.
Now it is known as the scariest state in the United States.
So says a survey conducted by the real estate search site Estately, which went to great lengths to determine the scariest states in the union. The site used 15 different criteria which could be independently validated and then came up with the decision that Florida produces the greatest fear factor.
The things Estately decided we are afraid of are: bears, clowns, dentists, flying, heights, hurricanes, lightning, meth labs, murderers, prisons, shark attacks, snakes, spiders, tornadoes, and volcanoes. Somehow earthquakes did not make the list.
As an example of how the site judged the level of each fear, it determined the number of clowns for hire per 100,000 people, the average number of tornadoes and hurricanes per capita per year, the murder and incarceration rate in each state, and the number of black bears per 100,000. For the fear of heights, they included the number of buildings over 700 feet and the number of mountainous regions in the state.
Here is a look at what made the top five scariest states scary:
No. 5 – Alabama ranks third in venomous snakes, fourth in prison population and murderers, and fifth in spiders.
No. 4 – Louisiana leads the league in prison population and murderers, is third in hurricanes and fifth in both spiders and tornadoes.
No. 3 – Texas boasts the most spiders per capita (according to the website Venombyte), and ranks second in both snakes and hurricanes. It is third in terms of heights and fifth in terms of prison population.
No. 2 – Georgia is just generally scary. It ranks fourth for those who have a fear of flying (because of the size of the Atlanta Hartsfield airport), and is fifth in spiders and snakes. The only category in which Georgia is in the bottom half in terms of scary is in dentists (it does not have as many dentists per 100,000 people as the other states).
No. 1 – Florida can proudly state it is No. 1 in hurricanes and tornadoes as well as shark attacks. It also ranks third in terms of lightning strikes on humans.
The states that rank No. 1 in a scary factor not mentioned above are Alaska (bears), North Dakota (clowns), Hawaii (flying and volcanoes), Arizona (snakes), Massachusetts (dentists and lightning), Colorado (heights) and Missouri (meth labs).
The least scary state, by the way, is South Dakota, followed by North Dakota, Vermont, Nebraska and Montana.
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.