CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Spooky season is among us, which means it’s time for the annual phobia study.

YourLocalSecurity (YLS) conducted their fourth annual America’s Top Phobias in 2020, to find the most-searched phobias in each state. This year, Virginia’s biggest google-searched phobia was ophidiophobia or the fear of snakes.

Considering all the chaos caused from the pandemic, the fear of people makes sense.

According to their study, anthropophobia (the fear of people) made up 22-percent of all phobia search volume—making it the most-searched fear in the United States this year which also happens to be West Virginia’s biggest fear, according to the study.

Search volume for anthropophobia increased five times since 2019 and it reached an ultimate high between April 19–25. It can’t said for sure, but one could be *fairly* confident COVID-19 played a role in this.

To find the most-searched phobia in each state, YourLocalSecurtiy analyzed the top fifteen terms from last year’s piece and added three additional new search queries that begin with the phrase “fear of.” 

Then, YLS pooled Google Trends data from August 2018 to August 2019 to determine the top phobia in each state.

Note: fear of water was not included in their analysis this year since no state looked it up. They also rephrased searched queries for the following: 

  • Fear of germs 
  • Fear of being outside 
  • Fear of social media

To view the full report and find each state’s biggest fear, click here.

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